The Fastest Branding Exercise in the World

Find Your Purpose and Focus in Under an Hour

Steven Gambardella


Fast Branding Exercise
The Fastest Branding Exercise in the World (Author)

Branding is everything when it comes to success. We commonly think of branding as the most superficial parts of your business — the design of your logo, the colours and typefaces of your “house style”, maybe you come up with a snappy tag line.

But successful branding cuts far deeper than that. Branding should emanate from the very core of what you do, no matter what you do. It’s what distinguishes your business and communicates value to your customers.

Good branding can align every aspect of your business with your ethos and values, bringing with it focus and energy. It smooths operations, motivates employees, and turns customers into vocal fans at no additional cost. Branding adds one and one to get three. In short, it’s pure alchemy.

The following exercise is the fastest branding exercise in the world. It’ll very quickly help you discover your brand — the good, the bad and the ugly — to improve every aspect of your business or non-profit.

It’s built to easily scale — suitable for corporations, charities, small businesses or freelancers. In fact, you can even use it as a personal branding exercise — it’s a great place to start when you re-enter the job market or pivot to a new industry.

To get started, all you’ll need is a board and some post-it notes. Draw a vertical line on a board and at the top write “most distinctive” and at the bottom write “least distinctive”. Now think about the main aspects of your business — what are the most and least distinctive in relation to the competitive field?

Using Post-it notes, write down all the aspects of your business on a scale from most distinctive at the top, to least distinctive at the bottom.

Let’s explore some examples as we do this. For Ikea, I would say that what makes the company most distinctive is its value for money. Ikea is well-known for its obsession in giving customers value, it is simply cheaper than any other mainstream homewares store.

It’s also Swedish, and wears its swedishness on its sleeve, which makes it somewhat distinctive. It operates through huge warehouse stores, and it’s principally a home furnishings…



Steven Gambardella

History PhD. The lessons of history and philosophy for your life and work. Writes The Sophist: