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So many businesses start off diving in, sharing their products and services  and doing all the ‘things' but miss one of the most important things. Understanding how to Create a Stand out Brand Strategy for your Business can make a huge difference. 

Whether you're looking for quiet power (no we don't all have to be the loudest or brightest) or you're looking for fireworks, creating a business and brand that resonates with who you are and creating the unique experience you want your customers to have, is key to building a business you love, making money and attracting the rights people to your business and community.

Sound good?  Well here are a few things that I think are key to creating a clear brand strategy. When you understand who you are and what you want to create for your clients then it's so much easier to create a business strategy that you can build everything around.  Developing your business strategy will be coming in part 2 of this post.

As Julie Andrews says – let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start……

What is a Brand?

According to an article in Forbes, a Brand is:

“what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.”

There are a many elements to your brand.  Most people immediately think of a logo when you say the word brand, but there is so much more to it than that.

  • Your brand is what others say about you in the market, how you are perceived and how they feel when they engage with you.
  • Your logo, colours and physical attributes of your brand are your brand elements
  • Your Brand attributes are the words that ‘make up' who you are and who you want your business to be.  I say who because you want your brand to have a personality. When I think of Nike, I know they strive to be inspiring in their ads, language, look and feel.
  • Brand personality or archetype – This is one of my favorite things to work with clients on – super fun activity! Below I share with you the 12 Archetypes that are used.  I'll give more examples below but it defines what type of things, feelings, behaviours you would associate with your brand.  When you get your brand personality right it can have a huge impact on who you attract to your business – exciting stuff!

How does your Brand help you build your business?

Your brand facilitates the connection brings those who believe what you believe, have the same of similar values and aspirations as well as those who want what you want together.  People who buy Nike believe that by buying these products they will “Just Do it”, it helps them be elite, athletic, they are groups with the best of the best because that's what the brand stands for.  Think about a brand or product that you spend a lot of money on.  Ask yourself if you think you could get a similar or the same type of good for a lesser price and potentially with less hassle i.e. shopping overseas for it for example.    A brand is something we align ourselves to.  By creating developing the key elements of your brand with a clear message around your values and what your vision is, this captivates the right people who want to part of what you're creating.

If you don't know what your vision is then it's hard for others to come on the ride with you.

TCE Brand Pyramid

1//What is Brand Essence

Essence makes me want to say oh la la – it feels oh so French! Your brand essence is the heart and soul of your brand.  A brand essence sums up how your brand connects emotionally with your customers.

Defining how your audience feels about your brand in a meaningful way can be challenging but can have huge impact if done right.  For example Nike is inspirational and Disney is magical

According to AMP Brand Agency, the key criteria for a brand essence include:

  1. Single-minded Ideally use one or two words if possible. More than two words indicates that the brand lacks focus.
  2. Unique Obviously in order to stand out you want to be unique.  By defining how you are unique you also show your differentiation against competitors.
  3. Experiential The essence captures what the consumer feels during an interaction with the brand. e.g., “Driving a JEEP makes me feel free and adventurous – like I'm escaping.”
  4. Consistently delivered What are you delivering consistently to your audience? If it's not consistent then it can't be the essence.
  5. Authentic The best way to find out whether the essence of your brand is authentic – meaning that it's what others experience, ask your customers.  It can be somewhat aspirational, but only if your customers believe you can deliver on the promise.

2// What are Brand Values?

The brand values are what the customers see and feel during their contact with the company. Your values are already driving your business decisions, you probably just have not articulated them yet. There are more values lists than you can point a stick at online and I wrote about how to identify your core values some time ago as well.  Mine are – CONNECTION, not surprising I called my business The Connection Exchange!  HAPPINESS or Fun – because if it's not fun then I don't really want to do it.  KNOWLEDGE, which is why all my events, training & coaching session focus on teaching knowledge and skills for business owners to grow their business and brand and the last one is CREATIVITY – because I want everything I do to be creative, innovative and unique.  By understanding your values you can then look at your business, products and services and align them.

3// What is Brand Personality?

When I first learnt about Brand Archetypes I did have a bit of brand geek out moment.  I loved that you could actually assign different brands that we know and love against these 12 archetypes.


A great explanation is in this YouTube Video by Brand Narrative


4// What are Brand Benefits?

Brand Benefits are the direct benefits that your clients will receive from working with you.  Understanding the results that they clients get is key.  For example my brand benefits for my clients are clarity of business strategy so that they aren't wasting time doing things that won't fulfill what they are wanting to achieve in the longer term, clear brand essence, positioning, personality, voice and developing creative, standout experiences for their clients. Access to my networks of talented creatives such as designers like Sarah Poppy, Virtual Assistants or copy editors like The Melbourne Freelancer, Tahlia Meredith, Copy writers list Sarah Harrison from Hot Content or Finance Wizzes like Stacey Price from Healthy Business Finances.

It's not just about what you can give you clients directly but the support you can provide them indirectly by what you do and who you know.  Really think about the immediate and wider benefits of working with you. Speaking to your clients and understanding what they get from working with you or engaging with your product or service is where you'll find the answers to this question.

5//What are Brand Attributes?

I work with clients on a regular basis to do what I call a card sort.  I have to say that it's one of the super fun things that I love to do.  It really helps me to see what their feelings are about what they are trying to create.  For The Connection Exchange some of my brand attributes are CREATIVE, UNIQUE, INSPIRING, COLLABORATIVE & BOLD.  I even have them on my ABOUT page, that's how much I love them.  I use them when I'm making decisions about the content I share, the events I create and the collaborations I say to.   Does this allow me to be creative?  Is it unique, inspiring and bold or is just like everything else and run of the mill?

By knowing your Value and Attributes it makes it super easy to make decisions about what you do in your business, what you create and who you work with.

Other attributes you can focus on are more hard core facts around you qualifications and experience. For example I lead global employer branding projects with top 500 businesses to understand the value proposition they provide their employees – not a dissimilar process to understanding how you provide value to your clients.  So think about the qualifications you have and don't be afraid to use them to build credibility and trust.

I think this is a big area that for small businesses miss.  Key elements for building trust with your audience like testimonials, using logos of companies you've worked with (with their permission) and listing numbers like I've worked with over X number of clients in my business is often either overlooked or for some reason embarrassing for small business owners to list. When I'm looking to work with someone I don't know very well it's one of the first things I go searching for.  Testimonials are great social proof as well as seeing how many the work with.

Creating Great Brand Experiences 

So now you understand why your brand is so important, how to start to develop the message around but another key element is review and understand the customer experience that you clients go through.  Is it just a hi, they buy and then that's it?  Do you connect with them in other ways such as online groups, emails, phone/skype calls, meeting up in person, sending gifts or notes, referring them to others people you know?  Whatever it is, reviewing your customer experience so that you feel that it aligns with your brand is always a good idea.  Remember your brand isn't what you say it is, it's what others say it is, so having the best brand pyramid in the world is not going to actually translate to your customers if they aren't experiencing everything that you talk about.

So that's just an overview of how you can discover and define your brand and develop the experience others have with you in your business.

Do you have brand clarity?  

Wanna know more about how you can define what the unique experience you create for clients is, then contact me and we can set up a business and branding strategy session.

How to Create a Stand out Brand Strategy for your Business




In this video masterclass, I’ll share the three key areas you need to focus on to scale your business and build a bold brand so that you attract the client that want what you have!

Access it straight away and start watching and learning today!