Building a brand...It all starts with an idea, right?

In reality, your brand should be less about you and more about your customer.


Because your brand starts with you and ends with your customer.

Building a brand is more than just having a pretty logo, it's more than having a fancy website, it's arguably even more than your presence on social media.

So, before you set up a Facebook page for your business, and before you create an Instagram business account, there are two very important components in building a successful brand that you need to consider...

The first is understanding your offering, and what makes you special.

The second is understanding your customers and what they really want.

Once you understand each of these things, look for areas where they intersect - this is where memorable brands live.

Venn Diagram of Customer and Products

Today, I’ll take you through a process that I use with clients all the time to help them construct a strong brand, and brand story, that helps them pass the test of time.


Building a Brand - Start with Why


Always Start with 'Why'

Building a Brand - Step 2 is How


Next, Move on to 'How'

Building a Brand - Chapter 3 end with What


Then, End with 'What'



So you have an idea that you think is pretty great?

Woah there cowboy! 

Let’s take is back one step.

Let’s start with something that sounds simple… but is actually where most brands fall over:

Why do you do what you do?

This is important because understanding the ‘Why’ behind your business will help you better articulate who you are as a business and what you stand for.

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle

It will also help when you’re ready to scale because nothing unites a team like a well-articulated mission. 

It will give your team a common goal and a common purpose.

Simon Sinek is the guy we have to thank for this model, which is also known as the Golden Circle.

On the surface, it looks and sounds super simple (which is part of the beauty of it) but it can actually take a lot of time to complete.

So let’s try. Write a list of things you think might be your ‘Why’.


Great work!

Now go back and put a line through every statement that mentions your product or service.

For example;

  • We are in business to sell high-quality children’s toys
  • We started X-Company because we want to simplify Marketing for small businesses
  • We sell products you can’t buy anywhere else

Nothing left on your list?


What we’re looking for here is ‘Why’ you do what you do, not ‘What’ you do or ‘How’ you do it…

...We can get to that later (that part is much easier to articulate).

Let’s try it again. 

This time - every time you find yourself mentioning your product or service ask yourself ‘Why is that important?’ and keep going until you’ve found a statement that resonates with you (and doesn’t mention ‘What’ you do).

For example;


We started Marketable because we want to simplify Marketing for small businesses and startups

  • Why is that important?
  • Because most small businesses and startups find Marketing overwhelming or can’t figure out how to attribute value to Marketing and justify spending time on it. Too often they’re led to believe they need to be on every platform, that it’s going to cost a lot of time and money that they just don’t have.
    • Why is that important?
    • Because with a little support and guidance, we think it’s actually quite easy to help small business owners approach marketing with a purpose and not get caught up in the trap of ‘needing to do everything’
      • Why is that important?
      • Because Marketing doesn’t need to be complicated


Because Marketing Shouldn’t be Complicated.



Okay, so we’ve established your ‘Why’...so let's talk about ‘How’ are you going to do it?

Now, before you go and start writing your list, stop.

‘How’ is also often confused with ‘What’. For example; 


Because Marketing Shouldn’t be Complicated.


By offering strategic Marketing packages to small business owners.

Think bigger 

The statement above

‘By selling offering strategic Marketing packages to small business owners’

is still focused on ‘What’ (strategic Marketing packages) you sell more than ‘How’ you go about business.

Instead, think about your customer, and what they want from you.

Let's try that again...

Think bigger when your building a brand


Because Marketing Shouldn’t be Complicated.


By empowering small business owners to confidently market their business.


Being able to articulate your ‘How’ is important because it will help you demonstrate to your customers that you’ve taken the time to understand them and their needs.



Okay, now we’re at the good stuff. 

What do you do?

It's the thing that's most commonly associated with making money, which means it's the thing that people usually have the best understanding of...

This might be super quick and easy for you to figure out.

But you also might have noticed that going this process, your ‘What’ may have changed slightly, or at least the way you talk about it has.

Remember at the start of this article we talked about knowing what you do well, and understanding how that intersects with what your customers want?

That’s the magic right there.

When you're building a brand involve your customers in the process

If you’ve reached this last chapter and you can say, with confidence, that ‘What’ you do sits in that sweet spot, then you’re ready to rock!

If you can’t - don’t stress. There are a few things you can do to quickly find out:

  1. Ask your customers what they think you do (some of their answers might actually surprise you)
  2. If you don’t have existing customers, use customer personas as a blueprint to find the right person to ask

Awesome work!

Now you’ve got the foundations of an amazing business and a kickass brand.

The next step is to spark conversation - people won’t use a service or buy a product that they don’t know exists.

The great thing about this is that you’ve done the leg-work to clearly convey who you are and what you do or sell. 

But, more importantly, you have a really clear understanding of ‘Why’ you do what you do.

One of my favorite quotes from the Simon Sinek video in Chapter 1 is;

“People don’t buy ‘what’ you do, they buy ‘why’ you do it.” 

And, in a world where markets are becoming saturated with products and services that are increasingly similar, being able to share your ‘Why’ with your customers is going to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors in undeniable ways!

Stand out from competitors with a competitive brand story