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Contrary to what many believe, branding comes down to much more than memorable logos. Remember we mentioned that your brand is the sum of people’s perception of your products, vision, and content. Define your brand by implementing everything from your voice on social media to your packaging design. Doing this influences the perception that others have of your brand. Branding can be the difference between customers buying from you or buying from your competitors.

Improving your brand identity begins with understanding your current brand identity.

Why Does Your Company Exist?

This is a question that you should ask yourself every day as a business owner or investor. Simply put, why should people care about your company? All businesses know what they are creating, but very few understand why they create their products and services outside of monetary profit. The best businesses follow the “Golden Circle” concept. They focus on the “why” behind their business, rather than what they do or how they do it. Your branding should resonate very closely with your mission and vision statement.

WHAT: Every organization in the planet knows WHAT they do. These are the products they sell or the services they provide.

HOW: Some organizations know HOW they do it. These are the things that make them special and sets them apart from the competition.

WHY: Very few organizations know WHY they do what they do. Why is not about making money. That is a result. Why is a purpose, cause or belief. It is the very reason your company exists.

What Is Your Story?

It is important to understand how you tell the story of your brand. Telling a story is a powerful way to build relationships with your customers. Your “story” is a great opportunity to highlight your success stories while sharing your vision with your customers and employees. People don’t only want to hear why you created your company. They want to hear how your company has helped others like them to become successful.

Think back to your customers from the past year and compile one or two case studies that tell the stories of the customers that you are most proud to have helped.

What Problems Do We Help Our Customers Solve?

While it can be easy to get wrapped up in your product features or amazing deals, it’s important to step back and think about the problems that your customers are facing in order to define your brand. Is there something that your product is missing that your customers need? What are competitors missing out on when it comes to helping solve customer problems? With the growing number of consumers researching brands and products online before making their first purchase, it’s more important than ever to create an outstanding first experience.

Learn as much as you can about your target customer’s behavior, needs, and desires, and find out what concerns they may have about a specific product or the industry itself.

Interview your potential customers to understand how you can build a better solution to those needs and desires. You may be surprised to find important information about your market before the competition.

Why Do These Customers Trust Our Team Over Our Competitors?

It’s important to understand who you are up against, but also understand what makes you uniquely better than each of these competitors. Perhaps you have the best customer service, or maybe your business caters more to a niche market than any other company. Further define your brand by running a SWOT analysis to determine what your business does better than each of your competitors. SWOT Analysis is a useful technique for understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities open to you and the Threats you face.

What do you do well?
Are there any unique resources you can draw on?
What do others see as your strengths?

What could you improve?
Where do you have fewer resources than others?
What are others likely to see as weaknesses?

What opportunities are open to you?
What trends could you take advantage of?
How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?

What threats could harm you?
What is your competition doing?
Does your weaknesses expose you to any threats?

What Is Your Brand Voice?

Your brand voice is the tone in which you speak to and connect with your audience. It helps to further define your brand and give it that personal touch. Identifying your brand voice will help employees communicate properly across blog articles, social media, interviews, etc. Whether your brand voice is authoritative, informative, fun or serious, your voice must be 100% authentic. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that they connect with on an emotional level. Find the voice that matches best with your brand’s characteristics and vision, and then implement it into everything that your team creates.

Your brand voice is the heart and soul of your communications.

Finding your brand identity may be difficult. However, maintaining a consistent brand identity will help you build a strong following amongst consumers and employees. Not only will consumers feel more confident about purchasing your products and services, but your team will also have a better understanding of your vision and your “why”.