A brand is how people perceive your company and product. To stand out from competition and nurture a lasting relationship with your customers, you need to develop an effective brand identity. Brand identity is a system of all brand elements that help shape a brand. Some of these elements are the company and product names, logos, colors, imagery, typography, taglines, and tone of voice. You will need a consistent message and visuals to shape and identify your brand. A strong brand identity is likable, trustworthy, and demonstrating quality and expertise.
The key to developing a powerful brand identity is knowing your company, product, and target audience like the back of your hand. This self-knowledge is not often clear and can be challenging to discover. Many early-stage startups change business goals, pivot towards the new target audience, and evolve company culture with new employees. Nevertheless, when your company is planning for a public-facing growth stage, you need to strategize a brand identity that everyone can get behind. Ready or not, people will start forming an image of your brand as they interact with your company and product. Take the opportunity to use all the marketing platforms and brand touchpoints to present a cohesive and compelling brand.
At the early stage of developing your brand identity, you will need to communicate with a designer who you are and who is your target audience. The discovery phase is a big part of any branding project whether it's a logo, a website, or a packaging design of a box. Taking the time to define your company and audience will go a long way in learning how to position your brand. It will also make sure we are representing your brand personality in the best way possible. Answer the following questions to get started.

About the company/product
1. What is your company's mission?
2. What problems do you solve? What are the benefits of your product/service?
3. What are your values and beliefs that drive your company?
4. Who are your direct and indirect competitions?
5. How do you differentiate your company/product from the competition? What makes your company/product unique?
6. What are the biggest challenges for your company? 
7. What is the size of your company? A number of employees? Revenue?
8. What are some of the skills and knowledge required to be successful in your company?
9. What is the company culture like? How do you communicate with each other? How do you make decisions? How do you celebrate success?

Target Audience
10. Describe the personal demographics. Are they male or female? Boomers or Millennials? Married or single? Have children or pets?
11. Describe their education background and career path. What colleges did they attend? Where are they working now? Did they work in other industries in the past?
12. What are some of the pain points and challenges in their lives?
13. What are some of their short term and long term goals?
14. What are their favorite activities? What do they do for fun?
15. How do they learn about new products and services? 
16. Are they part of any associations or social network?
17. Where do they shop? What other brands do they like?

Brand Image
18. Describe your brand in 5 words
19. What words do you not want to use to describe your brand?
20. What colors can you see representing your brand?
21. What colors do you not want to see?
22. What emotions do you want your customers to feel when using your product/service?
23. What font types can you see associated with your brand? Serif, San-serif, Script, Monospaced, etc.?
24.  How does your brand fall between these opposite characteristics?
Playful --- Serious
Simple --- Intricate
Masculine --- Feminine
Necessity --- Luxury
Friendly --- Authoritative
Trendy --- Timeless
Exclusive --- Inclusive
Casual --- Professional
Modern --- Classic
Safe --- Bold
Innovative --- Traditional
Energetic --- Calm
Colorful --- Colorless
25. Are there brands you admire and why? What do you like best about them?

Answering these questions is the first step towards bringing your brand identity to life. Start building your brand identity to portray your brand accurately and attract the right audience.
Download the PDF to start filling out your brand questionnaire.

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