Website branding or brand messaging is just as important as it is in any other area of your marketing.  Perhaps, the brand messaging is paramount.

I meet with business owners all the time who have a hard time putting their finger on who their ideal client is.  They have a difficult time articulating their company values, their mission, their vision and their brand promise.  They don’t know how they have positioned their company or even have an elevator speech.

If you’re thinking, “Uh oh, I don’t have any answers for any of those things either,” you may need to slow down and think through some very serious issues.  If you’re not intentionally addressing these things, you’re likely just throwing your marketing dollars down the drain, rather than targeting them with a laser-focused message on your perfect demographic.

Here’s one exercise that may be helpful for you if you’re thinking about your own brand and how you want to be perceived.

Just answer this question: If our company were a car, what kind would it be?

Think about it.  Every car has a very well defined brand or personality.  You know, the feeling you have about a particular car?  Let’s face it, a BMW has a very different image than a Subaru for instance.   Their marketing and pricing as well as the features of each vehicle appeal to very different types of people.   Each brand of car has done an excellent job of creating the total package tailored specifically for their ideal target market.

Now picture the type of person that would potentially buy each kind of car.  I can picture a man in a suit and tie driving the BMW while the Subaru may have a younger woman wearing shorts and sandals with a dog hanging out of the window and a kayak on the roof.

By visualizing first, the type of vehicle you feel most closely matches your company’s brand, and then visualizing the type of person who would be most likely to drive that vehicle, you can hopefully craft your marketing message to mimic the same things that the auto manufacturer uses in their marketing.  Once you know how you want your company to be perceived (the same way that your chosen automobile is perceived) you can logically assume that your brand, if designed to mimic the auto manufacturer, will attract a similar demographic.  If you have a product that would appeal to your typical Subaru driver, do the same things as Subaru and you’ll pique the interest of Subaru drivers.  Market your product to shoppers at REI and Whole Foods and you’ll hit your market.

Obviously, branding is more complicated than a simple exercise but I hope that this easy homework assignment will help you to move closer to defining your brand.

Chadd Bryant