A brand is many things. At its most basic level, branding is your promise to relevant parties of what they will receive from you as a client, employee, etc. To go a step further, though, your brand must be unique to you. Often brands appear to be so generic, it seems you could insert almost any name from that type of business without a problem.
So, we challenge you to take the brand challenge. There are two ways to test your brand:
One, take your mission statement, value proposition, or whatever you feel is the best expression of your brand. Remove your name from the statement and present it to a variety of audiences and ask them if they know to whom it belongs. Does your organization’s name come up? Always? Sometimes? Rarely? Not at all?
Two, take your name out of your brand statement and instead start inserting other industry names. Does the statement still make sense? Is it applicable to a large number of organizations? Are they direct competitors to you? If they are, that’s a problem.
Of course, it is unrealistic, although not impossible, to expect that no other organization possesses some components of your attributes, characteristics, values and other brand identifiers. But the unique combination and expression of them should be yours and yours alone. And, once you have found your organization’s unique voice, the key to building your brand over time is the consistent communication of it across all media at all times to all constituents.