Developing a brand can feel pretty overwhelming to anyone who's launching or trying to grow a business, especially if you don't have marketing in your blood. Where do you start? You start with a brand platform.
So...what's a brand platform? It's basically who your business is. I've talked a lot on this blog about buyer personas -- who your business is for. But before you can figure that out, you've got to know who your business is. What do you stand for? Why do you exist? What do you offer the world?
The Three Main Elements of a Brand Platform
Ask yourself these questions: What do we do? What do we want our brand to be known for?
This is your chance to explore your reason for being. Dive into the emotional elements of what got you started in the first place, why you do what you do. Write what represents the heart & soul of your brand. Explore what differentiates you from your competitors. What makes you uniquely you (as a business)?
Time to test yourself. Why can you claim the fabulous things you claimed in your brand essence? What evidence do you have that will make you believable to the people you want to notice you?
Consider the foundational elements of what you do. Think about the primary strengths of how you do what you do. Instead of exploring the unique "you-ness" that separates you from your competitors, here you're looking at what you offer that your competitors don't.
Maybe you're a retailer who offers a unique experience, passionate sales people, and carefully curated products. Maybe you're an executive coach who provides on-demand virtual coaching, a mastermind group, and a personal writing course. Maybe you're a kids' music act whose songs are "more Beatles than Barney" (you can't steal that one; there's already a band using it and they're awesome).
Time for some more questions. Ask yourself these: What benefits do people realize from working with you? What do you actually do for people? What makes your brand trustworthy and believable?
Really brainstorm this one. Think about the experience you want your customers or clients to have when they work with you. Consider the results or impacts you want your work to bring people. And consider what elements of your essence and pillars make that promise possible. When you put all of that together, you have your promise.
Whether you're a startup, an artist, a solopreneur, or something completely different, each of these three elements apply to you and what you're offering the world.