How can you make sure everyone in your organization is on the same page when it comes to your brand? By hosting branding exercises, of course! If you’re unsure of which activities can best support your team, our guide will help.
The Value Branding Exercises Can Provide
It’s essential that everyone in your company — from the CEO to the intern — has a clear understanding of your corporate branding and the overarching marketing strategy it embodies.
Strong branding brings benefits to businesses both big and small. It drives marketing campaigns, improves brand awareness and attracts more customers to your organization. Internally, your brand personality creates the foundation of your company culture. And through branding exercises, your team will learn how to incorporate your brand values into their daily work and customer interactions.
Essentially, you want to create a complete brand experience when consumers interact with your business. To achieve that goal, your branding must remain consistent throughout every customer touchpoint. Therefore, making branding exercises a part of your employee training and development is key.
How Can You Incorporate Branding Exercises Into Your Department?
First things first, what are branding exercises, exactly? These are activities that you can complete with specific departments or individual team members that support increased brand knowledge and familiarity.
Branding exercises can happen during new employee onboarding, but you should also implement them as training sessions throughout the year. These events can range from silly to serious. But no matter the tone, your team should walk away feeling like they learned something valuable.
Of course, you’ll need to tailor your branding exercises to fit the staff you’re training. For example, your sales team spends the most time speaking to customers, so their exercises should focus on creating conversations that align with your brand strategy.
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Branding Exercises for Brainstorming Your Organization’s Key Attributes
Brand attributes are the core values and characteristics that make up your brand identity. You can think of the attributes as personality traits. For example, is your branding technical, or do you adapt a witty tone in your marketing messages? Most importantly, these attributes become branding tools that you can use to market your business.
To help your team gain a clear understanding of the qualities that make up your brand personality, try performing these branding exercises:
1. Who Are We?
For this activity, have your team create a list of adjectives that describe your brand. Start with what your employees think your brand represents. Then, review that list and determine if any key adjectives were missed. Afterward, make sure everyone involved has a copy of the completed list so they can reference it as needed.
2. This Not That
With this activity, we define what your brand doesn’t stand for. Create a list that includes adjectives that don’t resonate with your brand positioning or company culture. Then, identify more relevant words to replace these adjectives. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Our brand is straightforward but not monotone.
- Our branding strives to be honest but not informal.
- Our brand prioritizes affordability but not poor quality.
3. Build a Brand Persona
If your team has trouble identifying your brand’s attributes, viewing your brand as a person can help. This exercise builds a brand persona by developing an imaginary character with the demographics and psychographics that represent your business.
To start, have everyone picture your brand as a person. Then ask questions, such as:
- What type of colors would this person like?
- Would this person use complex or simple language?
- If this person was a fictional character, who would they be?
- How would this person respond to certain challenges?
- How do others — like your customers — describe this person?
Branding Exercises for Emphasizing Brand Value
Efficient branding does more than talk the talk — it also emphasizes the value that a business can provide its customer base. And with these branding exercises, you can help your team understand the problems your target demographic faces, how your organization solves them and the ways in which your business differentiates itself from competitors:
4. Elevator Pitch
Everyone should have an elevator pitch that briefly describes who they are, gets one or two main points across and helps them connect with other professionals. To help your team form a better understanding of your brand’s personality, have them create elevator pitches for your brand.
Pretend there are only five minutes to explain your brand to a potential customer:
- What keywords should you use to describe the company?
- What points do you want to get across?
- How would you form a connection with the person listening?
After creating the pitches, have everyone practice stating it to others in the group.
5. Good Guys vs. Bad Guys
If you’re working with a particularly creative group, then this branding exercise is perfect. Instead of picturing your brand as a business, have your team imagine it as a superhero.
First, create a superhero persona that matches your brand identity. Then determine who the evil villain would be.
Keep in mind that the bad guys aren’t necessarily other businesses or competitors. Rather, the villain is the problem that your brand strives to resolve. And if your brand solves a variety of problems, then you’ll need to create a rogue’s gallery of villains that need defeating.
6. Look Into a Crystal Ball
Keeping on the theme of creativity, use this branding exercise to harness your inner psychic. Have your team imagine they are peering into a crystal ball. Ask them to describe what they would see the company achieving in 5, 10 or 20 years. Not only will this exercise help your team reflect on what your brand currently stands for, but it can also prompt discussions about your brand’s values and mission. As a leader, you can use this feedback to develop a long-term brand strategy.
Branding Exercises for Channeling Your Inner Designer
Branding isn’t just something you convey through messaging and marketing campaigns — it’s also visual. The visual components that make up your brand identity include your:
- Brand colors.
- Fonts and typography.
- Imagery, photographs and videos.
Thus, these exercises can help your team understand the visual elements of your brand and how certain styles send a message to your target audience:
7. Tap Into Color Psychology
Color psychology refers to the idea that different colors impact mood and influence behaviors. For example, the color red is known to increase circulation, while blue is perceived as soothing.
That said, this branding exercise uses color psychology to create a visual identity of your brand. You can use the list of adjectives you created during the “Who Are We?” activity to define the brand personality traits that apply to your organization. From there, your team can create a color palette that represents everything your brand stands for and the responses it seeks to encourage.
8. Play Professional Pictionary
For this exercise, have your team work together to create a logo that they feel encompasses your brand’s mission and values. And if you want to build onto prior exercises, have them incorporate the color palette created during the color psychology exercise.
After the creations are complete, the groups can present their logos. Gather feedback from the crowd, and see if other staff members can describe the brand values presented in the logo designs.
More Inspo for Branding Exercises
The takeaway: Building a stronger brand starts from within, which is where branding exercises come into play. If you need help brainstorming branding activities, our newsletter is an excellent resource. Sign up here to get all of the latest digital marketing tips and tricks sent directly to your inbox.
Editor’s Note: Updated February 2024.