Brand development: how to create your purpose, principles and proposition

Brand development: how to create your purpose, principles and proposition

In our socially-conscious world, brand principles are more important than ever. The clearer, more authentic, and better articulated they are, the more success you’ll find.

So what’s your business really about? Why do you do what you do? If your big goal is to splash profits on a flashy new car, good luck. But you may struggle to bring your colleagues and customers along for the ride.

As a brand with a defined purpose that goes beyond the bottom line, you’ll have a quantifiable advantage.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

—Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why

Brand development: “Start with the why.” 

So said Simon Sinek, brand development mastermind. He believes the most important thing we can communicate to customers is why we do what we do. I completely agree.

Defining our why goes to the heart of who we are and what we’re about. This means we can connect to our customers in profound new ways.

This flies in the face of old logic which says you should start with what you do or sell. But the thing is this: nobody really cares. If you really want to add value to your brand, connect with your customers by aligning the things you care about with the things they care about. 

All the brands you know and love have been doing this for years.

In today’s world, purpose is amongst your most valuable assets. It’s what keeps your team engaged, the reason customers keep coming back and the thing people talk about when they talk about you. As we shall come to see, your sense of purpose should lead every decision you make.

According to the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, 87% of consumers stated they would purchase a product based on brand values.

We can sum up the Why, How and What of your brand development as vision, values and service. This isn’t about lengthy prose. When defining yours, aim to keep them concise and snappy.

Here are a few examples from Your Turn:

Why – Vision

To promote a society which values ethical business and connects like-minded people.

How – Values

Work together, work passionately and work with purpose. Make friends along the way.

What – Service

Share strategies and resources, build a community and provide specialist marketing support for ethical businesses.

Positioning. Proposition. Mission.

Once you’re done defining your internal brand values, you can move onto the positioning, proposition and mission statement.

Positioning

Your positioning is a short description that encapsulates what you do better than anyone else.

You can use a formula like this one that helps identify your specific positioning:

Our [offering] is the only [category] that [benefit].

For example, mine is:

Your Turn is the only marketing blog in South Yorkshire that focuses on helping ethical businesses find their edge.

Remember to look back at the insights you collected from your marketing research. What made or could make you different from the competition? How can you move your business to a unique field and zig while the others zag?

Value Proposition

Next up is the value proposition. This takes the brand positioning a step further and articulates the functional and emotional benefits that your product or service provides. This is more concerned with how you solve problems for your customers.

A good value proposition is a boiled-down, single-sentence definition of why and who should care about your business. It should solve a problem by answering four key questions:

W = Who has this problem you want to solve?

X = What problem can you solve for your customer?

Y = How are you going to solve this problem?

Z = Why are they going to care if you solve this problem for them?

Again, your Discovery insights will help you answer the above, then use this simple formula to understand what your value proposition is:

We/I help W do X by doing Y which means Z.

For example:

I help ethical businesses (W) build winning content strategies (X) with free marketing support (Y) that helps you scale-up for less (Z).

Remember to cut the waffle. Top, tail and trim for a more succinct value proposition.

What it’s good for—headlines on websites, marketing materials and company social media bios.

The Mission Statement

And now for that gem: the mission statement. This gets right to the heart of your purpose. It’s similar to your value proposition only it’s written to inspire you and your team.

Because of this, it should embody your motivation, your passion, and your conviction. It should remind you why it is that you get up every morning, why you work to the bone and why you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s the secret formula…

Your company’s purpose (X) + how your company executes this purpose (Y) + why you did it this way (Z).

And, my example:

I’m here to help those helping others (X). By providing specialised marketing resources for ethical businesses (Y) I can shout up for the things I care about while doing what I love (Z). 

Where to use it—when inspiring/convincing loved ones, in your team reports, on your personal social media profile and on large format artwork on your office wall where everyone can see it.

Give the newborn a name

Newborn brands are precious. They deserve a precious name. That short combination of letters should distil your brand essence more than any other. A good brand name can be worth billions (or £80bn for Coca-Cola when valued in 2019). A bad brand name isn’t worth the stock it’s printed on. It’s make or break; Google or BackRub.

Choosing the right name will automatically increase the credibility of your brand with customers and employees. Ultimately, this means more sales and greater productivity. But it’s not only valued by how effective it is, but also by how aware your audience is of it. Consequently, its value increases with time. That means you’ll want to get it right from the get-go. 

Trouble is – with the infinite choice available – that’s no easy task. Especially with all the conflicts…

Love it with your heart; choose it with your head. Ensure it sounds great; make it look great too. Tell the whole brand story; say as little as you can. Be original; don’t be obscure. Say it as it is; be as creative as you can. The list goes on.

As ever, a little structure can bring clarity to the chaos. 

Finding the right words

This stage is all about exploring ideas and finding words or phrases that might seed a brand name.

You’ll want to get your core brand development team involved in this process if you have one, but you don’t have to do this as a group. A thesaurus makes for good company here.

Start by making a list of adjectives that describe your brand products and services. Make a second list to include words or phrases that describe how you want your customers to feel when they think about your brand. Next, write down any other words that you associate with your brand.

Name brainstorming

With your list of words to hand for inspiration, the brand name brainstorm begins. Start by writing down as many ideas as possible, then whittle this down to your top ten. To ensure you fully explore your options, group brand names into the seven categories below: 

1. Descriptive: names that describe the brand are great for instant product/service awareness and stand out in web searches. Think National Grid, General Motors, and Innocent Smoothies.

2. Invented: while lacking description, these names pack a punch with looks and sound and can still carry brand character. Due to their obscurity, you can trademark a short brand name. Think Exxon, Kodak, Pepsi, Uber.

3. Evocative: rather than drawing on words that are directly associated with your brand, these names take a metaphorical approach that resonates with your audience at a deeper level. Think Nike, Patagonia, Amazon, and Virgin.

4. Acronyms: keeping it short and sweet, acronyms carry authority and sophistication and stand for something greater than the letters alone. Think DKNY, IBM, IKEA, H&M.

5. Lexical: these names focus on wordplay. Because of this, they sound great, look great and are highly memorable. They’re perfect for fun brands and products. Think Dunkin’ Donuts, Krazy Glue, TikTok.

6. Place/founder: while this may seem a dull approach, names tell a story and humanise your brand. And don’t think you have to use a real name. If your brand was a person, what would it be called? Think Warby Parker, Ben & Jerry’s, Marks & Spencer.

7. Combined words: Two words are more descriptive than one. By merging them together you can create a new word that fully encapsulates your brand name. Think Facebook, Snapchat.

Brand development and differentiation

The kind of brand you are reflects the kind of name you want to use. But don’t make the mistake of falling in line, being another tech brand using a three-letter acronym in blue. It’s time to shake off those ingrained norms and be uniquely you. If your competition has all gone for ‘descriptive’ names choose a different category.

You can test your name against the competition by using a positioning chart like the one below. The trick is to set a relevant differentiator for the Y-axis and X-axis. Here are a few examples to try out. 

  • Formal Vs. Informal  |  Trendy Vs. Traditional
  • Fun Vs. Sophisticated  |  Long Vs. Short
  • Abstract Vs. Clear  |  Exciting Vs. Trustworthy

Once you’ve plotted your competition’s brand names, see where your new brand name suggestions appear. The further from the others, the more you’ll stand out from the crowd.

The brand name litmus test

 

Before you go any further, check that you can acquire the trademark and domain for your brand names. If not, bin them. If you’re an international business—or aspire to be one—you’ll also want to check they translate. Don’t make the same mistake as the Japanese tourist agency, Kinki Nippon, or Mazda’s Laputa, meaning ‘prostitute’ in Spanish. 

By the time you get to the evaluation stage, you should have around five names that you’re seriously considering. You may already have a feeling that one is better than the rest. But to the marketer-analyst, gut feelings or no better than sickness. We’re looking for informed choices.

To help, here’s a brand development name litmus test. 

First, write down your value proposition, then type your shortlist of brand names in a standard large-sized font (like Arial 36pt.)  

Now, ask your colleagues (and a select group of customers/prospects) to score each brand name out of five stars against the five criteria below. 

1. How your name looks.

2. How memorable it is.

3. Whether it has an emotional resonance.

4. Whether it fits your brand purpose.

5. How much meaning it has.

Once done, tot up the score and see which one wins. With a larger budget, you can do some A/B ad testing with a target audience on a platform like Facebook.

And if at the end you still want to go with that original gut feeling, well that’s your business.

Tagline/strapline/slogan

 

The brand development phase is nearly complete. All we need now is a tagline AKA strapline AKA slogan. Or do we? For some brands, taglines are defunct—just more noise in an already cluttered space. 

But if your brand name doesn’t adequately describe what you do, they’re a must. When you think of a great tagline you probably think of ‘Just do it’, ‘Finger lickin’ good’, or ‘Think different’. And yes, these are all great. But without the multi-million-pound marketing budget, you’ll need to be more to the point.

As a smaller business, your tagline should be a distilled version of your value proposition that will provide clarity about what you do for people who are searching online.

Here’s mine: ‘Content with purpose’.

4 essential elements of designing your brand’s visual identity

4 essential elements of designing your brand’s visual identity

They say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and ‘beauty is on the inside’. But truth be told, we’re all attracted to things by the way they look. In this article, we look at why visual identity is an essential part of your brand and explore the 4 key elements you need to master.

Why visual identity matters

Our worlds are constructs of our eyes. Vision is deeply entwined with our neural networks and the way we process information. That’s why signs and symbols are an essential part of everyday life, why we say a single picture can tell a thousand words and why we get hot under the collar for one brand when another leaves us cold. 

The beauty of beauty is that it’s different for everyone. Whether it’s the things we create, the clothes we wear, the piercings and body artwork we choose or choose not to have—we’re all compelled to express our own version of beauty. And we each prescribe to a certain tribe.

I call my tribe ‘tech-outdoorsy’ (picture the Garmin watch, Patagonia cap, trail running trainers and plain black T-shirt). It’s boring, I know. My partner is modern bohemian. All hippy patterns cut through with style. I love that about her.

It’s little wonder that brands with a strong visual identity belong to a tribe of loyal, loving customers.

Let me elaborate…

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”

—Paul Rand, Art Director and Brand Designer

For the love of the craft

I like craft beer and consider myself to be something of a connoisseur. I get a sense of pride when ordering cans at my local alehouse and I’m happy to splash five or ten pounds apiece. Deep down, I know the taste and ALC units don’t equate to the cash. What I’m really paying for is the can, not what’s inside.

I love Magic Rock for their funky illustrations and neon colours on black. I love Northern Monk for the landscaped labels that peel off to reveal more cool content on the other side (because they know your nails can’t resist). I’m a sucker for Beavertown’s alien sketches with enough detail to fill the silences between gulps, and I can’t get enough of Cloudwater’s radiant colour palettes and logo.

Yes, I’m a product of our consumerist society. That’s just who I am. But here’s the thing:

Who we are > is how we express ourselves > is what we consume.

As a marketer, turn that thought on its head…

What we sell > is how our consumers express themselves > is who they are.

Making sure your visual identity looks the part with your tribe is key. There are four elements to consider. The first is the logo.

1) Logo (AKA trademark)

Take everything you’ve learnt about your brand, pour it through a fine sieve, leave it to settle… come back a week later and boil it right down until it’s just a few lines or dots. That’s your logo. Like your business’ name, it’s the ultimate distillation of your brand.

Here, your entire visual identity stems, from the colour palette to the weight of typographical lines, the form of shapes and the illustrative theme. You’ll want to get it right.

Start by mind-mapping words that relate to your brand name and values. Use a word-association game to get as many ideas as you can. Then, when you’ve made your list, let the doodling begin.

Fun fact: ‘logo’ is short for logotype, a trademark made from a custom-lettered word [logos is Greek for word]. However, it is now synonymous with ‘trademark’, whether that’s a logotype, symbol or monogram.

Get your designers around you and start sketching as many ideas as you can. We’re not looking for masterpieces here, just ideas. Give your team an hour of creative frenzy and see what they’ve come up with. 

Ask each creative to present their idea and discuss as a team which elements you like and how they can be improved. At the end of this process, a few ideas should stand out. Now’s the time to hand them over to a professional logo designer and let them work their magic. Demand brilliance and lots of it with numerous iterations. This isn’t the time for mediocrity.

According to branding mastermind, Paul Rand, “The only mandate in logo design is that they be distinctive, memorable and clear.”

As the visionary designer behind the logos of IBM, UPS, Enron, Inc., and Westinghouse, what he says goes. But for the modern marketer-creative, you should probably add scalability (from large format print to 10px wide mobile display) to that list.

2) The science of colour

The next element of your visual identity is colour. Every colour elicits a different response. This isn’t just an emotional response, it can be a physical trigger too. Just seeing the colour red can quicken the pulse and put you on edge. Whereas blue will dilate the pupils and set you at ease. 

The colour of your brand is synonymous with your brand character. Here’s a brief overview.

Red evokes a passionate and visceral response. It’s energetic, provocative and attention-grabbing.

Purple is sophisticated and mysterious. Think Queen Elizabeth II meets Dynamo. It’s elegant aesthetics work with high-end products.

Blue is the #1 choice for big brands (33% of the top 100). Its serenity is reminiscent of the sky and the ocean. It’s also associated with trust, security, and confidence.

Green means calmness, safety, and freshness. It’s a top choice for health and environmental brands and comes with an inbuilt feeling of oneness.

Yellow is raw positivity: sunbeams and flower petals. It evokes eternal hope and optimism and pops with a creative buzz.

Orange is creative and cheerful and has playfulness in spades. It likes to be different and because of that it stands out from the crowd. 

Brown is earthly simplicity with grounded strength. It brings comfort with a classical, trustworthy approach. 

Black oozes sophistication and sexiness, but it’s powerful and godlike too. It works with luxury products and has a timeless class.

White is the colour of simplicity, purity, and cleanliness. Perfect for the health and childcare sectors, but classy too. 

Choosing the colour palette

The first thing to remember is to keep it simple. Sure you love the full spectrum—who doesn’t?—but to create a memorable, well-defined visual identity, you need to pick some favourites. Take a moment to think about some of the biggest brands in the world (Coca-Cola, Facebook, Apple) each of them is renowned for either a single colour or a two-colour combination.

Think about what your brand’s purpose is. Think about being different. And think about what your customers would say. Amazingly, some studies have reported that upwards of 80% of consumers say that colour is their primary reason for buying a specific product, so choose well.

There’s a science to colour, so when thinking about your palette, bear these four options in mind.

Monochromatic colours

These use just one main hue with a couple of shades for variation. This is great for brands that are looking for simplicity but it can limit creativity. Facebook is an example of a brand that focuses on blue, so much so that it can be recognised by a specific Pantone alone.

Analogous colours

These colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel, like red and orange, or blue and green. Because of this, they convey similar emotions. They can also be used to blend colours together across a gradient, like how Instagram sweeps from yellow, through orange, red, purple and blue.

Complementary colours

Complementary colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. This gives them a contrast that pops against each other and naturally looks great. Firefox has this nailed with the orange fox wrapped around the blue globe.

Triadic colours

These draw shades from various sections of the colour wheel. This is dangerous territory as it often leads to colour overload. Still, some sizable companies have pulled it off (Windows, Google, anyone?) A triadic palette denotes a range of services or capabilities.

Colour selection is a science. There are some great tools out to help. Try out the colour scheme generator at Coolors to build a palette that works.

Once you have identified your which colours to use in your visual identity, you’ll need to add a couple of complementary shades. These are used as background colours and accents in your marketing materials and offer an alternative shade when it’s needed. Make sure to add a couple of neutral tones to the mix too.

Once done, reference them by CMYK (print code), RGB (digital code) and hex (web design) for future use. 

An ode to typography

The third element of your visual identity is typography. Like colour, this is a constant that will be used throughout all your marketing materials. It plays a vital role in design.

Fun fact: the term ‘typeface refers to the style of lettering you choose. For example, Helvetica or Arial. The term ‘font’ is used to denote a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. For example Arial 12pt, bold, italic

Different font types mean different things to different people. Think of it as the voice of your brand. Some voices are soft, others are loud, some are elegant, others are harsh, some traditional, some modern. You want your voice to chime with your target audience.

The two main types of fonts are ‘serif’—which have a small line or stroke on the letters—and sans-serif which don’t. Serif fonts are traditional, classy and easy to read in print. Sans-serif fonts are modern, casual and display more clearly on screens.

Finding fonts

There are three places to find your perfect font. Open-source fonts are free and quick to download from the internet. They’re also great because they tend to be web-friendly (especially if they’re a Google Font). This ensures consistency across both digital and print platforms. What’s not great about them is that they’re commonplace and undistinctive.

Primary fonts are those which you have to pay for. There is a huge range of primary fonts available on the web which will give your brand an elevated level of sophistication. But you have to pay before you download them and they’re often not cheap. These are less likely to be web-friendly which could slow your website down or just not display at all.

Then there are custom fonts. For the show-offs, these fonts are specially designed for a business. Custom fonts can be very expensive and aren’t likely to work on your website. On the other hand, they can be very cool and will be completely unique to you.

“The beauty of type lies in its utility; prettiness without readability serves neither the author nor the reader.”

James Felici, author and typographer

Whichever method you choose, make sure your typefaces are flexible for all types of media and have a comprehensive range of styles (bold, italic, black, etc.)

One typeface isn’t enough. You should be looking for two or three when building your brand. These should be categorised as:

  • Primary: your default typeface
  • Secondary: used to compliment your primary
  • Tertiary: used for little flourishes and accents

Make sure you identify which of these will be used for headers, sub-headers, body copy and pull quotes and packaging.

Visual identity and body artwork 

And now for the visual identity icing on the cake: the artwork.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just decoration for your website and marketing materials. Your artwork should be used to reinforce the brand theme and present information in clear and compelling ways. How you use them must be consistent with your overall brand identity.

Photographic style

Photography plays a prominent part in many a marketer’s toolkit. But how will you choose to use it? 

Make sure that the style, theme and treatment of photographs are consistent across your brand. Choose timeless monochrome or eye-popping full-colour saturation; choose mood-enhancing colour overlays or grainy, urban realism. Get up-close and personal or snap the full panoramic picture. Every decision you make will add another layer to your brand identity. 

But there are a number of challenges. Finding the perfect images isn’t easy. Sure, you can choose stock images (free or paid) but they can make your brand look unoriginal, inauthentic and uninspired. 

Then there’s the problem of consistency. Often, you’ll be limited to a single photographer’s collection when searching for a similar style. That could mean you end up using the same tired images over and over again. Treating images in-house or taking your own can help.

Illustrations and Icons

A modern and stylish alternative is graphic design illustration. Illustrations are great because you are only limited by your imagination. As long as you have the necessary skills or resources, you can bring any image to life (all in brand-perfect colours and style). 

There’s a bottomless well of incredible talent and inspiration on Pinterest. I love getting lost in that labyrinth of ingenuity—all those little known Picassos—and I love coming across a new style or the latest trend. Illustration, when it’s done well by a proper graphic designer who understands your company, can elevate your brand to all new highs. 

It needn’t be done in isolation of photography either. Those that combine the two in stylish collages add another dimension to their brands. 

Another graphic element you may choose to adopt is icons. These can help you to identify specific services or benefits in a quick and visually pleasing way. 

*Try out Iconfinder, a search engine for vector icons in SVG, PNG, CSH and AI formats.

A complete guide to mastering your ethical brand personality

A complete guide to mastering your ethical brand personality

If your Brand Soul is all about inner purpose and meaning, the Brand Mind is about character, flair and style. This is your step-by-step guide to creating a brand personality with a serious attitude. Read on to discover the who, how and what of your brand.

Great brands have an attitude. They develop their own perspective, a set of beliefs, a recognisable swagger. They have certain personality traits, favourite topics of conversation and a voice of their own. Through this personality, they become leaders, mentors and even friends.

This becomes integral when telling your brand story in a way that resonates with customers.

For an ethical business, social enterprise, charity or everyday changemaker, creating a winning brand personality will give your business a serious edge. You will already have a higher agenda and a great story to tell. Here is where you find your voice and set the tone.

But what does it mean to give your brand a personality? First, you’ll need to understand your brand soul.

If you haven’t already, check out our blog on how to create your purpose, principles and proposition.

Who we are: creating brand personality

The first thing to do is to define your brand personality. You’ll need your best creatives for this session. Start the workshop with a simple ice-breaker: “If our brand was a person, who would it be?” Here, you want to be naming celebrities not your best friend’s cousin’s girlfriend.

Ask what it is about their character that you associate with. Think about the way the character talks, how they’re viewed, what their personality traits are. Aim to narrow this down to one of 12 brand archetypes, as devised by Carl Jung (though for a different purpose entirely).

The 12 brand archetypes

The Lover: looking for passion and intimacy, the lover is romantic and committed. Think Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Haagen Dazs.  

The Explorer: searching for excitement and greater meaning and finding inspiration in new experiences. Think Jeep, Red Bull, REI.

The Sage: providing wide guidance for those who need it, acting like a mentor. Think Google, PBS, Philips.

The Jester: brings light-hearted fun to the table, while often making a little mischief along the way. Think Old Spice, Ben & Jerry’s, M&Ms.

The Ruler: controlling and stern, but carries a weight of prestige and brings order to chaos. Think Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, British Airways.

The Magician: looking to make dreams a reality, the magician is visionary and spiritual. Think Apple, Disney, Absolut.

The Caregiver: protective and caring with a compassionate, nurturing and generous nature. Think Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s Soup, UNICEF.

The Innocent: the happy, wholesome character who’s forever optimistic and youthful. Think Coca-Cola, Innocent Smoothies, Nintendo Wii.

The Everyman: knows how to connect and belong. A down-to-earth pillar of the community. Think eBAY, IKEA.

The Hero: on a mission to make the world a better place through courage and power. Think Nike, BMW.

The Creator: imaginative and arty, driven to build things of enduring meaning and value. Think Lego, Crayola, Adobe.

The Outlaw: questions authority and breaks the rules, the outlaw is all about rebellion and revolution. Think Virgin, Harley-Davidson, Diesel.

You don’t have to go all out for one archetype. And yes, you can pick and mix a few traits. But the more you dilute your character, the less defined it becomes.

It’s good to know which archetype you belong to, so pick one and see how you fit in with the other brands in your tribe. If they’re not a competitor, see if you can take inspiration from the way they deliver their content.

How we speak: the brand voice

Now we start to focus and define. Ask yourself, how would you describe your brand personality in 5-10 adjectives? And what do these adjectives say about your attitude? Think about what your key motivators are and how you would describe these to your target audience.

This exercise helps to set your tone of voice, giving your designers and copywriters vital information for building a consistent brand.

A good way to start is by taking a full list of character traits and adding them into three piles: ‘We are’, ‘We are not’ and ‘Does not apply’. To help, the deviants behind Cards of Humanity have developed a handy set of branding cards which you can find here.

If you don’t want to splash out, you can always create your own. For the record, the characteristics of Your Turn include:

  • Creative: building things of enduring value.
  • Modern: on-trend with new digital hacks.
  • Inspirational: content that changes lives.
  • Friendly: always happy to reach out and connect.

Compassionate: let’s make great things happen.

Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

—Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

Defining the lexicon

The way we speak isn’t just defined by our tone of voice, but also by the words that we use. Make a list of words your brand character might say. Don’t shy away from power words (those that have a little extra oomph).

To start, spend some time thinking about how you should describe your key services and what kind of calls to actions you would use. For instance, when offering email subscription, are you the kind of business that says: ‘That’s awesome! Sign me up’, or are you more of the ‘Add me to the newsletter’ kind of brand. Split these words into those that you like, and those you want to avoid at all cost.

What we talk about: key messages

To tell a consistent brand story, you should focus on your key messages. These will become the payload for all that hard work. They’re your brand’s favourite topics. They’re the things you’re talking about even when you’re talking about something else.

Defining your key messages will help you filter out the waffle and focus your content marketing on what really matters. They should underpin who you are, what you do, why you’re different and how your audience will benefit.

Messaging architecture

Messaging architecture helps you to understand what you should (and shouldn’t) be talking about. This means that when it’s time to start creating content you can focus on a specific set of highly-relevant, inter-related topics.

When it comes to blogs, this makes it easier for Google to index your content. This will lead to better SEO, greater visibility and more traffic. A consistent approach also means your audience will know what to expect. This is what it takes to build a loyal, trusting and engaged following.

To begin, refer back to your value proposition (see our guide on brand soul) and consider which 3 or 4 elements are key. Then write down a further three supporting points for each element.

Your Turn’s messaging architecture

Here’s an example to show you how this works. First, take my value proposition:

I help ethical businesses tell their stories with free promotion, marketing resources and networking opportunities.

From this, I can isolate three key elements and expand each with a further three key messages.

Free promotion

  • We believe good business is good for the world, so we’re here to help you spread the word.
  • Get mentioned in our weekly social shout-outs and feature on our ‘ethical brands’ web page.
  • Connect with us and helps us speak up for your cause.

Marketing resources

  • We think great marketing will give social entrepreneurs an edge.
  • Our free resources will help you create your brand, strategy and content.
  • Speak to us about free 1-2-1 marketing support. 

Networking opportunities

  • Discover like-minded entrepreneurs on our ‘ethical brands’ web page
  • Join our social media community, learn and educate.
  • Find out how to collaborate to spread the word of ethical business

That’s it. I have identified the key topics of my content. Now I can start to build content around each of these themes.

The final word

By following the above steps, you will be able to add some create the basic principles of your brand character. This doesn’t just take into account who you are, but how you speak and what you say.

Armed with this information, you will better understand the direction of your content and how it will resonate with your customers.

If you’re interested in developing your brand and discovering further marketing resources, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re here to speak up for ethical businesses, social enterprises and everyday changemakers in Yorkshire. You can access free promotional support, marketing resources and guidance on our website.

Just say hello. It’s Your Turn.