Understanding your company

8 minutes

To begin creating your new brand, you need to make sure you understand your company and the product/services you sell. To do this, you're going to answer a number of questions.

If you already have your business strategy/plan in place, a lot of the information is going to be known to you. If not, don't worry — we're going to cover each part below.

Our brand worksheet

To make it easy for you, we've created a simple brand worksheet that will help you document your output. Simply download the PDF and fill in each section using a PDF viewer or by printing it out.

Download Worksheet

What do you want your Promotional Product company to be in the future?

This is your company vision. Your company vision should paint the picture of where you envision your company being in the future. It's where you are striving to get to. Think of it as the future state of your organization For that reason, it plays a critical role in many parts of your decision making, including decisions related to your brand.

When writing your vision statement, you’ll want to think about the future and write where you want to be, with the intention of inspiring your team and everyone you share it with.

Here are a collection of famous vision statements to help get your thoughts flowing:

  • Alzheimer's Association: A world without Alzheimer's disease.

  • Facebook: Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook.

  • Microsoft (original): A computer on every desk and in every home.

What does your company do?

This is your company mission. Your brand should represent what your company does, who it's for, and why. Each of these things makes up your company mission. If you do not have your company mission, complete the following steps.

  • Describe what your company does - Example: Sell women's clothing

  • Describe how your company does what it does - Example: Providing high-quality product using environmentally and socially-friendly materials

  • Describe why your company does what it does - Example: To provide people with clothing they love that does not exploit the environment or labor.

Piece these together to give us our mission statement. Example - My company's mission is to sell women's clothing that people love, using environmentally and socially-friendly materials, to give people an option that has a positive environmental and social impact.

Who does your company serve?

The most important part of any brand - who is it for! Without knowing who you are trying to attract, who you are trying to communicate with, and who will buy what you are offering — it's impossible to build an effective brand.

An effective way to document your understanding of your audience is by creating buyer personas. A persona represents a group of people with common characteristics, such as demographics and behaviors. While buyer personas can take many different shapes, here are some initial questions to get you started.

  • What age is your target audience? This does not have to be specific, but understanding the stage of life is important.

  • What job title does your target audience have? Consider this when your customer is another business (B2B) - The job title of the person who makes the buying decision and/or has first contact with your company.

  • Where in the world is your target audience? Location plays a role in understanding culture.

  • Spending power and patterns. How much do your customers have to spend, how much do they spend on your or similar products?

  • Size of the business. This could be by employee count, but a better measure is revenue (B2B).

  • Interests. What do your customers do outside of your products/services? What interests them? What other businesses do they interact with, etc.?

  • Stage of Life. Are your customers in school? Parents? Retired?

To learn about Buyer Personas in-depth, check out this article by Hubspot.

The most important part about knowing your audience is doing your research — and getting to know the actual people who are current or potential customers. Having a hypothesis is fine, but you must validate that assumption. Otherwise, you are simply guessing who your audience is and resting every decision you make on that guess.

What qualities does your company have?

These are your brand attributes. They are a collection of words or phrases that represent who your company is, how your company makes people feel, and how your company behaves. Everything you do should embody these attributes.

As an example, here are some of the most commonly found brand attributes: Trustworthy, Experts, Innovative, Exclusive, Friendly, Happy, Serious, Classic, Youthful...

Out of all the information we've put on our worksheet so far, you're most likely to change and adjust your brand attributes the most. Be prepared to revisit them over the coming weeks as you begin to put them into use. Some will feel right, some not so much, and you should adjust until you and your team are in agreement that your attributes truly reflect your company.

Our brand worksheet should now be looking pretty complete and painting a clear picture of just who/what your company is. You'll need to keep the information we've laid out on hand for the rest of this course, as they play a key role in every decision we make.

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Your brand's messaging