You’re delicately crafting or recrafting your corporate brand.

Or carefully launching or relaunching a product brand.

Where do you begin? How do you articulate the USP, the point of distinction, the differentiating factor?

Whether you reside in the old school camp of Al Ries’ and Jack Trout’s classic Positioning; or the new school of story branding, purpose branding or Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, it can leave you staring at a blank sheet of paper.

So where do you really start? What’s the catalyst for everything you want to capture?

It’s the Moment of Truth—that split second when your target audience touches your brand.

Imagine that interaction in slow motion. Person to corporate entity. Human to product. What happens? Physically, emotionally, viscerally? What does that moment look like? Sound like? Feel like? Get all of your brand stakeholders—from product marketing and sales to service and support people—in a room and talk about it. Write everything down you can think of. Scour existing research. Conduct focus groups and watch carefully. Look for the patterns, the similarities and the themes that emerge.

It doesn’t matter whether you make industrial equipment, pharmaceuticals or colas, the truth about your brand is in that moment. It’s how your customer or prospect authentically reacts. What’s on their face. On their mind. In their heart. What they say [and don’t say] to you and each other. How they interact with your product when no one is looking.

What’s the essence of the entire moment? Delight? Trust? Confidence? Truth? Happiness? Relief? Family? Wow? A better world? This is just the spark you need for your positioning, purpose or brand story. Once you’ve got that, everything else is easy.

Start with the Moment of Truth. Within it is everything you’re seeking.

Michael Friend

Author Michael Friend

Michael is the founder and Chief Branding Officer of Experra Branding Group, LLC, a brand consultancy that works exclusively with printing, imaging, product identification, converting and substrate technology companies to deliver short-term results and long-term value. He’s a brand strategist, business consultant and creative director with a passion for helping his global enterprise clients leverage the power of branding to crystallize corporate positioning, launch differentiated products, improve business processes and increase sales.

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