Generic branding questionnaire

The basic questions underlying the branding and marketing of any product or service include the following:

  • In what market(s) does your product or service fit (e.g., banking, healthcare, automotive)?
  • What does the product or service do?
  • What needs does it serve?
  • Who are the appropriate audiences?
  • How can the product or service help each of these audiences?
  • What are they currently doing to serve these needs?
  • What products or services currently exist that do the same thing(s) as your brand?
  • What are their brand names?
  • What are their primary claims?
  • How is your product better than competitive products? Worse?
  • How does the market perceive this class of product? (Vital? Necessary? Important? Helpful? Optional? Unimportant? Trivial?)
  • What is the best way to differentiate this product from competitors?
  • What evidence do you have that you can make this claim?

The answers to these questions combined with a modicum of market research leads to the following outcomes:

  • Marketplace overview
  • Target audience profile
  • Competitive environment overview
  • Identification of differentiating factors
  • Development of positioning strategy
  • Development of tagline
  • Development of primary messaging
  • Development of brand design and graphic guidelines

A Note of Caution

Be careful how you position your company/product/service. Companies that positioned themselves as buggy whip manufacturers went out of business. Companies that positioned themselves as manufacturers of transportation accessories thrived.