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Journey to the Centre of Your Brand

“It’s not what is upon this island, but what is underneath that interests me.”

– Otto Lidenbrock in ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, Jules Verne


After careful planning and hours of hype-building, your product launch didn’t land like you thought it would. So, you gather the gang for a lil’ spot of ‘lessons learned’:

Maybe the social campaign wasn’t engaging. 

Maybe the ad spend wasn’t high enough. 

Maybe the website needs updating? 


Or maybe it’s much deeper than that. Maybe the issue doesn’t lie with aesthetics, reach or target market, but the core messages you’re communicating. 

Here’s the thing: marketing takes a lot of time and effort. But that effort will go to waste if you’re hitting your audience with run-of-the-mill messaging that doesn’t mean anything to them. 

On the surface, distilling what you do and why it matters to people should be simple. So why is it so difficult in practice? It seems so clear in our heads, but often our message isn’t being heard the way we intend it. 

If that sounds familiar, it’s time to venture deep into the heart of your brand to uncover your brilliance.

Scour the ancient scrolls

What motivated you to start your business? Those many moons ago, something inspired you – something more than money, we’ll wager. A poignant origin story can be a great starting point for buildingyour brand identity. Everyone knows the story of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founding Apple in the Jobs’ family garage, but there are plenty others to note.

Frustrated by the unnecessarily complex nature of Photoshop, Graphic design tutor Melanie Perkins wanted to create a one-stop-shop design site, thus Canva was born. Similarly, Logan Green took his loathing of traffic jams and inspiration from the carpooling network in Zimbabwe to develop his own ride-share app ‘Zimride’ – now known as Lyft. 

Revisiting early business plans and scrawlings in notebooks of yore might help to revive the story behind the brand and bring your brilliance to the fore.

Search for clues

Who knows you best of all? Besides your mother, your pet and the notes app on your phone, your customers are a great source of knowledge – one you should absolutely tap into. Fortunately, we’re living in an age where people simply can’t keep an opinion to themselves. Yelp receives 26,830 new reviews per minute, while recent figures show an average of 830,000 posts are created on Reddit every day. 

Digging around on digital channels will help you to surface evidence about how your customers feel about your brand – the good, the bad and the ugly. Brace yourself, as not everything will be positive (it is the internet after all). But in the long-run, it’s all gold dust in helping you determine what it is that people like about your products and why they choose your brand. And hey, the negative stuff can always be valuable in shaping future changes. 

Know your enemy

In your search for knowledge, we recommend scouring the sites of your enemies – ahem- competitors… What are they doing that’s working so well? How are they positioning themselves? As tempting as it may be to take inspiration, mirroring your competitors will only make you less distinctive to your customers. 

Instead, take stock of what they do… and do the opposite.

What do you have that they don’t?

Are you faster, cheaper, more reliable?

Is your product more accessible, more inclusive or intuitive?

If nothing comes to mind, it’s not too late to choose one. This is an opportunity to plant your flag in the ground and conquer a selling point – be it great customer service or advanced technology. 

Save the damsel

Tech is always about improving people’s lives in some way. And that’s part of what makes your brand different. Think back to your customers: What problem do they need solved? Whether you’re saving them from the dark depths of workplace communications (like Slack), rescuing them from the prison of poor sound quality (Sonos) or snatching them away from the guarded tower of DIY (Task Rabbit), you’ve got something to offer that will save the day for your customers. 

That problem is central to your messaging; it should inspire every piece of copy you write. Even if you’ve got the latest tech, what does that mean to your customers? For every strength your brand offers, remember to tie it back to the core problem it solves. 

Slay the questing beast

When searching for that brilliance, it’s easy to adopt the “not-a-wizard-just-harry” mentality. But you’re not just Harry. You’re not a wizard either, of course. But you do have a product or service that can improve people’s lives in some way. Problem is, your direct competitors are flying the flag for their solution, and it’s making you feel like you’ve got nothing different to bring to the table. But look closer. There’s always something

It’s time to pick up that wand / sword / rusty halberd and slay the beast that is self doubt. It isn’t serving you. Without straying into the territory of self-help gurus, this is a common problem for founders and entrepreneurs – one that holds them back from highlighting their strengths. If you’ve followed us on this quest, you’ll know what those major selling points are. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to shout about them from the turrets.

After all that beast-killing and damsel-saving, you return to the town triumphant. Armed with insights on your audience, competitor analysis and a strong sense of what makes you different, you’re ready to put pen to paper and craft your brand messaging. 


Need a nudge in the right direction? Let’s chat.

Let’s chat

All our projects start with a conversation. Maybe you’re not entirely sure what you need, that’s fine, we’re happy to explore it with you.