Better Branding Series Part 1: Establishing Your Brand Story

Often times, when establishing a business, we skip over the step of developing and establishing our brand story. We are so busy trying to promote and sell, that we forget to create standards by which we are continually checking ourselves against for continuity and clarity in our marketing efforts.

From the owner to the accountant, the sales rep to the graphic designer, everyone plays a role in the creation of a brand and the reputation that is built around it. The “brand” becomes what we say, write and design underneath of it.

By creating a brand story, you develop guidelines through which will help everyone involved convey a consistent, compelling message across all channels of communication. As those communications evolve and the brand grows, these guidelines can always be adjusted and updated to remain true to who the company is and will become.  

That being sad, how do you establish that story and those guidelines? Below I have listed several items for you to think about and create.

Your Name

__________________________ (Your name goes in the blank)

Things to think about: What is your name? How does it relate to your business and what you do on a daily basis? Why did you choose it?

Who You Are

[Company name] is a(n) _________________

Things to think about: What kind of company are you? What would you say from a high level perspective? What big idea do you stand for?

Who You Serve

We serve ______________________

Things to think about: Why do you do what you do? What are you dedicated to? What is your goal in regards to your customer?

Brand Positioning

A(n) ___[Who we are statement]____ that ____[Action you perform]____ to serve___[Who you serve]_____

Things to think about: What is the compelling and competitive place in the market that is uniquely yours? This is the core idea of your brand and should be remembered and used to inform all communications. You want to connect your audience to a feeling and an idea about who you are not just technical capabilities.

Brand Principles

Statement: Description

Statement: Description

Statement: Description

Things to think about: These are your guiding principles that remain unchanged over time. These principles will ensure that you position your brand consistently. They are often not communicated externally, but important to remember when creating your communications.

Brand Vision & Mission



Things to think about: Your vision is your boldest and most audacious brand goal. Your mission is your functionality and what you do on a daily basis to achieve that vision from a brand perspective.

The brand vision and mission are intentionally distinct from your corporate vision and mission  statements. The corporate vision is focused on your primary goal and vision as a business. The focus is the impact you can have. This differs from the brand perspective, which is about the unique way through which your brand can impact the world. The corporate mission speaks to how you accomplish your corporate vision.

Core Values

______________    _______________ ________________

______________    _______________ ________________

______________    _______________ ________________

Things to think about: The foundational values of your company that guide how you treat your customers, colleagues and yourself. This can be several items. Examples: Be Trustworthy, Value Team Input, Measure Success By Impact Not Profit, etc.

Brand Personality

Things to think about: How do you act? What do you sound like? Choose 5 to six words that best describe how you wish to come across to your audience. For example:

[Personality]: [Sounds Like] but [Not Like]

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or a company.”

– Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap

After you establish these items you should have the clarity you need to move forward with your communications and have an established foundation to use and check against throughout the entire process.

This is part one of a series “Better Branding” and will include 3 posts all together

Part 1: Establishing Your Brand Story

Part 2: Creating a Visual System

Part 3: Developing Verbal Guidelines

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