10 Questions to Kick Off Your Branding Project

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10 Questions to Kick Off Refining Your Brand

We use the 10 questions in this worksheet at the start of every branding project. Whether you're building, refreshing or simply refining your brand, these questions set the foundation for the process and help guide the creative to its full potential. Use this worksheet as a tool to inform your internal team, your agency or design firm partner, or to gain a deeper understanding of your brand's landscape.

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How to Make Sure Your Messaging Clarifies, Connects, and Invites

How to Make Sure Your Messaging Clarifies, Connects, and Invites

Make Sure Your Messaging Clarifies, Connects, and Invites; Reason to Refresh Your Brand Identity – Number 2

If you are like many business leaders, you might feel like your services are your industries’ best-kept-secret. If you struggle articulating what’s unique about your products and how they benefit your customer, and you are wondering what opportunities you are missing out on, then your brand may be getting lost in the crowd.

One of the most common challenges that our clients face – and arguably the most important – is clarifying their messaging. All businesses are challenged with answering the “What do you do?” question. If your potential customer can’t clearly and quickly understand what you do, you will lose that sale.

When you describe what you do, we – as consumers – are trying to figure out what your product or service is, and if it’s something that will help us. If you don’t do a good job describing what you do, people will label your brand incorrectly, and file you away in the “I don’t need that” box.

If five different people in your organization were asked what your company does, would they all answer the same way? And more importantly, would they answer in a way that was clear and effective? 

How clearly do you currently describe what you do for the people that visit your website? Keep in mind that if it takes people longer than 5 seconds to understand what you offer, then you are losing sales. Is your brand stuck in a box that someone mislabeled “Unnecessary”, “Overpriced” or even “I Don’t Get It”?  Having run my own business for 20 years, I know exactly what it feels like to wrestle with the “What do you do?” question. Telling our story effectively was a challenge for us too. (And the irony that we struggled to do for ourselves what we do so well for our clients was not lost on me!)

Every business wants to tell a great story with their brand. The problem is, in telling their story, most companies just talk about themselves: “We do this, we do that, we sell these…” So all too often, instead of telling a story, we’re just listing facts. But the thing is, facts just tell – and stories help sell. Listing facts is a one-way conversation with you talking TO someone. Stories engage people and invite them into a two-way conversation that you can have WITH them.

By talking about ourselves in the “we do this”, “we do that” manner, we end up positioning ourselves as the “Hero” in the story. The key in telling a great story is to position the customer as the Hero. When your story talks about what the customer wants, then you become the “Guide”. And when your brand becomes the Guide in your customer’s story, that’s when your message gains clarity – and clarity leads to great results!

How is your brand currently positioned? In your marketing materials are you the Hero, or are you the Guide?

A tool we use that helps bring clarity to messaging is StoryBrand. There are a handful of components that are key to writing a good story, and StoryBrand makes sure all of them are captured. At it’s core, you need to identify who your customer is, what they want and how you are going to help them with their problem so they achieve success.

As a Certified StoryBrand Guide, I understand how to use StoryBrand’s proven framework to write great messaging for our clients. Clarified messaging improves your marketing materials and breaks your brand out of the mislabeled box.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in your organization described what your company does in the same way, in a way that was clear in communicating who you serve, and how what you do is helpful to your customer?

I challenge you to stop thinking about your brand as the hero and to take charge of your brand box and label it boldly. Creating clear messaging eliminates confusion, streamlines the conversation and attracts the right (and more) customers.

If you would like to grab a cup of coffee and talk about how better messaging can help you and your brand, contact me at derek@sussner.com. I’m happy to guide you through the process to helping your brand stand out.

Here’s to finally being able to answer the “What do you do?” question!

Derek Sussner



P.S. For examples of outstanding results companies have achieved after re-energizing their brand identity, download “8 Reasons Refreshing Your Brand Identity Will Give You the Competitive Edge” for free at sussner.com/book.