Ten questions to strengthen your brand

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Here’s what you don’t need to build a strong brand: millions of dollars. Here’s what you do need: creativity, hard work and soul. So says Nancy Lublin, author of Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business. And you should also be able to answer these 10 questions about your company.

  1. If your brand were a car, what kind of car would it be? What colour? Old, used, new? What price point? What’s most important is that, if asked, everyone in your company would come up with a similar answer.
  2. Can you describe your brand as the first, the only, faster, better or cheaper? If not, you’re toast.
  3. Who is your brand relevant to? Describe him or her in detail. How old is he? How does he spend his day? Weekends?
  4. How would your office manager, your receptionist and your assistant describe your company in one sentence? These people are your front-line soldiers who hear and see every department, at every level. Really listen to how they answer the question.
  5. When was the last time members of various work teams at diverse levels of the company spent more than two hours together just looking at data and talking about the brand—without a specific brainstorm topic on the table?
  6. Who are your five most visible partners? What do you think your target market thinks of them? Do you have standards for picking partners?
  7. How would your mom or spouse describe your company? Is it a more simple and accurate description than the one you typically recite?
  8. Do you have written brand guidelines for your firm?
  9. Are there words that are “nevers” for your brand? Do you have banned words? Should you?
  10. What do the data say? When was the last time you asked yourself this question?
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