Brand discovery might seem like a peculiar concept. If you’ve built up your business yourself and made all the decisions about your direction, what is there to discover? But just like the characters in a work of fiction, your brand identity can have a funny way of emerging, fully-formed, with its own personality for you to identify, reflect and stay true to. Here I’ll explain the process of brand discovery, why it’s important, and how you can use it to develop your business.
Why brand discovery matters
Branding is not always taken seriously by all businesses – which can lead to some topsy-turvy marketing decisions. Commissioning a logo before understanding your target audience, for example, isn’t likely to make for an effective brand identity. Beginning with brand discovery takes everything back to basics, so that all decisions are made in the right order.
Think of it like a pyramid. The fundamental pillars of your business need to come first, propping everything up at the bottom of the triangle. So, here you have your basic business values, purpose and vision. Nothing should happen within your business without first establishing these.
On top of that first foundation, you can then begin to make smaller decisions. Things like logo design and packaging style can’t be firmed up until you know that they fit with the fundamental core values behind your brand.
To sum it up concisely: Brand discovery helps you find the answers to the important questions needed to build the foundation of a successful business and brand.
Unearth your brand identity
Imagine you’re a detective, or perhaps an archaeologist on a dig. All the clues about your brand are there for you to discover – it’s just a question of seeking them out and interpreting them.
If you’re a business just starting out, the process of brand discovery begins with a serious bit of introspection. Ask yourself:
- What are your brand values?
- Where do you see the brand and business in 3 years, 5 years?
- Why do you exist, what value you bring, why do you matter?
- What kind of personality characterises your brand – traditional and serious, or light-hearted and friendly?
- What will differentiate your brand from your competitors?
- What kind of person will your typical customer be?
- What pain points and challenges does your business solve for people?
These are just some questions that will lead you to some basic and fundamental truths about your brand identity. From here, you can develop a solid brand development strategy to help ensure that your outward appearance reflects the persona you want to exude.
Discover your current position
If you’re an established business looking to rebrand or re-establish your brand identity, the process of brand discovery is a little more involved.
- An internal audit of employees is a great way to find out what those on the inside believe your brand values to be.
- Then, look to your clients: how do they perceive your brand offering, and is this in line with how you want to be seen?
- Finally, there are some solid facts to unearth. What’s your current market position? Who’s buying your product? What are its main strengths and weaknesses?
This exercise in brand discovery is an excellent way of understanding the context of what’s happening within your company and the wider industry, to provide a baseline for change. If there are any discrepancies in your findings and the way you’d ideally like to be seen, this will give you something solid to work on, in order to develop a strong and authentic brand identity.
If you’d like some help with the process of brand discovery, why not give me a call?