This is the plan. The plan that, if you do your homework right, will set you apart from others who “share” your space.
A brand isn’t some complex definition of your essence. A brand is simply what makes you, you. Brands can be people with personalities. Brands can be big companies with thousands of employees. Brands can be small organizations struggling to get others to notice them.
The key to creating distinction is understanding yourself, your space, your competition and especially your customer (your market, who you serve). A brand strategy is the key to understanding and unlocking the information you’ll need to create distinction for you, for your brand.
Understanding Yourself/Your Organization
We conduct interviews with key individuals who have helped define and shape your organization. They have history and knowledge of how the organization has grown over time and can tell the story of how it came to be. Usually we look for the original principles the organization was started on to help us better understand the vision and values that shape the personality. Often times this makes up the character that we try to exhibit in the way your identity is visualized, how your name is crafted and the tag line that helps tell your story. How well we gather this information will help us shape the brand identity that fits best for you and your organization.
Understanding Your Space
Captain Kirk may have called it a frontier, but this kind of space should be put between you and your competitors. Before we discuss your competition it’s important to understand your business, the market you operate in and the what the key factors are that make being successful in it critical. To do this we spend time with you and your key staff to understand your products and services and the marketplace you sell them in. It’s important that the way you identify yourself/your organization in this space be fitting and not out of character for who you are and what your customer expects in this space. Some of this information will come as a result of conversations with customers, your staff and others who operate in this same space. How we define your organization in this space will ensure that you stand apart from others who you also compete for your customers share of wallet.
Understanding Your Competition
To be distinct one has to answer the question “who am I being compared to?” It’s important to understand who shares your space. We’ll get to answering the question “how am I different from everyone else?,” but first we need to identify who are the key players in your space and what do they say about who they are? The one thing we need to avoid is sameness. You don’t want to look like them. You don’t want to appear to stand for the same things they stand for. You don’t want to offer the same products and services they do. You want the people who shop in your space to recognize you and your organization as standing for something different. You want to be set apart from the rest. You want to look different from the rest. You want to stand for different things than the rest stand for. You want to do all of that and represent the qualities your customers value most when buying in this space.
Understanding Your Customer
Most importantly, without understanding what makes your customers happy, what they value and what matters most to them your efforts to set your organization apart would be ineffective if you don’t satisfy each of these at a very minimum. To understand where your business needs to be listen to what your customers say about you, about your space, about your competition. The beauty of our position is that we represent you and your organization to your customers objectively by interviewing them to discover their behaviors, values and preferences. They will help us determine how to best position you and your organization so you appeal most to their sense of values.