top tips

Great brands have 3 things in common.

Look at any respected brand and it’ll have a triple threat of awesome elements. Get these in place and your brand will be well on its way to becoming your greatest asset.

1. A great reason

This is where it all begins. The greatest brands have a great reason for existing.

Chasing money will only get you so far, to be great you have to have a great purpose. Usually this is around making something better or helping people achieve their goals, or both.

Think Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”

Lofty as. But super clear, galvanising for their team, and massive for attracting talent and partners that share their vision.

A great reason aligns everyone (more on that in a bit), inspires them every day and helps give them clarity and purpose as members of your team. It gives employees reason beyond cash to come to work and do their best. Benefits beyond business there, too, we’re heading into mental wellbeing territory.

Sure there’ll be boring bits for you all to do, but when your purpose is clear, you know every job, big or small, is taking you closer to it.

Why does what you do matter?

Your great reason should also enable you to answer the question: “Why does what you do matter?” with confidence and self-assuredness. If you want to be a great brand, appeal to people, change the world and experience success, you need to be doing something that matters on a communal scale.


What problem are you solving?
And crucially, how are you solving it in a unique way?

This is your point of difference and it comes from your reason for being.

2. Great value

You need to be relentlessly obsessed about your customers’ needs.

They need to be front and centre in all you do, which in turn must feed into your offerings and customer service.

When you’re customer centric like this and, super important, you keep yourself close to the customer, you’ll understand their problems acutely. And you’ll be able to shape your products and services to solve them.

The result is: your brand becomes associated with understanding peoples’ pain points and delivering solutions that make life better. Listening makes winning a whole lot easier, and it’s a foundation of brand greatness.

You have to relentlessly ask yourself “are we adding value, are we doing all we can?”

The other huge benefit of keeping the customer close is that you’ll be on the pulse of changes. And this enables you to be proactive, not reactive, keeping value high and being the brand that not only gets people, but guides them. Mega territory that. Think Apple iPad, iTunes etc.

3. Great people

Whether you’re flying solo or a team, you’ve got to give yourself or your people the opportunity to be great.

Your brand fundamentals can do this. When you nail your reason and value, you’ll tap into something that will light up your people. That helps them know they’re using their precious time and energy to achieve something that’s worthwhile.

When your people are aligned through a cause (your reason, purpose), know they’re making a difference (your value) and are empowered to contribute through culture and brand tools: boom town. That’s where you’re headed. Stellar brand territory.

Work on the basics early.

Get your purpose clear from day 1. We cannot stress the importance of this. It’s your compass in a sea of competition. Know what you’re aiming for and you’ll navigate in the right direction.

Remember: your purpose, personality, mission, vision values – it’s an inside out job. No one can tell you what this is (setting yourself up for a fall there), but they can help discover it and articulate it to power your growth.

Go outside in and you still might do alright. But you’ll never build a great brand.


If you’re a startup, keep your purpose simple and clear, understand why what you do matters and nail your point of difference.


Start there, stay close to your customers and you’ll build your brand right.


If you’re down the line, nothing changes. Make sure you include your team in the process, capture their ambitions and what they believe the business is best at. 


Trust us, your brand is an incredible asset – invest in it to attract customers, align with awesome employees, deliver the difference you want to make and achieve true greatness.

By Dan Cushing

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