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Brand Development (And how to get people interested in what you’re saying)

Submitted by on September 16, 2010 – 4:40 pm3 Comments

Ideal brand positioning is congruence among what people currently believe about a brand (credible), what people will value in a brand (relevant), what the organization is currently saying about the brand (marketing/PR/web 2.0), and where the organization would like to take the brand (missions and value). 

The most important advice we give clients when developing their brand is to find their unique selling proposition and clearly communicate it:

  • What is the marketplace need and how will you meet that need?
  • What is distinctive about you from the competition?
  • Why will people connect with you? What’s in it for them?
  • Does your brand tell a powerful story and what is the story your brand tells?
  • Can you communicate your organizations purpose (the brand) in 7 words or less?

Brand audits are necessary from time-to-time to reveal:

  • Who you THINK you are  
  • What you want to accomplish and if it’s measurable
  • What you’re communicating now
  • Who people think you are (Through research)
  • Gaps between expectations and performance
  • Ways to align those gaps through strategic communications

I love the process of taking clients from the conceptual to an internal brand statement and to an external brand tagline; it’s rewarding to put words to their purpose and clearly communicate to the world who they are, what they do, and why someone needs it. Only then can they truly meet the “unmet need” in the marketplace.

  • I found the most interesting part of branding for my ministry to be the part where I had to do research, what you refer to in your post as “who people think you are”. It feels risky to ask others for feedback like that, and I’m glad I took the risk. It was a rewarding experience!

  • Julie Spiewak

    Cathi, thanks for the post. I’m curious, did your research confirm “who you think you are” or did it shed light and bring new perspective forcing you to make some internal adjustments?

  • Julie, it confirmed what I already felt. The cool part was the enthusiasm the respondents had around certain questions. Where I might have used a more subdued word to describe a trait of mine, they used more dynamic ones. For example, one of the questions the respondents were asked was, “How do you describe me to others who’ve never met me?”. The answers the respondents gave were very insightful. You could tell that they considered the question carefully and their answers reinforced what I had believed. It made writing out my brand statement and ministry purpose that much easier, because it was important to me that my message be a reflection of who I really am and what my ministry is really about.