What’s the one Branding Exercise you should find the time to do for your Start Up?


“So…” I asked my lovely client Catherine (creator of the uber-brilliant cleansing cloth CloudCloth). “Out of the whole branding exercise I did for you, what was the most useful bit?”.


“It was the brand statement” said Catherine. “It’s used across all my channels – it’s become the tagline for the logo, it’s on the packaging, the website, my advertising. It was that clarity and focus and I go back to it all the time – actually it’s just been used to solidify and tie in the message for a new campaign…”

Good stuff. I’ve always said that, if you’re strapped for time as a start-up business and you only do ONE branding exercise, this is the one.


What’s a Brand Statement then?


Your brand statement is a simple, concise explanation of what makes your brand tick – and the shorter and more focused it is, the more powerful. They’re usually just 2 or 3 words, summing up what you are and what you’re all about. It’s so useful because it’s an immediate rallying point – for you (to regain focus when you inevitably go off on a tangent), for your employees and advocates and for your customers. Catherine’s is “CloudCloth. Your Best Face Forward”.

2 perfect examples? Nike’s is “Authentic Athletic Performance.” Disney’s is “Family Fun Entertainment”.


? And… Boom.

Both brands, in a nutshell.


Finding the Sweet Spot

So how do you find the sweet spot? First, don’t think you have to come up with the perfect one right off the bat. Try some on for size and pick the one you feel most comfortable with.

I find it usually appears as a mixture of the who, the benefit and an emotive – like Disney’s “Family (who) Fun (emotive) Entertainment (what/benefit)”. Or Nike’s – “Authentic (emotive), Athletic (who) performance (what/benefit)”.

CloudCloth’s founding ethos was to create a product which helped women feel beautiful and confident. So the tagline is “Your (who) Best Face (what/benefit) Forward (emotive)”.

And don’t think the others have to be wasted – another version of CloudCloth’s brand statements champions the Brand’s eco-credentials (because using the cloths means no need for disposable wipes and cotton pads), and another its support for women with sensitive skin.

Each of these straplines gets used in different situations where it becomes more relevant.

And that’s it! Have you found your own brand statement?


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