Defining Your Brand: A Simple Process

Apr 20, 2015


For many organizations, the tendency is to be everything to everyone for fear of missing out on customers, opportunities or revenue. The result: a lack of a cohesive brand.

Without a strong brand promise, potential customers, clients or donors won't know what your organization is about. Throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks may land you a few new prospects, some sales or donations. But it will not give you the staying power necessary to compete in this crowded, noisy marketplace.

We use a specific process to help our clients determine their brand promise, so they can answer the three most important questions in public relations.

  • What is your story?
  • To whom do you want to tell it?
  • What is the best way to deliver that information?


Step 1: Discovery

In the first phase of the branding process, we get to know your organizationthe challenges unique to your industry, your aspirations for future growth, the public relations tactics you've tried to no avail and the internal and external pressures you are facing. We believe that you are the expert about your organization and industry, so this step of the process is integral to our future success.

Step 2: Communications Audit

This is when we reveal the sentiment toward your organization on social and traditional media channels and online forums. We look at media placements, your website content and analytics, social media engagement and any marketing collateral. We review online chatter, sentiment and industry trends and identify key influencers. This audit helps us develop a tailored communications strategy for your organization. 

Step 3: Stakeholder Interviews

These interviews are essential to the branding process. During this phase we formally solicit opinions and input from various stakeholders, including employees, board members, clients and other interested parties. We carefully select participants, so that we get a well-rounded group with different perspectives and concerns. When interviewing stockholders, we attempt to answer the questions What is your story? To whom do you want to tell it? What is the best way to deliver that information?

Step 4: Messaging Brainstorm Session

This step is usually the one that clients enjoy the most. Armed with our research, we guide clients through a structured brainstorming session to uncover your brand promise. We examine the brand attributes, values and positioning that your team associates with your brand and determine some of the best ways to share that information with your target audience.

Step 5: Brand Strategy Presentation

The culmination of all our work together, the brand strategy presentation is our opportunity to share the answers to those questions we asked at the beginning. The messaging platform—a series of messages that will help you communicate the essence of your brand to your target audiences—is your story. The target audiences are the ones to whom we will deliver those messages. And, our recommended communications strategy is how you will deliver that information.

If you want to talk more about how we can tailor this branding process for your organization, give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss this process in greater detail.

Category: Brand Strategy

Maribeth Neelis


As a digital marketing strategist, Maribeth loves learning and writing about content marketing, social media, SEO, paid advertising, PR and mobile. She is obsessed with data-driven marketing and believes all online channels should be given a strategy, so engagement can be personalized and well targeted. In her free time, she likes watching science documentaries, hiking, skiing and traveling to far-flung places.

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