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7 Questions Your Brand Strategy Should Answer

January 22, 2023

When developing a brand strategy and identity with my clients, visuals and aesthetics are just part of the equation. We dig deeper, taking a holistic approach that clarifies your brand story, visuals, and messaging for a complete and compelling brand identity.

Our branding process culminates in delivering the Brand Blueprint, a comprehensive style guide that combines everything we’ve developed and defined through our collaboration. I like to think of the Brand Blueprint as the ultimate reference point for a brand and something that’s used as the foundation for everything else.

The Brand Blueprint is divided into four key sections: Foundations, Messaging, Visuals, and Strategy. The Foundations section lays the groundwork for everything to follow and answers 7 critical brand questions, including:

  • Mission – Why do you exist?
  • Vision – Where are you going?
  • Core Values – What do you hold dear?
  • Ideal Customer – Who do you live to serve?
  • Core Offerings – What do you offer your ideal customer?
  • Unique Value Proposition – What makes you YOU?
  • Brand Script – How do you and your ideal customer intersect?

In this post, I’m sharing all the critical branding aspects covered in the Foundations of a Brand Blueprint, along with some questions to help you apply this process to your own brand strategy. Take a look.


Why do you exist?

Mission. Purpose. Cause. Passion. Calling. Whatever you call it, your mission answers the ultimate “why” question: why does your brand exist? Your mission should capture what you currently do but also leave room for aspiration and growth. The reasons you exist can be both personal and customer-centric. It’s ok if part of your reason for existence is your own desire for professional autonomy and personal growth.

Some questions to consider when establishing your mission:

  • Why did I start my business?
  • Why haven’t I quit my business? In other words, what keeps me on the path of entrepreneurship despite the challenges and obstacles I face?


Where are you going?

Visions are big. They are a place to say aloud the dream you may be too afraid to put on paper. While your mission statement is focused on what you currently do, your vision takes a long view of the future. Visions are big and aspirational. They are a place to say aloud the dream you may be too afraid to put on paper. And visions can change! In fact, it is a good idea to revisit this statement annually to assess and finesse your vision.

When thinking about your vision, it can help to ask questions like:

  • What does my dream life look like?
  • Where do I see my brand in five years if there were no external barriers to success?


What do you hold dear?

Core values serve as a compass for your decision-making. These pillars are your gut check for determining if an employee, partnership, or new venture aligns with what you hold dear. Think of your values as the timeless principles guiding your decisions as an individual and a brand.

Distilling all of your values into 3-5 distinct core values can be challenging, so try starting with the prompts below:

  • Think of someone you greatly admire. What qualities do they embody that you find inspiring and worthy of emulating?
  • What’s your #1 pet peeve? Why does it drive you crazy? What action/trait/value is the OPPOSITE of your pet peeve?


Who do you live to serve?

When establishing your brand, knowing yourself is only half of the equation. It’s equally important to know your ideal customer – who they are, the problems they face, and what they aspire to be.

Developing a clear vision of your ideal customer helps you assess if your current customer base aligns with the customers you truly want to serve. This, in turn, can help you adjust your offerings, messaging, and overall brand strategy to ensure you are reaching the right people in the right place to begin your “ideal” customer.

Some questions to consider when defining your ideal customer include:

  • Why do your customers seek you out? In other words, what problem do you help them solve?
  • Think of your favorite customer that you’ve worked with in the past. What were they like? Why did you love working with them?


What do you provide your ideal customer?

This may seem obvious, but defining your core offerings – i.e., what you offer your customers – should be part of your branding process, especially if you are just starting your business or pivoting your brand. Your core offerings can and should evolve over time as you improve your services, launch new products, or find your niche. However, knowing your core offerings (while planning new launches or growth in the background) helps ensure you can deliver clear, consistent messaging to your ideal customers.

Defining your core offerings can start with questions like:

  • What do I do well?
  • What products or services can I deliver with confidence, excellence, and ease?


What makes you YOU?

Unless you invent flying cars or harness the power of time travel, chances are your business is not revolutionary. And trust me, I mean that in the best way possible. In fact, the world is full of impactful, life-enhancing brands that fulfill the otherwise mundane needs of their customers.

The unique value you bring to the world is…YOU! Your story, background, experience, and perspective are what set you apart from others who provide a similar product or service. When articulating your unique value proposition, it’s helpful to look beyond the product or service you offer and ask questions like:

  • What is unique about my professional or personal history?
  • How would my closest friends or partner describe why they love me?


How do you and your ideal customer intersect?

In the same way that the Brand Blueprint pulls together everything for your brand in one place, a brand script synthesizes all of the information defined in the above Foundations into one succinct message.

The brand script identifies the customer, their problem, and how the brand helps solve that problem. In the simplest of terms, the brand script says, “We help [fill in the blank] do [fill in the blank] so they can achieve [fill in the blank].”

Once you’ve defined all of the preceding Foundations of your brand, your brand script will become more apparent.

And there you have it! That’s an inside look at our branding process and how we define the critical ideas that go into the Foundations portion of a Brand Blueprint.

I hope the prompts help get your creative energies flowing to think about your own brand strategy in a more profound, meaningful way. If you need a partner to guide you through the branding process, you know where to find me! I’d love to help you discover your own brand story.

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