5 Questions to Ground Brand Identity in Strategy
You know you have a great team, structure or process in place when you can’t tell where one team member dropped something and another seamlessly picked it up. The same is true with individual elements of a comprehensive creative approach. Namely, strategy and brand identity.
You can’t tell where one leaves off and another begins, because they are that integrated with one another. They have a symbiotic relationship. They are one. Ultimately, there is no long-term thriving if one tries to exist without the other, or with a low-quality version of the other.
When our brand identity aligns with our hopes and dreams (aka overall goal-driven strategy), we can get where we want to go faster.
Here are five strategic questions to consider when assessing your brand identity.
1. What’s your backstory?
Where you come from informs where you’re going, for better or worse. While your trajectory may change, your roots are important. Maybe your origin no longer aligns with who you’ve become, and you need to make that distinction clearer. Conversely, your business may be growing exactly as you’d hoped and your roots are intact and actively supporting you. Or, perhaps you have strayed from a foundation that remains true and you need to course correct a bit.
After reflecting on how your organization got its start, assessing what still rings true and what has shifted, take an honest look at whether the results line up with the current state of your brand. Things evolve; that’s okay and is often a healthy sign of growth, but staying on top of that change and making necessary adjustments is important.
2. What are your core values?
Some write this step off as fluff, yet it’s anything but. Our core values are a direct reflection of what is important to our business; and they in turn should serve as the basis for all company decisions. Bottom line; they are powerful and we miss opportunities for maximizing our potential when we don’t take the time to define or refine them.
There is no shortage of great things in this world, but we know that if we try to do everything, we ultimately excel at nothing. Figure out which values are highest on your list and champion them at all costs, across all creative and business initiatives.
3. What five descriptive words define your organization?
If you’re having high school English class flashbacks, we promise not to grade this exercise. While there may be hundreds of words that represent what you do or create, your business can’t be or do all those things with excellence.
Pick the five that best capture where you want to be, as these attributes work together to create the essence of your brand.
4. What do you want to be known for?
Sometimes the answer to this question is the same as what you ARE known for, and others are still making the journey. Regardless, if we confuse our audience, we will either lose them, or never make it on their radar to begin with.
Start simple; if you can’t state in one succinct phrase or series of short sentences what you want to be known for, we recommend rallying key stakeholders to align on this statement.
5. How will you get there?
Winging it isn’t an option. Overcomplication isn’t either; at least not a viable one. Break it down, keep it simple and focused. Sometimes we are so entrenched in doing the work, we don’t take enough time to step back and truly assess how that work is making a dent in our goals.
If we have a deep understanding of our core business, our brand can be the bridge that connects us to our audience and helps drive the business forward.
Above all else, the answers to these questions serve as a gut check. Does your brand identity represent who you really are or want to be? If the results don’t match up, it’s likely time to consider a rebrand.
Not sure where to start? Let’s talk.