Jul 17, 2020

Three Questions Every Brand Should Ask Itself

A brand’s messaging shows up in many different places. You’ll see it on its company website, its social media channels, its print ads, its television commercials. It’s communicated with words, with colors, with fonts, with images. Messaging conveys a brand's positioning, but also aids in pivoting a brand’s positioning based on potential new business goals, campaign initiatives, and current events.

Here at HZ, part of our job is to help companies figure out the story they are trying to tell, not only about their products or services—but about who they are as a company. Before crafting any kind of messaging, it’s worth asking three questions:

What do you stand for?

Before you can tell others what you believe, you need to get on the same page about what that is. Start with a clear idea of your company’s shared values and responsibilities. The clothing company Patagonia offers a clear, straightforward guiding principle: “We’re in business to save our home planet.”


Who is your audience?

Find out who you are talking to. This isn’t always who you want to be talking to. Analytics is a great place to start to unpack these audience characteristics. Then decide if you want to either adapt your messaging to fit who you are actually talking to, or if you want to take steps to reach a different audience. For example, Unilever’s Dove brand launched its “Dove Real Beauty Pledge” to represent a broad range of women who may purchase their products.


What are the limits of your relationship with your audience?

Not every brand can stand for everything in a meaningful way. But successful brands and audiences need to align on what they stand for. Certain topics—COVID-19, racism, and sustainability, to name a few—touch enough lives that all brands, in all industries, should be prepared to answer for their stance on these areas. Following recent Black Lives Matter protests, Nike released its “Don’t Do It” campaign, altering the company’s signature “Just Do It” slogan to advocate for anti-racism.


Wherever your company is in the process of developing messaging, we can help you refine these ideas. Our brand strategy, content strategy, creative development, and analytics teams are ready to help you solidify who you are and how you talk about yourself. Drop us an email at and we’ll help you get there.