image of a brick wall with the header Clearly Branded Step 1 What. How. Why.

Clearly Branded Step 1: Brand Foundation — What, How, Why

Often my clients come to me with a new business endeavor, a grand new idea or opportunity, or a shift in their existing business. Maybe their brand is tired and outdated and needs to evolve. I can see the excitement and passion in their eyes, and often fueled by their enthusiasm, I am eager to help and get started creating. But we just met. I don’t know anything about their industry or business, and often, after asking a few questions, my clients don’t have all the answers either. We need to build the brand foundation. We need clarity.

process graph of the Clearly Branded journey, with What/How/Why highlighted as part 1

I developed “Clearly Branded”, a tried and true process that will give us just that. Clarity. Together with my clients, I discover everything about a company and understand the big picture. Only then can I help and guide my clients to build the perfect brand for their business and create a strategic roadmap that will pave the path forward.

Quote: When clarity meets your conviction, and you apply action to the equation, your world will begin to transform before your eyes. by Lisa Nichols

The What

Just like with any journey, we start at the beginning. We need to build the brand foundation. The first clarity session with my clients covers the basics: What do you offer, what’s your industry, what is your name. If there is no business name, we put a pin in it and revisit that further down the road in depth when we have more details about where the business is heading. 

I like to ask my clients to explain what they do to:
a) a child, and
b) a peer in their field or industry

That usually gives me the complete gamut from the most generic to the most specific. It’s an insightful exercise. 

The How

Next, I am curious about the How. How do you run your business, and how is it different from anything else out there? Do you use any special tools, ingredients, processes, machines, philosophies, or models that set you apart? You know, that secret special sauce.

circle with writing what how why

The Why

Most of my time will be focused on the Why. As Simon Sinek sums it up perfectly: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it.” By now, most of my clients are familiar with Simon Sinek if they weren’t already. One of my homework assignments before starting the Clearly Branded Process is watching his famous TedTalk: “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” It’s only 18 minutes long, and while now over 10 years old, it is still so valuable and appropriate. 

So why do you do what you do (aside from making money)? Why are we sitting here creating a brand for this new service or product? What drives you? It’s a daunting question, so I’ll break it down. 

quote: People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it. by Simon Sinek

First, I want to hear my client’s story. What got them here? Where were they before? What led you to follow your passion for this business? Usually, there is some juicy stuff in the backstories. I follow up with a few more specific “Why” questions, and based on that, I come up with a side-by-side list stating all the intentions behind their business endeavor. The list is divided between “I thrive to…” and “I will not… “. That usually sheds some light on their big Why. 

The first layer of bricks is laid for our brand foundation. Next, we dive into discovering the mission, vision, and goals, which puts the business intentions and the Why in a more formalized statement. This is not a one-and-done approach. These very important statements will start with a rough draft and most likely take the entire time of our Clearly Branded journey to finalize. More about this in Part 2 of the Clearly Branded process.


Do you have any questions about this first stage of my Clearly Branded process or do you need help finding your Why? Schedule a 30-minute call.

Brick Photo by SJ Objio on Unsplash