May 25, 2018

A Friday Branding Exercise

By: Josh Dougherty


I'd like you to complete a short experiment at your company today. Walk around to 5-6 of your co-workers and ask them 3 simple questions:

  1. Who is <insert your company name here>?
  2. What does <insert your company name here> do?
  3. Why does <insert your company name here> matter?

Write down each interviewee's responses. Then, when you're done compare them (maybe even put them in a spreadsheet). Did people use the same words? Did their answers vary widely? Note the trends.

Read Next: The Secret to an Accelerated Branding Process

Why This Exercise Matters

This exercise is a simple litmus test of how well you've defined your brand messaging. Consistent brand messaging matters because it's what allows you to create a consistent memory in the minds of your customers or clients.

It's also what will get them to take action. On average people need to hear a message 7 times before taking action. That's why consistency in how you talk about yourself in marketing communications, and face-to-face interactions is essential.

So, What Now?

If you discovered that no one you talked to was on the same page, we recommend doing the following to start developing some consistency:

  1. Bring your spreadsheet to your boss if you need to get approval to do this type of work
  2. Convene a small team to work on the project with you (2-3 works best)
  3. Review any branding documents your company has that may be relevant
  4. Take a look at past marketing materials and note how these questions are answered — especially look for consistent themes
  5. Review your brand values and discuss how they should be reflected in your answers
  6. Write draft answers for each question, then revise, then revise some more
  7. Present it to the powers that be and see their response

Keep in mind that the best context in which to answer these questions is a branding exercise that includes research with your target customers. But, if you don't have the budget to complete that type of project. this can at least get you to an initial point of consistency. Then, you can go back and use a more disciplined process to refine.

Once you've completed this simple exercise, let us know your findings in the comments. We'd love to discuss!

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