There is often a misconception that branding is just about logo design, when in reality it is SO much more than that. Strategic branding dives deeper and will help you to share who you are, what you do, and why you do it. To help break down the deets and unravel that mystery, we decided to write the Brand Building Blocks series. Each post will hone in on one particular aspect of a brand, from the basics of strategy to the different creative pieces.
Who else is my dream audience looking at? What do you have in common? And what makes you different?
So far in our Building Blocks series, we've gone deep into who you are with your purpose and your unique perspective and pinpointed who your audience is. But your brand isn't only defined by these people. It is also influenced by the other players in your field.
Knowing and understanding the players in your field isn't about trying to follow their every move and it especially isn't about trying to be like them. Getting to know the other players is part of understanding your brand's position in the marketplace. When you can easily lay out where everyone stands, it can be so much easier to find (and OWN) your unique perspective.
Start a list of the other players.
Who else do you think your audience is considering using when it comes to solving their problem? People commonly start their list off with other businesses in their area or in their specialty. This is a great place to start! But they aren't the only players to consider. Go back to what your audience's true problem is that you look to solve and think of all alternatives they may be considering. For example, a nutritionist isn't the only solution to someone looking for guidance. Programs like the Whole 30 are also something being considered!
Once you have your full list carefully consider which 3-5 are truly being considered most often when they're looking to work with you. Try not to work with TOO many players, because the truth is there are countless. There's room for everyone in the marketplace, so focus in on your corner.
Note all the details.
Start of by logging the straight forward information. Note their website, tagline, brand colors, and whatever else you would want to be able to compare and contrast with your own brand. Doing this often brings trends to light about your industry and can help you decide which norms fit your brand and which just don't. For example, if every player uses a common word in their tagline, you may want to consider choosing a different word that feel more unique to your brand.
Appreciate what you have in common.
Take the time to consider what makes you like each player. Is it your business structure? Your products or offerings? Your voice and style? You should definitely find overlap in each of your players. Look at what is in common across the board and note that it is what brings people to choose between you in the first place. Use what you learn to help yourself step even further into your brand's niche.
Find out what's different.
What are you doing differently? These can be both good things, bad things and totally neutral things! Again, try and find the trends in what you do differently. As an example, maybe most of the players in your field offer products and your business model is service driven. This is something you can choose to embrace in your brand and position yourself as a 1-to-1, personable solution to your dream client's problems!
Our challenge to you.
Get this all down in one digestible document. When it's all on one page you can really start to see where you stand. To make this a little easier, we're including our free Players in the Field worksheet as a download.
This is just one page of a larger workbook we work through with our branding clients, so if you're struggling to make the connections or are interested in a little feedback, send us your filled in worksheet! We'd love to chat.
We focus on collaboration and strategy to build brands with the strongest foundations — for movers and shakers (like you) who need help with getting clear on what you do, who you serve and how to present that vision to the world.