I like their definition of a brand:
A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or company. It's not what you say it is. It's what THEY say it is.
Inspired by this definition, I recently did an exercise with a social enterprise helping them to explore what they would like their brand to be. In other words, what would they want people's gut feeling about them to be? What would they like people to be saying about them?
It worked very well. So you may like to try it yourself:
Write (or role-play) an imaginary conversation between two happy customers of your business. Both are singing your praises, and are trying to out-do eachother with how enthusiastic they can be about what you do. What do they say about you? Focus in particular on emotions. How do they feel as a result of what you've done for them? How do they describe what you do for them?
Once you've written out the conversation, reflect on some of the words that came up. These words will probably give you a good basis for describing what your brand values are.
To give you an idea, here's an imagined conversation between two customers of a project we work with, Keeping House:
“The best thing about Keeping House is that you can trust them – they really seem to know what they’re talking about, so I trust them when they tell me about a cleaner or a gardener who I could use. I like the fact that they’re reliable too – last week I phoned them up and they got back to me with the information I needed two days later. They’d sent it to me with a nice little covering letter, signed by David, he’s a friendly, down-to-earth lad. You know me, I love the personal touch!
“Chatting with David, it’s clear that they know their stuff, but they’re impartial too – he kept saying how it’s important for me to make up my own mind – and I feel I can do that with the information they gave me – I’m feeling all empowered! They seem very committed to what they’re doing as well – they’re friendly on the phone and they certainly go the extra mile. When I spoke with David he asked if there was anything else he could help with – which I thought was really generous of him. They really are a friendly bunch – they make me feel like part of the family! Next time I need to find a cleaner, I won’t feel like I’m on my own. Thanks goodness for Keeping House!”