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The First Step in Refreshing Your Brand

The First Step in Refreshing Your Brand

The First Step in Refreshing Your Brand: 10 questions to help you in building or refining your brand identity

If you’re like many marketing leaders considering refreshing your brand, you may be unsure how to get started. You’re not alone – one of the most common questions people ask us is “What does the first step look like?”

We’ve refined our process over the past 20 years to help us be consistent in the outcomes we deliver for customers. How we do it is uncomplicated: we clarify, we create and then we launch.

Gather Information on Your Current Brand and Goals

The first step is to gather all the information that helps us understand the customer, their product or service, the challenges or opportunities – and what success looks like. We look at the customer’s target audience and their competition, review the guiding principals of the organization and have a conversation on what the desired perception is for the brand.

Whether you’re building, refreshing, or simply refining your brand, the following questions apply. They set the foundation for the future steps of the brand refresh process, and help guide the creative to its full potential. Using your answers to these questions will inform you and your team, your agency/design firm partner, or will provide a deeper understanding of your brand’s landscape as you consider potential next steps with your brand identity.

Complete Brand Exercise Worksheet

As you fill out the answers to the questions, it’s helpful to keep in mind that your brand is not the hero. Learning how to be able to talk about what you do in terms of what your customers want is a game-changer. The key is to position your customer as the hero, and when you do this, you become their guide. And when your customers think of you as their guide, your business will see an amazing difference.

We use the following 10 questions to kick off the start of every branding project:
1. What is the project you are thinking about?
2. What is the background of your business – your industry, years in business, etc?
3. What is your product or service?
4. Who is your target market and what are their demographics?
5. What is the pain point, attitude or motivation of your target customer?
6. What is your specific goal or opportunity?
7. Who are your competitors?
8. What is the most important thing you want to say to your customers?
9. Do you have guiding principals defined for your organization: Vision/Mission/Core Values?
10. List 5 characteristics that describe how you would like people to think of your brand

Whether you’re trying to level the playing field, tip the field in your favor, compete on a bigger field, or reign supreme over the game, consider your brand as a tool that can help you compete, outmaneuver and win. And when creative is meaningful and strategic, it helps your brand gain a competitive edge. I’m sharing these insights to help you and your brand take a meaningful first step.

More Free Insights on Refreshing Your Brand Coming Soon

Look for a deeper dive into each of these 10 questions in a series of blog posts over the coming months. In the meantime, If you would like to grab a cup of coffee and talk about how to make sure your brand stands up, stands apart and stands out, contact me. My team and I are dedicated to creating thoughtful, effective and impactful solutions that help put space between you and your competitors.

Here’s to standing out from the crowd,
Derek Sussner

P.S. The group at StoryBrand launched Business Made Simple University. There are four online courses available now, with more on the way. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide, I’ve had the opportunity to preview the courses, and they are amazing! Check out at