We've said it before and I'm sure we'll say it again — a strong brand is not built on killer visuals, a great product, or a strong voice alone. These things are born from a key understanding of what your brand stands for.
A large part of almost every project we work on has to do with focusing in on our clients strategic branding. We work together with our client — through calls, worksheets, exercises, and using our expertise to lay out this clear and solid foundation.
After working together to lay this foundation, we put together our Brand Strategy Blueprint and deliver it to our clients. This five-page guide digs deep into the following areas: brand purpose, compare + contrast of other players in the field, audience, and unique perspective.
These four areas of focus are all of the things that make your brand YOU.
Your brand purpose is a statement that includes (1) what you do and (2) why you do it. This statement should be one to two sentences max.
The importance of having a brand purpose statement.
This one statement allows you to easily communicate what you do to others.
Everything that you work on for your business - products, documents, webinars, etc., should align with this statement. By doing so, your focus remains crystal clear.
Questions to ask to narrow in on your brand purpose.
- What do you do? What don't you do?
- Why did you start your business?
- Who do you serve?
- Why do you serve them?
An example of a brand purpose statement.
Four Oh Seven builds strategic brands that help small business owners confidently share their craft and attract their audience so they can make a living doing what they’re passionate about.
Compare + contrast
In order to find your unique place in your industry, you must look at what the other players in the field are doing.
The importance of comparing yourself to others.
There may be many in your field doing something similar, but we're firm believers that there's room for everyone in their own unique way.
In order to find your sweet spot, you have to look at what others are doing and then focus on what makes you different.
Questions to ask as you compare + contrast.
- Who would you say are your top four to five competitors?
- How are you the same?
- How are you different?
An example of how we compare and contrast.
Elle and Co
How we're the same: Focus on small business, branding, + web design.
How we're different: Lauren offers design focuses eCourses, library subscription, and personally identifies herself as an individual/blogger.
Who are you talking to?
It is key to learn and understand the person you are wanting to attract to your brand.
The importance of understanding your audience.
It's important to take the time to narrow in and focus on who your audience is, because you want to tailor everything you do to speak to them.
This means that (1) you need to understand who they are and (2) you need to understand what their problem is. This will allow you to meet them where they are at and be heard.
You will always have a primary audience, but you may also have a secondary audience. Oftentimes, a secondary audience is a group your want to keep in mind and speak to that fits plans for your long term growth, but just isn't the part of your current business plans. If you think you have more audience groups than that, it's a warning sign that you may be losing focus and you need to narrow in.
Questions to ask to learn who your audience is and what they want.
- Who do I want to serve above anyone else? Get as detailed as possible.
- How are they currently feeling when it comes to what I specialize in?
- What do I want them to think about what I specialize in?
- After they encounter my brand, how do I want them to feel?
An example of who our primary audience is.
Women in their late 20s and early 30s who are one to two years into their business and ready to level their shit up. They have started their business to create a life built on doing something they are passionate about. This isn’t just a hobby for them anymore, it’s their livelihood.
What do they currently think?" I love doing what I do and am completely confident in my craft, but I’m NOT confident in how it translates into a brand. I struggle to really communicate who I am and how it ties into my business and it makes me feel unprofessional. There are so many moving parts and I just can’t see the big picture."
What do we want them to think?" The DIY route just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Branding and design aren’t my expertise and I’m tired of trying to figure it out on my own. I’m ready to level up my business and make an investment in branding."
How do we want them to feel when they work with us?" I’m excited to FINALLY see the connections between my personality and my business. My brand feels cohesive, both strategically and visually. This is an investment I needed to make to move my business forward and show my dream clients that I am a professional they can trust."
Everything we've touched on so far helps to build up to this section of the Brand Strategy Blueprint. This part of the blueprint is all about what makes your brand stand apart.
The importance of outlining your unique perspective.
Your unique perspective is going to help attract the audience you want. If you take the information that is outlined in this section and make it a strong focus in what you're putting out into the world, you will stand apart.
This section also focuses in on your unique voice. Every brand should stand upon words that they want their audience associating with them. These words help to give a feel for what visuals should look like and how copy should read.
Questions to ask to pinpoint your unique perspective.
- Based on all the focus areas we've already touched, what would you say makes you stand apart most in your field? What do you offer that is different?
- Why should they believe that this differentiating feature of your brand is important for them?
- What is the tone of your brand?
- What words do you want your audience to associate with your brand to support your unique perspective?
An example of our unique perspective
Four Oh Seven focuses on collaboration and strategy to build brands with the strongest foundations.
Why should they believe?
- Our business was built on our friendship — which allows for the most honest, open-minded, and fun collaboration.
- Every step along the way is a team effort — between us and our clients.
- We dive deep into the client’s purpose, positioning, audience and unique perspective to build a Strategic Blueprint — a document filled with the a brand’s strategic foundation.
- We only produce thoughtful design that is based on the strategy documents we deliver.
Tone of Voice: Relatable, honest, encouraging, professional
Words we want to be associated with the brand: Trusted, fun, open-minded, thorough, strategic
Creating this document isn't a simple task. However, everyone can and should have a Brand Strategy Blueprint in their arsenal.
If you can't afford to bring on an expert to guide you and help build this strategic foundation to your brand — sit down, take a look at each of the subjects above, write everything you possibly can think of out, and then refine again and again until it feels right.
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.