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Branding Exercise: Top Words That Describe Your Identity

Branding Exercise: Top Words that Describe Your Identity


Purpose

This exercise helps to define the company brand more clearly by using associations. It can be used for marketing and sales, but is also useful for management and staff. The exercise is a good opportunity to illustrate what the company is and is not and which values are more important than others.

This exercise is most ideal for delegates from the same organisation.

Objective

Pick a series of keyword associations for the company brand and then make a mission statement out of them.

What You Need

  • A stack of blank cards.
  • Papers.

Setup

  • Divide the delegates to groups of 3 or 4.
  • Make the stack of blank cards available to all groups.

Phase 1:

  • Ask each group to consider the company brand, the culture and what the company wants to achieve.
  • Ask each group to come up with 20 words that best describe their company. These are effectively a number of associations for the company brand. These words can be anything they like. They can be factual, emotional or even symbolic. Examples are:
    • Adventurous
    • Efficient
    • Lion
    • Cute
    • Big
    • Fun
    • Red
    • Horizontal
  • Ask each group to brainstorm the choice of these words and then pick 20 of them. They should write one word on each card.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • Now ask all groups to lay out the cards in front of them so they can all be seen.
  • Ask all groups to go around and observe and read other groups’ words.

Phase 2:

  • If there are words that are common between groups, put them aside into a separate stack. Use one representative word. Duplicates are no longer needed.
  • Explain that in phase 2, their task is to pick the best 20 words from all words suggested by all groups.
  • Everyone will work together for this part.
  • The common cards will be automatically part of the final set.
  • Ask delegates to vote for the remaining cards to bring the total count of the final set to 20.
  • They can use any voting system and discuss their choices to select the final set.
  • Allocate 15 minutes for this part.
  • Once the final set is identified, remove all other cards so everyone can now focus on the final 20 words placed on the table.

Phase 3:

  • Ask delegates to go back to their original groups.
  • Each group should now consider the final set and create a mission statement or a slogan that captures the essence of these 20 words.
  • Allocate 15 minutes for this part.
  • Bring everyone back together and ask groups to present their statements to other groups one at a time and receive feedback.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 10 min choosing words in groups + 15 min for final set of words + 15 min mission statements + 10 min presentations = 50 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

What do you think of the final set of 20 words? How best do they describe your company? What do you think of the mission statement/slogan? How different or similar was your set of words to those of other groups? What does this suggest? How do you feel about your company having gone through this exercise? How do you plan to share the final set of words with your colleagues not present in the exercise? Can you think of any creative ways to do this?