The other night, like most nights, I hopped into bed with my favorite mug of pipin’ hot mint tea and started reading one of the current books on my nightstand: High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. One of his talking points is that high performers have more clarity on who they are and what they want. And the best way to find clarity is by asking yourself questions.
High performers are able to answer questions quickly like:
Who am I? What do I want? Why do I want it? How will I achieve it?
Some of these may seem basic or obvious but when you really sit and think about them they can create a pretty powerful impact on your life (and the lives of those around you).
The best way to find clarity is by asking yourself questions often. And then it hit me – branding is the exact same way.
In order to create a purposeful brand identity, we have to dig deeper than surface-level questions like “what kind of logos do you like?”, “what’re your favorite colors?”, “what are some other websites that you like?”. We have to dig deeper, because the thing is, your brand is so much more than your logo and it’s even so much more than your whole brand identity. It’s how you show up, how you serve your audience, and how you create an impact. Doesn’t that sound so much better than just having a pretty logo.
So here are a handful of questions that my clients and I go through during our brand strategy sessions so that we can find clarity and alignment within their business:
This might seem like a pretty simple question at first, but hear me out.
Have you ever noticed how asking why is one of children’s best strategies for connecting with adults and learning about the world around them? It might surprise you to know that children and interrogators have similar tactics to get to the root cause of a problem.
I want you to use this interrogation technique on yourself to really get to the heart of your business. I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds (I mean, children use it after all) and it’s actually quite simple. All you do is ask yourself why five times. Yup, it’s that simple. Even better, you can apply this technique to anything in your life.
Once you get to the last why of your answer you’ve dug deeper and gotten to a vulnerable yet universal struggle that your audience is most likely dealing with too. You can use this story, or your why, to connect with your audience or use this as a driving force in every decision that you make within your business to achieve alignment and clarity. When making a decision in your business ask yourself “does this align with my why?”
Next, we need to get super specific about who your ideal audience even is. Where do they like to hang out? Where do they shop? What books, podcasts, movies, or music do they like? Who do they look up to? Once you are able to have a clear idea of who that person is, you can talk and appeal directly to them. You should know your audience so well, they’re wondering how you got in their head.
If you aren’t specific about who your audience is, you’ll be trying to appeal to everyone. And when you try to appeal to everyone, you’re ultimately attracting no one. It’s when you can get specific and talk directly to them that your audience begins to know, like, and trust you – and ultimately knocking on your door wondering how the heck they can buy from you.
Just think about Walmart vs. Target or Dunken Donuts vs. Starbucks. They each have very different audiences while providing a similar service and but each has a very loyal and different following. These companies harness that power and spend their energy only appealing to the people they know will make a loyal customer.
To get to know your audience, hop on a call with some people that you would love to work with. Spend time in your DMs on Instagram. Really listen to what these people are saying, what they are struggling with and what they want most.
People fall in love with people, not with logos or graphics. That means that the key to building a brand that stands out is by creating a personality that the audience can either see themselves in, aspire to be, or want that kind of influence in their life.
For me, I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to the “creating the personality” part. I use my signature process called the Brand Character Roadmap. Using methods I’ve developed from human psychology, storytelling, and marketing, I dive deep to develop a character that is truly authentic and unique to your brand, voice, and values. This is one of the first things I do for my clients when creating their brand strategy that they can use as a tool to captivate and connect with their audience.
I like to think of branding like dating. To make your audience fall in love with your brand, you have to determine what would attract a specific person to your company; otherwise, it’s bound to be like a bad blind date. But that doesn’t mean lying about who you are – we all know that ends poorly.
Don’t be someone that you aren’t. You want to know your story, your strengths, and your weaknesses, your own personality, and own those so that the people that need you most can find you, fall in love, and we can all live happily ever after… you get the picture.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create an irresistible brand personality download my free workbook here.