Creating a brand statement
When it comes to marketing or branding of any kind, it’s vital that you know your business inside and out. It might seem obvious, but it bears saying. Your brand statement needs to reflect you or your business accurately.
A snappy, memorable statement means nothing if it results in your marketing campaign straying completely from your goals and values. But it’s also important to remember that integral to a brand statement is how you can benefit the audience, and not just what your personal or business goals are.
So, before you rush into coming up with a brand statement, put pen to paper and do the following:
Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP is the thing that makes your business different. Defining yours is particularly pertinent if your company has an offering similar to other businesses.
A helpful way of figuring out your USP is simply listing the attributes of your business and your offering. Sometimes finding a USP might be difficult if you’re too close to your product. By making a list, you’ll more easily spot characteristics that make you unique from the competition.
If there’s nothing that stands out, look deeper. Maybe your competitors have the same attributes, but perhaps you offer services at a lower price, or you have more helpful customer service. You may even end up having more than one USP. That’s great! For a brand statement, it’s best to focus on one.
Say you’re just about to launch a vegan deli. Your business stands out because you’re the only non-meat serving establishment in the neighborhood. That’s your USP. If your neighborhood is chock-full of vegan delis, perhaps yours is the cheapest or has the freshest ingredients, or only sources produce from local suppliers. One of these could be your USP.
From your list of potential USPs, pick the one the one that is most compelling and relevant to your target audience. It should describe what it is they want most from the market you are operating in.
Unsure about who you’re targeting? Then it’s time to...
Define your audience
We all want to be liked. Preferably by everyone. But when it comes to branding, targeting only a specific demographic is essential. By trying to appeal to too-wide a spectrum of people, you may end up alienating those who your company and offering will appeal to most. By considering what appeals to your target audience, you’ll more easily be able to angle your brand statement.
To have something to refer back to during the process of writing your brand statement, create a profile of your ideal customer, client, or audience by asking these questions:
What are their key characteristics (age, gender, income)
What does an average day look like?
What problems do they need to be solved?
How can you help them solve it?
By doing this exercise, it will become clear what it is this person will want from your offering. Is it quality? Comfort? Expertise? Or simply just a friendly face?
This customer or audience persona and their most pressing needs should inform the tone of your marketing strategy, as well as your brand personality.
Let’s say you’re starting a blog focusing on the best of budget beauty. Your audience persona is likely teenage girls and young women who aren’t earning a lot (if anything). They probably spend a lot of time in school or college or working part-time. They want to keep up with the latest beauty trends and look good, but can’t afford to spend a lot of money doing so. You solve this problem by providing a guiding voice, showing products that can help them look their best and keep up with what’s cool without breaking the bank.
From this, you can gather that your audience is probably looking for someone with an authoritative voice, who knows their way around a tube of mascara but is also friendly and relatable. You should bear this in mind when writing your brand statement.
Define your brand personality
By doing the previous two exercises, you’ll have a good foundation for figuring out your brand personality. A brand personality is by and large the characteristics that make your brand more human and relatable so that your potential audience can connect with you. A brand personality is essential for appealing to potential customers and maintaining customer loyalty.
Write down a list of words that describe (or you would like to describe) your brand; its characteristics and how you want it to make your customers feel. It’s helpful to think of your brand as a person during this exercise. Pick the most relevant words, narrowing it down to four or five adjectives to keep you focused.
If you run a moving company, these could be:
Or if you run a vegan deli, these could be:
If you try to think of your brand as a person with these characteristics, it will help inform the tone of your branding statement and subsequent branding and marketing materials.
Define your business promise
The promise your business makes to its customer its integral to your brand statement. It is fundamentally your USP: the main problem you are solving for your customer. Everything else you produce in terms of marketing and branding must reflect the promise you make in your statement.