How to Develop Your Brand Identity

7 Questions to Ask to Develop Your Brand Identity

By Casey NewmanJan 26 /2021

Your brand identity is what makes you memorable, setting you apart from the competition. It’s why your most loyal customers will decide to invest in you.

Companies with clear, consistent branding can expect to earn 23% more annual revenue than those without a well-communicated brand.

Defining your brand identity is a lot like answering life’s toughest questions. Who are you? What were you put on this earth to do? It may seem like a lot to tackle, but until you have a clear mission and vision for your company, you won’t have a clear path forward.

And defining your branding identity and strategy isn’t just for new brands, if your company has introduced a new product line or you’ve made a major strategic shift, this conversation is crucial — one that goes beyond your marketing department.

You’ll want to get input from all key stakeholders — including your executive team, sales leaders, service technicians or product designers and customer service representatives.

Let’s look at some questions that can help you shape your brand identity and strategy.

7 Questions to Ask to Develop Your Brand Identity

1. What’s Your Story?

2. What’s Your ‘Why’?

3. What Core Values Define Your Company or Brand?

4. Who Are Your Competitors?

5. How Are You Perceived?

6. What Is Your Brand’s Personality?

7. What Does Your Brand’s Voice Sound Like?

Let's dive deeper into each of these question to help you understand what they mean and how you should answer them.

1. What’s Your Story?

This is literally your history. Why were you founded? What problem were you solving? Your brand story should attract the interest of your target audience, help them see the value of your products/services and turn prospects into long-term customers.

2. What’s Your ‘Why’?

Why were you inspired to create your brand or product? Your “why” is otherwise known as your mission statement. Not only does it improve employee retention and help them feel more engaged, but research shows that customers are more likely to be loyal to a company with a mission they believe in.

3. What Core Values Define Your Company or Brand?

A mission statement helps your employees feel more engaged, but core values help you set expectations for employees and can also help in your hiring process.

To uncover your core values, ask your team questions like:

  • What do we stand for as a company?
  • What do we value most?
  • Think about the things you’re already doing: Do you have excellent customer service, use all-natural ingredients, or include special notes in packages? What do these things say about your company? Maybe it’s that you value a special touch or timeliness.
  • Are there any negative experiences you’ve had with a brand? How did that make you feel and what can you do to ensure the same doesn’t happen to your customers?
  • What brands do you love? What about them resonates with you?

4. Who Are Your Competitors?

Why are they your biggest competitors? Do they do anything better than you? How do they communicate their value through products and marketing?

Do you offer anything your competitors don’t or vice versa?

5. How Are You Perceived?

How do your customers perceive your brand? This could be different from the way you perceive it, and it can give you valuable insight into what made them decide to choose your product or service.

6. What Is Your Brand’s Personality?

If you were to have a celebrity spokesperson, who would it be? Why? According to Investopedia, a brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate; an effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a specific consumer segment enjoys.

Research shows customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that has a similar personality to theirs, according to Investopedia. The five main types of brand personalities include:

  • Excitement: Comes across as spirited, youthful or carefree
  • Sincerity: Comes across as thoughtfulness, kindness or orientation to “family values”
  • Ruggedness: Comes across as tough, athletic, rough or outdoorsy
  • Competence: Comes across as accomplished, influential and successful
  • Sophistication: Comes across as prestigious and elegant

7. What Does Your Brand’s Voice Sound Like?

You know your brand’s personality, but what about its voice? Is it formal, conversational, funny?

It’s important to establish a consistent voice, especially when you’re publishing content across multiple brands. To offer guidance in this area, you could develop a writing style guide for your company.

Brand guidelines can also include:

  • Whether you write in second person (you) or third person (they)
  • What grammar and punctuation is acceptable
  • Use of trademarks or copyright symbols
  • What industry jargon is common and what to avoid

What Now?

Now that you have a clearer picture of your brand identity, you’ll want to share it with the world. You want to make a big splash with a brand new website, amazing videos and scroll-stopping social media posts. But first, you need logos. You need custom imagery that will set you apart from the sea of stock photography. You need brand guidelines. You need clear, enticing messaging that compels people to learn more.

This is where an agency can help your company shine.

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Casey Newman
The Author

Casey Newman

A former journalist, Casey tells brands’ stories and helps to create engaging content strategies for companies. Before joining Kuno, she was in charge of public relations for marketing tech company Knotice. She earned a gold Hermes Creative Award for Knotice’s blog content and spearheaded several content initiatives that helped lead to the company's acquisition.