Questions to think about your brand:
What does success look like? (beyond profitability & popularity)
I.e. Making makeup-artist-quality makeup available to everyone.
Making cycling the most popular sport in the world.
Generating enough money and influence to impact environmental politics...
Why does success matter?
W/o your company reaching its goal, what stays the same? This statement might sound academic. It's not a line, so that's ok.
I.e. Nike: [Making every body an athlete] matters because "sport has the power to transcend societal discrimination"
How do you define 'your world'?
If 'the world' needs a brand like yours, what is that world? Where is it? Who is it? It could potentially be a smaller community like “indie designers” or “British farmers” or a larger world like “African women” or “working class Americans”.
Who loses out if we don't exist?
The very specific group of people who need your company to be successful. It may be if 'your world' is 'the art world', the people who miss out most are not really the collectors, but perhaps the young/emerging artists who are struggling.
What does using your brand say about people?
The truth will set you free. It's probably not as glamorous as you think, but it's probably very interesting. Identify the most culturally influential group of users and what it is they think your brand says about them.
What has to be true of your biz for people to think & feel the way you want them to?
Product/packaging look & feel? Where would they have to be made, by whom? Where would you need to be, physically? Who would need to be associated with your brand? Etc.
What are the most interesting, unique and true things about your biz? Irrefutable truths, not spin.
What’s the history? What do employees brag about? The people, the product, the location or impact it has on the local community, maybe the founder or factory or test kitchen?
Who 'gets it' already?
Who are the people you don't need to market to? Nurture them, cultivate the relationships, and they'll be instrumental in translating your brand to the rest of the world.
What's your founding story?
Interview your founder(s). Why did they first set out? What were they trying to do? What changed? Look for epiphanies and tensions. Then align this story with the brand's ambition and why that success matters.
In what ways might your brand be confusing people?
Worse than being hated, a brand that's confusing just goes no where. All about quality & innovation? Why are you making cheap copycats? Statements of inclusivity? What happens by excluding a race, age, ability, gender?