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It's the time of year where we take a fresh start. For many of us that means new goals in our personal lives. But it's a fresh start for your brand too as Fast Company suggested in the post below, 6 Steps to Redefining Your Brand in 2014. And although I can't necessarily argue with "Think Long-term" or even "Start Keeping The Promise Before You Make It", I do think this post is missing the most important part of branding, Positioning.
Positioning starts with being aware with who you are. If you can confidently say that you know how your customers, partners, competitors, media and employees view your brand in the context of the market and their relationship with you, then you know how you're positioned. If you don't know, then yes, do the research. Fast Company was bang on with "Do Your Research, Inside And Out". But keep in mind that his research will only tell you how the market has positioned you. Your brand is placed by the market, whether you like that placement or not.
But Positioning is about being aware with who you are right now, knowing who you want to be, and then mapping your brand to get there. And I believe this is where we act on the research, where you take that self-awareness, and literally map to where you want your brand to be. The market may position you as reliable and acceptable – and you want your brand to mean wonder and luxury – so you need to put branding in action and ensure the product and business plan is executed to support that promise.
And although branding is certainly logos, visual identity, look-and-feel, and tone – it really has to be designated first, which you can do in just one page:
Universal Truth – The customer insights you address.
Brand DNA – The 3-5 pillars (or main ingredients) that make up who you are.
Postioning Statement – Your Unique Selling Proposition that answers Who, What, Where, How.
Brand Benefit – The single benefit that you deliver on.
Brand Vision – The reason for being. Your purpose.
Brand Strategy – The single idea that is the guiding theme in all you do.
Start 2014 with a look at your brand. Do you really know who you are or do you need market research? If you understand how you're positioned by the market, are you happy with that positioning? If not, where do you want your brand to be? Start with just one page and get ready to Redefine Your Brand in 2014.