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  • Writer's pictureJill Hartmann

10 Branding questions to shape your marketing approach

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

If you're a smally business owner, these 10 questions will help you think about establishing a solid brand identity. Once defined, this identity will become central to your branding, marketing and communication approach.

1. What is your brand’s story?

How/why was your company started? What’s behind the company name? Which adjectives would you use to describe your brand? Why should customers use you? These answers will help your customers understand who you are and why your business exists.

2. Who is your ideal customer?

What are the characteristics of your ideal customer? What is their age range? What is their income level? What type of customer feels that the price you ask is worth the value of the product or service you provide? Who would be likely to be a repeat customer? Who would refer new customers to you? Knowing your ideal customer will help inform brand personality and which media your customers are most likely to use.

3. What is your brand voice?

How would your brand speak if it could? Is it reassuring? Confident? Thoughtful? This will guide the tone of your communications.

4. Who are your competitors?

Who do you compete with? What do you like and dislike about their brands? How are you different from them? How are you better than them? Knowing your competitors and what they offer may help you decide where you stand out.

5. What is your unique selling point (USP)?

What does your brand have that no other brand does? This aspect that sets your brand apart should be at the core of your messaging.

6. What is your long-term vision for your brand identity?

You might have a good idea of where your brand is at now, but how do you see it in the future? Will it stay the same or change? As a small business owner, it's often difficult to think past the "day-to-day" of running your business, but it's important to set aside time to think about the strategic direction and what you need to do today to get there.

7. If you have a current brand identity, what do you like and dislike about it?

What parts of your brand identity are working? What would you like to change about your brand? What parts of your identity used to work, but don’t anymore? Elements you and your customers like should remain stable over time to build loyalty.

8. What other brands inspire you?

What logos bring you inspiration? What is it about their branding that you admire? How do those logos relate to the brand that they represent? If your brand inspires you and tells your story, it will probably inspire your customers, too!

9. Which colors do you want to make up your brand design?

Which colors will best communicate the feel of your brand? What do you want your logo to communicate? Speed and urgency might mean using red or orange. Purple or blue might be good to convey calmness and relaxation.

10. What images or quotes inspire you?

Do you have a favorite quote that inspired your brand? What photos inspire you? Create a folder called "inspiration," or hang your inspiration in your office. Be sure to refer to this inspiration when building your brand.

Once you've answered these questions, it's time to move to the next step - creative creative brainstorming!

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