As many of you who've spoken with me know, I often use a car for many metaphors related to comparing branding
. The vehicle, both in it’s utility and
as a way of getting from here to there, serves as such a great metaphor subject that sometimes I just don't know what to do with myself. (Ha!)
So at a recent meeting with your next favorite female artist, a great question emerged during our discussion of the differences between branding
, and how we guide our clients along both of these stretches of road along a brand's journey:
"So we've got the car built, but how do we know where we're going?"
This, of course, all goes back to VISION
, which starts at the very beginning of the branding development process… a clear, tight Vision
is needed to figure out what to brand, whether that be personal
branding for a songwriter or product
branding for your company's new aerodynamic eco-friendly paperweight.
And as many wise men before me have said: With no clear target, you will most certainly hit nothing.
That is because a clear Vision
involves a lot of thought and work put into defining many elements including: who your unique buying tribes are (or who you want them to be), how your new brand will be positioned (radically different than your competition in most cases, we hope), what the message of your brand is, WHY anyone should care about what you're doing, what trail you want your brand to leave behind in its historical "wake", and how you can help your customers/fans/followers. These are just a few of the key things on the list of what makes a solid brand Vision
, out of which can then come a strategy of how to get there, so you know both WHERE you're going, and how you'll get there.
So to help you begin making your way towards first defining a clear Vision
for the brand, ask yourself these three simple questions
1. How will your brand improve someone's daily lifestyle?
For brands that actually integrate into people's lifestyle, and better yet, are some of the brands making the largest strides in scooping up the public's mindshare… the value
is clear (life improved, time saved, easier living, etc), and thus the decision is easy.
2. What do you want your brand to leave behind 25 years from now?
What will the history that your brand leaves behind look like? What is the difference you'll make? If your tribes can see this resonating in the message of your brand now
, they'll be all the more compelled to get on board for the long haul.
3. What are the biggest challenges going to be for this brand?
Every brand has challenges to face, whether you’re a new brand (start-up), a young brand, or a 30+ year old full-established brand. Ultimately, defining what those problems and challenges are is the first real step towards overcoming them.
Answer these questions and you'll truly begin creating a solid map for where your new brand will go when it is ready to hit the open road.
We hope you enjoy the drive.
Principal + Lead Brand Navigator