Every hero has an origin story. A series of events, some minor and some monumental, that define a person and make them unique.
Your brand also needs an origin story in order to be memorable. An answer to the whys and hows your company came to exist, and why those things make you different from your competitors.
Fleshing out this origin story takes time and effort, but its foundation will always be the initial spark that inspired you to create your company—and your brand—in the first place.
There are exceptions, of course. Nike famously didn’t come up with its name until five hours before its first running shoes shipped, but even then, the inspiration it chose (the Greek Goddess of Victory) still matched the company’s original mission, which was to create the world’s best running shoes. The name Nike was also aligned with (although a far better choice than) the company’s previous name of Blue Ribbon Sports.
Building Upon Your Origin
With the whys and hows your company came to exist in mind, it’s time to build out your brand in a way that delivers on your origin.
As you build, you’re doing more than choosing a name and a logo. You’re building a promise to your customers about what you are and what you stand for.
Take Apple, for example. The company was born out of a desire to make personal computers more accessible, and its tagline of “It just works” was a byproduct of that original mission. Those three simple words said everything customers needed to know about the company and its products, even as those products became increasingly complex.
This highlights another important reason for remembering—and building upon—your origin. As you scale as a company and your products inevitably diversify, it can be easy to lose sight of your original mission. But as long as the whys and hows continue to be your north star, your brand can retain its original promise to your customers.
The Questions That Build Your Brand
As you go through the process of creating your brand (or rebranding yourself), there are a number of questions you need to answer. Five of them, in fact. These questions are:
- Why did you start your company?
- How is your company different?
- What is your promise to customers?
- How will your brand values be a part of everything you do?
- How will you stay true to your brand as you grow?
Those last two questions are by far the hardest to answer. It’s one thing to adopt a name and a logo that suggests your company’s values and quite another to ensure you live out those values both internally and externally—especially during times of aggressive growth.
But as long as you stay true to your original mission—again, the whys and hows that make for your origin story—you will not only stay true to your brand, but your brand will continue to ring true to your customers.
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