Are you ready to discover your brand?
By Jess Joswick and Victoria Dew
Every business has a brand, but what that means is often a mystery even to the business owners themselves.
That’s because when we talk about brand, we’re really talking about more than a logo or a visual identity. Your brand is everything your customers, employees, and investors know, believe, see, feel, buy, touch and hear about your company.
Think about it like DNA — your brand is unique to your business because YOU created it. It’s like a fingerprint or a snowflake. Even if someone else has a similar business to yours, it will never be exactly the same because your brand is different.
This is good news! It means that your brand already exists—in fact, it was created the moment you had the idea for your business. And you don’t have to recreate it or force it into existence. You just have to discover it, learn how to articulate it, and then do that again and again.
Why does any of this matter?
When you’re busy in the day-to-day hustle of actually running your business, it’s easy to forget what drove you to start it in the first place. But taking some time to remember will help you build a stronger, healthier company because it will help you understand your brand story.
Your brand is your reputation, the reason people want to come work for you, why people buy from you again and again, why investors give you money, and why customers will pay more for your product or service than someone else’s.
Every industry is a crowded one—yes, even yours! As humans, we respond to messages and visuals at an emotional level. Without a compelling story that provokes an emotional response, your company will be passed over for a competitor who has invested in their customer experience. The result? You miss the chance at creating that diehard fan base that leads to real dollars.
When you know your brand, you can strengthen all of these relationships through the way you conduct your business, and there are few easy steps you can take to get started.
Consider your purpose
Why did you start this business in the first place? What do you stand for? What’s really important to you about the way you run your business? The answers to these questions will be big clues that can help you understand your brand.
Imagine your ideal customer experience
When you think about how you want your customers to feel about you, your products or services, or the people who work for you, you’ll also start to understand your brand. The way your ideal customer experiences your company in its ideal state can become a north star for you in discovering your brand.
Think about brands that inspire you
We all have companies or brands that we have little entrepreneurial crushes on—they just seem to always get it right, and we kind of wish we could be like them when we grow up. Start paying attention to the brands you admire, noticing what it is about them that connects with you. Chances are, there’s a piece of their brand that you’re wanting to incorporate into the way you run your own business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s hard to get a clear sense of your company’s brand all on your own. Business owners are always too close to their work and their own perspectives to really understand what makes them special and unique. Investing in expertise even for a short engagement will give you the clarity and direction you truly need to discover your brand.
About the authors
Jess is the founder and creative director of Backbone Creative, a studio that creates branding for the brave. Backbone works with e-comm and tech entrepreneurs, founders, and startups to create dynamic brand personalities that connect, convert, and delight customers and users. Jess has worked with companies and nonprofits in the U.S. and internationally. Her background in marketing, brand management, communications development, fundraising, and event management gives her a unique window into the early entrepreneur hustle.
Victoria Dew, SCMP
Victoria is the Founder and CEO of Dewpoint Communications, a consultancy that helps businesses grow faster, stronger, and more sustainably through great company culture and communication. Victoria has 12 years of experience creating and transforming cultures in more than a dozen industries and sectors, in the US and overseas, ranging from creative solopreneurs to some of the world’s largest technology companies. Victoria is also a certified CSE Team Coach and loves helping entrepreneurs at all stages connect with their purpose and core values to support them in growing their businesses.
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