Unite Your Company with a Strong Brand Identity


THE BIG IDEA: Develop four statements about your business that will solidify your brand in both your industry and your customers’ minds.


Customers are opinionated when it comes to brands.

They like one sneaker brand over another or one car brand over the other—sometimes passionately so. If you happen to be the maker of the preferred sneaker or car brand, that’s a huge win, which is why creating a strong brand identity is so important.

It’s easy to think of brand identity as just a logo, especially when you see brand enthusiasts proudly sporting one on every article of clothing or on every electronic device they carry.

But there’s a lot more that goes into a brand.

People who feel emotionally connected to your business can become lifelong fans and customers. But to get there, your business has to be more than just a business.

A brand can give your business a face and should appeal to customers’ emotions; this helps them see your company as more than goods and services, and understand why your products fit their lives better than your competitors’ products.

To come up with a strong brand identity, you need to develop four statements about your business.


To come up with a vision statement, figure out what your company represents and what it doesn’t represent.

Ask yourself why you do what you do, and how you do it.

Then, think about the most important product you offer and contrast it with a product you’d never offer (i.e., the exact opposite of what you do and believe in). To round out your thinking, consider how your target audience would describe your company and where you want your business to be in the future.

Combine this into one inspirational sentence with your business name, aspiration, and way of doing things. Share this vision statement with everyone who works with you. The more your people understand it and embrace it, the stronger your brand will be.


To get you mission statement, ask yourself questions about what your business does for your customers.

What industry does your company serve?

Who are your customers?

What do you do to meet the needs of your industry?

What techniques do you use to do this (innovative thinking, data, discounts, etc.)?

Does this make you different from your competitors?

How else are you different from them?

Now, put all of that together into a short statement that cuts to the chase and doesn’t use jargon.


Brand character is all about thinking like your customers.

Your brand character takes your mission and vision statements and synthesizes them into one word that represents both.

To uncover your brand character, think about what emotions people feel when they think about your business.

Do they feel safe, free, happy, excited, relaxed, confident, or something else?

Hone in on one emotion and then conduct surveys or focus groups to make sure this is what your customers think compared to your first assumption.


For your brand personality, ask yourself: If my brand were a person, how would I describe him or her?

Maybe you’d say your business is charming, innovative, fresh, and smart. Again, test your hypothesis through surveys and focus groups.

The Quintessential Brand

Once you have all four brand elements, you can put them all together to help guide your marketing, strategy, and execution.

For example, your vision statement can help your new ad campaign be forward-thinking and goal-centric, while your mission statement can make sure the ads represent your core business services. Meanwhile, your ad campaign should leave people with the emotion presented by your one-word brand character, and the tone of voice should reflect the personality you chose.

All of these elements will help your marketing communicate what your business does, why it’s different, and what type of person you cater to; they solidify your brand in both your industry and your customers’ minds.

Make sure everyone involved with your business—from internal teams to outside agencies—understands your four brand elements and how they all work together. It’ll help your marketing be consistent across the board.

Don’t forget: Always be authentic.

You have to actually live up to your brand identity, not just talk about it. After all, customers like to give business to brands they can trust.

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