To put it simply, a brand is what comes to mind when a person hears, sees, or thinks of you or your organization. It’s not a logotype. It’s not a typeface. It’s not an advertising campaign. There is no shortage of advertising/marketing firms and agencies who can help you develop an image, but only you can develop your brand—they are developed from within. In order to begin that development, you must first have a clear understanding of who you are. Marty Neumeier, author of Brand Gap, simplifies the introspective analysis needed by challenging his readers to answer three seemingly simple questions:
- Who are we?
- What do we do?
- Why does it matter?
As simple as these questions sound on the surface, we often struggle to answer them succinctly and honestly when put on the spot. If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time to take a step back and seriously evaluate and clarify your purpose. After all, unless you know who you are, you can’t expect to develop any any effective communication with your target community. As branding and marketing people, we can ask the questions but only you can provide the answers. Only YOU can brand YOU.