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So many new entrepreneurs get lost in creating a brand for their business, often putting too much money and thought into how a logo or website should look, but not focusing enough on what impact that logo or website will have on their audience.

This branding exercise should help you quickly create a solid business identity that is affordable, professional, and one that gets people to take action.

The first step in creating a brand is to determine your business landscape.

What is your industry? What other businesses share your industry and how do they present themselves on the web, with their logo? Through their content?

Next, you want to get a full picture of your core audience. Who are they and what are their interest? (both in general and those interests your business will address) Find existing examples of brands that serve your audience.

Landscape Analysis

What is the name of your industry?

(Example:) Two Hats Consulting is in the small business consulting and coaching industry.

List 5 other websites that match, as closely as possible, your own business:

Type of client, Type of service, Amount charged, & Location

7 Things to consider

  1. Natural Constituency
  2. Audience profile (demographic)
  3. Potential clients (profile/demographic)
  4. Potential collaborators (profile/demographic)
  5. Audience self-identity (what would they say about themselves?)
  6. Specific persona (values snapshot)
  7. Describe your perfect client (include behavior patterns, brands, goals, diet, income, family history, hobbies, personality, etc.)

Your Role

Core Audience Desire
What is the common, core, value held by your clients? What is the common, urgent, Problem driving clients to you? How is the core value blocked by the common problem?

The Solution
Describe, in one sentence, how what you offer removes your clients’ urgent problem. Also, what core desire are you appealing to?

Personal Identity

Clarify Your Personal (or existing) Brand

Ask your friends who they see you as, what gifts you bring, and what style they see you presenting. Don’t focus on what they think your brand should look like, instead just find out what they see today.

(Example:) When I started Two Hats Consulting, people saw me as dynamic, creative, and knowledgeable. They imagined me as one of those bright orange types of people, even though I usually wore black.

Values

List 5 simple reasons WHY you are in business.

Essence

What is the single MOST valuable thing you do as a business person?

Keywords

List 20 words, separated by commas, that describe your business.

Differentiation from the Industry

Presented Differentiation (How the Audience perceives you as distinct.) What will you mean to your clients? How your audience will describe you? How the solution is presented, seen, and delivered?

Compelling Truth

The single proof point (the evidence of your key value)

Credibility

Point to examples (testimonials, awards, history, standing, etc.)

Emotional Selling Idea

The natural call to action.

Creative Platform

A consistent selling concept.

With these things in mind you should quickly become aware of the brand you are creating.