Who You Are, How You’re Saying It and Do They Care?

Your corporate brand essentially involves two parties – you and them. It is the key in marketing yourself to be sure that you are resonating with your target audience. It’s time that you did some key research from three strategic perspectives:

ONE: Tell us – who are you?

It’s important to know who you are. In the past companies developed mission statements to define who they are. Many times it was wishful thinking. I’ve helped companies determine their brand values and personalities to help them understand who they are. One good way is to ask employees and principals for their understanding of who they think you are. Be honest with this evaluation because you want a clear statement.

TWO: What are you saying you are?

Do a communications audit of your company? In your marketing materials, what is the message you are sending? Does it differ from the “who you are statement” in step ONE? Is your corporate brand image in line with who you say you are? Is your materials consistent in their delivery of the “who you are statement”? Consistency of message is paramount.

THREE: What are they saying about you?

What your marketplace thinks of you is your brand. What they understand about your products and services may be completely out of your hands. If you’ve neglected your brand, chances are your competition have defined you, and this is what your marketplace believes to be the truth. Doing a competitive analysis will also assist you in discovering your short comings and establish a position of message.

Taking these three perspectives together using triangulation, you can now determine where you are RIGHT NOW. Digging deeper, you can also discover situations, language and expectations your target audience desire from you. The answers to each of the three perspectives will clearly show if your brand is in trouble and they also provide a strong direction for marketing effectively.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.


  1. I too often found brochure sites that have a very good and extensive mission statement but when I contacted tehm (phone or mail)most often none of the high goals set in the statement could be met.. Quite often it is fluff, but it is needed as customers want to read it.
    “Tell us – who are you?” – that is also one of those things that mayn sites lack off. Not all sites give you a detailed history of howthe site developed and who was and is in charge. This site for example does – the detailed about page also gives some info about the daily readership – thanks for that.

  2. Santa, I believe they “think” customers want to read a mission statement. They are looking more for a relationship that will make them more successful. The sad fact about those mission statements found in corporate lobbies world-wide, is that even those who composed them forgot what they said. So, it wasn’t a reflection of how they operate but how they wish they could operate. It was nothing more than a feel-good exercise. Not a great reflection on their brand is it?

    Speaking of good brands, Santa, you’ve got one of the best. You haven’t laid off any elves this year have you? 🙂

  3. Good article Ed. Your third point is key, because at the end of the day, your customers’ gut feeling about your brand is what truly matters.

    I work primarily with small businesses as well – what do you find are the biggest hurdles you have to overcome when dealing with small businesses and brand development?

  4. Well Jason, I’d have to say implementation of a bold new positioning strategy. I’ve had a few cases where the resulting positioning strategy was the absolute differentiator and in some cases it would result in the achilles heel for competitors. I believe their reluctance stems from the fact that they are used not being the leader. Following was more comfortable. They’ve spent good money, but the solution is too bold. Taking a stand and backing it up is alien to their business psyche.

    Customers who do embrace bold solutions are absolutely re-invigorated. They are finally excited by their efforts to market themselves. All their stake holders now have a strong focus.

    A lot of small businesses are used to traditional marketing – where they spend a bucket of money, make fluffy statements and hope some one takes notice. Many times their marketing is the polar opposite of their existing brand (good or bad). They fail to recognize that they are already “doing branding”, it’s just that the branding decisions are being made by their competition for them.

    On your question of business hurdles with respect to small business, I can’t think of any that jump out. In what I provide, I love the diversity of industries that I work with. Working with small businesses, I generally have relationships with owners. I work with very small to large businesses, (in the small business category).

    One comment I get at times that makes me smirk is, “I’m probably too small for you to work with.” I take it as a compliment, then I see what I can do to help them. My solutions aren’t based on the size of the customer, but their willingness to step up embrace the bold solution. Many who have made that comment are now great customers. They contact me when they require me.

    I hope I answered your questions to your liking, and thanks for joining the conversation.

  5. >>You haven’t laid off any elves this year have you? <<
    Sorry I missed your reply to my comment. Just wanted to inform you that we are hiring additional elves so we can fulfill our promise of free gift wrapping and just-in-time delivery (no additonal cost for this premium service) as all kids and parents expect. 🙂

    Merry Christmas to you and
    all the best for the coming year.


  6. Santa,

    What a brand! Hiring more elves! Fantastic. You still bring a smile to the child in all of us.
    Have a safe and happy holiday.

  7. The ultimate question! But do we have the ultimate answer to this question? I guess no! Life is more complicated.

  8. I think the ultimate answer lies in how each of delivers on our promise to the customer.

    Thanks for your thoughts.