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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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Build These 5 Things to Grow Your Business

If you need to attract more leads and close more sales, then you need a sales funnel. A sales funnel is another way of saying marketing plan, and it works regardless of the type or size of your business, or what you sell. This strategy will engage customers, capture their attention, and compel them to buy. Download the Marketing Checklist and get started growing your business today.

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The Most Important Question Your Brand can Answer

The Most Important Question Your Brand can Answer

Question #3 When Considering a Brand Refresh

If you’re thinking about refreshing your brand’s identity, the first question we ask helps to clarify what success looks like to you. The second question gathers factual information about the background of your business.

Your answers to all 10 questions on our Brand Worksheet gather the insight that will guide creative to its full potential so your brand looks different and better than your competition, and attractive to your consumers. But if there’s one question that provides the most beneficial insight with regards to your brand, it’s this one:

How does your product or service benefit your customer or solve your customer’s problem?

While at first glance that may seem obvious, but it’s one that most companies answer ineffectively.

Companies make the mistake of selling solutions to external problems.

But customers buy solutions to their internal problems.
The external problem is the tangible obstacle that the customer is trying to overcome. The internal problem is an emotion that the external problem is causing the customer to feel. What customers are looking for is a resolution to that internal frustration or struggle. And that’s where your product or services comes in.

The goal is to invite customers into a story

This is a story in which the lives of your customers are made better through your brand and the use of your products. In other words, instead of telling people how your product works, let customers know how your product works to solve their problem.

Why do your customers – current and past – buy from you?

When you think about how to describe the problem your customers are experiencing and how your products or serves help them, it’s also helpful to answer this question. Instead of describing your product or service as the tangible thing that you do, or the features or benefits of your service, or pitch your product’s pricing, it’s helpful to look for insights that consider the internal emotions of your customers.

An example, and this one’s personal

We were having a problem in our home with intruders…mice. While I thought I was successful at trapping these little rodents, they were just not going away. While I was mildly frustrated by this challenge, the idea of hiring a pest control service as the solution never crossed my mind. Then one evening while preparing to make dinner, we found a nest of insulation and mouse droppings right inside of our oven (but thankfully, no mice). Gross! Because we felt horrified by this invasion, we immediately called and hired a professional pest control service, and with little consideration for the cost. So while our problem was mice (external), we ultimately subscribed to a monthly service plan because we felt helpless (internal). The because the company we hired did an outstanding job, I now associate being mouse-free with the Adam’s Pest Control brand.

1 Thing You Can Do Right Now

While you work on refreshing your brand, one thing you can do now is update your website’s homepage with new messaging you come up with that talks about your product or service in terms of the problems you solve for customers. When people land on your website, if it takes them longer than 5 seconds to understand what you do, then you will lose that sale. People come to your site to find out if what you do is something that will help them, so make sure you tell them – it’s a game-changer!

The Next Question…

In our next post we’ll look at Question #4, which focuses on your target market. In the meantime, email me at derek@sussner.com if you would like to grab a coffee and talk about how to make sure you are engaging your customers.

Here’s to standing out!
Derek Sussner
Executive Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide

P.S. If you would like all 10 questions now, download the Sussner Brand Worksheet for free: http://bit.ly/sdcobrandws and use this tool to inform your internal team, your agency or design firm partner, or to gain a deeper understanding of your brand’s landscape as you work towards helping your brand to break out of the pack and grow your business.