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As an individual, it is often advised that you define your identity. Who are you and what are you known for? You should be able to answer these questions anytime you are asked. When you know who you are, when you have principles, there are certain things people can identify you with. The same applies to your business. It is important that from the onset, you define what your brand is and what it represents. If there is no peculiarity in your business, it will just be another object floating on the sea of the business world. It will save you so much when you define your business/company identity.

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Without a definite identity, it will be difficult for you to establish your business and achieve brand consistency. This is why you should define your core values and brand message as early as possible. Your marketing strategy and every other process will then follow the path of your core values and brand message.

Sometimes, your inability to define your company identity stems from ignorance. That is why I highlight the steps you should take to achieve this.

Define your core values

Don’t let the term confuse you. It simply means to know what you stand for. This includes your vision, mission and value proposition. Some brands make the mistake of just designing a logo and launching out without knowing what their brands stand for. In fact, it is the value you bring that will inform your logo design and brand colours.

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This is because your logo is only a representation of the values that have taken time to draft. So, a logo is a byproduct of a brand’s identity, not the brand’s identity itself.

Define your product(s)

Another damaging mistake made by business people is to do everything. The saying, “jack of all trades and master of none” is actually true. Sometimes, in a bid to diversify, businesses are caught in the web of confusion, where they end up doing everything. Invariably, you get to confuse your customers as well. There is nothing wrong with diversifying, but be smart about it. Define the specific product(s) or service(s) that your company is offering. This way, your prospects and customers will know you for something. Don’t jump from one industry to another!

Study your competitors

Keeping an eye on your competitors will give you an inkling of how to differentiate your brand. There is something called “competitive differentiation”. This is achieved when you look at what the competitors in your industry are doing and discover the gaps in their models.

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This will guide you to know how to make your own product/service different, and more importantly, better than theirs.

Define your brand voice

You should not only define what your business is all about, that is, your brand message, but also the way you communicate it. Define the social media platforms you use, your communication strategy with your clients and prospects, and your brand voice. Your brand voice refers to how you communicate with your audience; your tone. Is it friendly, informal, professional, or what have you? The way you communicate should reflect in your texts, video and graphic content. Just as you are identified by your voice when you speak, your audience should also identify your voice when you speak to them. Your social media posts, email copies, blog posts and packaging should all speak the same way.

Now you must have figured out what your company identity is, it is important you communicate it. After all, that’s the aim of defining it in the first place. Publicize it any and every way you can, and let your audience identify your business with one unique thing.

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This article was first published on 9th August 2022


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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