Your Brand Toolbox: Part 1 | Rachel Hahn | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Mission Statement


    • 3.

      Business Idea


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Unique Offer


    • 7.

      Course Project


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Blooper Reel


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About This Class

Understand the tools in your toolbox for building a successful brand.

Do you own a small business? Are you a solo-preneur? Or maybe you're in the dream-phase of starting a business? This course is for you. If you have little or no experience with marketing or branding, this course will empower you with the knowledge and understanding you need to create a successful brand.

Learning about the elements in your brand building toolbox will help you:

  • create consistent and effective communication
  • make good business decisions
  • grow/scale your business successfully

We'll cover the fundamental elements of a brand and why they're important to your business.

This course is hosted by me, Rachel Hahn. Check out my profile page on Skillshare or visit my website to learn more about what I do.

  • This course is for beginners.
  • Total run time: 23 mins
  • 8 chapters +blooper reel (because I like a good laugh)

Want to learn the basics about branding? Check out my course Brand Basics for Business Success.

All brand-building toolbox graphics are created by the magnificent Simon Giddings.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rachel Hahn

Create / Communicate / Brand


I help businesses reach their goals by creating, supporting, and strengthening their brands.

My clients range from solopreneurs to global conglomerates. Whether you're starting with just a twinkle of a business idea or hoping to get your successful company to the next level, I can help by sharing my tips and insider knowledge on branding and communication.

My teaching is:

1. Practical

2. Concise (I get to the point!)

3. Casual and professional

I've earned a reputation for being something of a nerd in most circles I run in. I'm proud of that. So be prepared to hear facts, puns, and communication related trivia tidbits.


Some things I've done with my life so far:

Copywriter for multiple international brands

Brand ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: are you developing your personal brand. Maybe you want to be an influence are in your field or you're an entrepreneur or you have a small business. Maybe you're part of a startup. If you are, then you've come to the right place. Your brand building toolbox shows you five important tools that are essential to creating a solid platform that you can build a successful brand on, and also a platform that helps you easily grow your business. My name is Rachel Han and I have been using this method for many years. I've developed it from my years of experience, working with both multinational corporations and single person startups. Now, if you're new to branding, I highly recommend you take the time to go look at my other skill share course called Brand Basics for business success. In that course, we look at what branding is and why you should care about it. If you feel like you have a grasp on those two things, that's great, and we're ready to go right here in this course. We're going to go over the tools that I've identified in a brand building toolbox, and they are your mission statement your business idea, your audience, your identity and your unique offer. These tools are gonna help you create consistent and effective communication, which is only going to strengthen your brand. They're also going to help guide good business decisions. I just want to note off the top. As I said, this is a method that I've developed through my experience in the industry of branding. There aren't really hard agreed upon terms for everything. So as we look at examples, there may be different words used to describe similar things. And I'll be sure to point that out as we go along so it doesn't get too confusing. If you are ready to build a successful brand and learn about the tools in your brand building toolbox, then let's get started. 2. Mission Statement: Why are you here? No, not you personally. That's perhaps a philosophical question. Better left to another course. I mean, why is your brand here? And the answer to that question is your mission statement. Now a mission statement can't be a rambling, protracted effusion of where you came from and how you got inspired. What drives your passions, the future? You imagine the obstacles you overcame your favorite color and what you had for breakfast that doesn't work is not easy to share. It's not easy to understand, and it definitely doesn't help guide your business decisions. It is worth taking. The time and the effort toe have a concise and clear mission statement. Now I realize being concise takes a lot of effort. Pop Quiz. Who famously said, I wanted to write you a short letter, but I didn't have time. So I wrote you a long one answer. Up until recently, I would have said Mark Twain, but I have discovered that is not true. This statement has been erroneously attributed to several people over time, and there is more on that in the notes to the course if you're interested. But for our purposes, we're just going to focus on the sentiment, and that is that It takes a lot of effort to say something clearly and shortly, as opposed to just rambling on and on and on and on and on and on and on. But your mission statement is the pillar of your brand, and so it is worth you taking the time to invest in figuring out what that is. Now, in this course, I'm focusing on what the tools are in your toolbox. But in another course, the part two, I'm gonna talk to you about techniques for actually making your own tools. So making your own mission statement so you can look forward to that. For now, we're going to focus on the what of the mission statement. Still, And with that, I'd like to look at an example. I have worked with Kia for many years and their branding, and I think that their mission statement might surprise you. What do you think the mission statement for a Kia is? Well, it has nothing to do with furniture. The mission statement is to create a better everyday life for the many people. There's no mention of furniture in that mission. statement. But if you look at how I Kia conducts its business, you could argue that it really is living up to that mission statement I can is arguably one of the most influential global companies in terms of sustainability. For instance, it's invested in renewable energy and in resource management and even social entrepreneurship and all of those things, yes, cynically are good for the bottom line but also live up to the idea of creating a better world for people to live in. Let's look at another example. This is the mission statement from a digital agency called us to, but they call this their purpose. They say our purpose is to unleash collective genius again. This is not about their services. This is not about what they actually make is about the impact they wanna have on the world . Now that we've looked at a couple of examples and talked about what a mission statement is , we're ready to go on and look at the mission statements. Very important partner. The business idea 3. Business Idea: your business idea is how you're gonna achieve your mission statement. If your mission statement is the what your brand does, then your business idea is the how I sometimes refer to the business idea as the by statement, because you should be able to connect it with your mission statement with the tiny but important little word by again. Being concise is really important with your business idea. It shouldn't go into details about product specifications or supply channels or anything like that. It should be umbrella concept that actually informs and helps you make decisions about your supply channels and your product specifications, etcetera. Now let's look at Nicaea as an example again, we know their mission statement is to create a better everyday life for the many people. What's their business idea? To offer a wide range of well designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them? That sounds a little more like it right. There is mention of furniture in there, and you can see how it's connected to the mission. If you want to give as many people as possible, a better everyday life. Then you should make a product that as many people as possible can actually afford tohave and these two pieces of their brand past the by test, you can connect the mission statement to the business idea with the word by. Let's look at another example will return to us to as well. We saw what their mission statement is, and now we can look at their business idea now. As I mentioned in the intro, There are differences in terminology sometimes and hear us to is actually confusingly for our purposes, calling this their mission. But let's have a look. We're on a mission toe lunch products, services and companies that have a meaningful impact on the world, even though they do use different terminology here. This statement passes the by test in combination with their mission statement. Let's have a look. You can clearly see how these two statements work together and how they can steer the business decisions that are going to make sure that the company stays on brand with everything it does. The business idea is how you achieve your mission statement. Now that we understand those two essential pieces to your brand building toolbox, let's move on to the very important element of your audience 4. Audience: who is your business for? The temptation can sometimes be to say that your product or service is is for everyone. But that's actually rarely the case, and it's also not a really good strategy. If you want to create strong communication. And if you want to make real connections with your audience, the more specific you can be with who your target audience is, the more empowered you are to make strong and clear communication and to make those bonds with your potential consumers. Let's take this course. For example, I have created a Brandon course that is geared towards small business owners with little knowledge about marketing. If I were to make a general marketing course where I tried to appeal to all sorts of people , maybe people who don't even have businesses or maybe branding professionals, the branding professionals would probably tune out because things would be too simplified and the novices would to note, because things might be too complicated. No one would feel like the course was for them, and I would be diluting my message and losing potential audience members. Hopefully, I haven't lost you yet. Anyways, I'd like us to actually look at a graphic that represents audience structures to help us understand them a little bit more. Here you have a target audience. Now everyone in your target audience has connections to other communities, their families, their co workers, their friends, social groups or social media groups or clubs they're a part of, and those people in those communities become the shared audience. The target audience has conversations with them, and they share with them on social media, and then a secondary audience is formed. The peripheral audience is one step beyond that. It could be people who are reached by social media shares or conversations from the shared audience. But it can also be people who sort of accidentally come across the brand, either through an Internet search or passing by and advertisements or something like that. No, you want to create communication that caters to your target audience because they're your most important consumers, and you can trust that your brand will have that ripple out effect into other audiences. It's true that the peripheral audience may not be strongly connected to your brand, but if you are not specific about who your target audiences, who you're trying to have conversations with. Then everyone becomes your peripheral audience because you're not directly communicating with anybody to look back to being specific about your target audience and how it can help you decide what to communicate, where and when. Let's think of an example. If you ever were home sick from school, then you have the delight of watching daytime television, and you might have noticed that there were commercials you'd never seen before. There they were, perhaps, for pensions or for retirement savings or for specific medications geared towards the elderly. Well, that's because those advertisers know that senior citizens are their target audience. And when our senior citizens watching TV, it's in the daytime. So that's a really life example where you can see what a target audience can do to help a business make decisions about how they communicate, where and when. Now that we understand the importance of defining your audience, let's talk about how we want them to perceive your brand. The identity of your brand 5. Identity: Who are you? I'm being silly. Who are you? What is your brands? Identity. Sometimes this is called the brands tone of voice, but I find that that term is often misinterpreted. So people think that we're only talking about the way that you speak or write or what a brand says. But really, what it refers to is the holistic identity of a brand. Now, when you're setting an identity, it's really important to understand who your target audiences, which is why this tool comes after we define our audience. Think about it this way. Say you're marketing a new heart valve to the medical community. You're going to speak about that a little bit differently than you would if you were, say, selling beer right? So I usually recommend that foreign identity. You make a statement about the way the brand speaks or is perceived. So, for instance, we speak with a friendly and casual tone from one friend to another, or we speak with authority and confidence, always gently guiding our customer. You can also add some keywords onto that. So, for instance, trustworthy, knowledgeable, assertive or playful kind. In addition to this tone of voice statement, I think it's always a good idea. Also have a graphic identity to find. Now, this doesn't have to be extensive. You can think about what typeface you use. You can think about the kind of images you like to use. Maybe you always use hand drawings or black and white photography. If you set down these simple rules from the beginning, then it's gonna help you when you go ahead and need to create an invoice or a website or an advertisement of some kind. And not only will it help you because you've already made these decisions about how you should look. But it's also going to make sure that you're consistent with your invoice and your website and your advertisement so that your brand looks the same in all of the different touchpoints that it has. Now. I'm gonna make a part two for this course, where I go into techniques and methods for actually creating your own identity for your brand and the other tools in this toolbox. But for now we have an understanding of what a brand identity is, and we're ready to move on to the next chapter. 6. Unique Offer: we've come to our final tool defining your unique offer. Now, what do you give to the market that's unique? Why would consumers choose you over another brand? This is a bit about positioning in terms of your competitors and the market that you're in . So let's say, for instance, you're going into a saturated market, the fashion industry, the clothing industry. What is it that would make you stand out as different in that industry? That's your unique offer. Now. Sometimes you're unique. Offer can be something as simple as your identity. Think about a bank, and their identity is that they're young and funny and not serious at all. Now. I wouldn't recommend that because I don't think people would trust you with their money. But it would be your unique offer in the industry. Let's look at an example to help us understand this a little bit more. Tom's makes comfortable shoes. They also have a certain style aesthetic that appeal to a lot of people. But they're unique. Offer is that you get to feel really good about buying their shoes because every time you buy a pair of Tom's, they donate a pair of shoes to someone less fortunate. So their unique offers that you get to become an activist, you get to make a positive impact on the world and bonus. You get a cool pair of shoes to wear to. Let's look at another example, someone in a saturated market. A literal market. There is a man who became very well known for the way he was selling his fish. Just got these. Have a phone. Arguably, there's nothing really unique about the product. This man is selling its at a good price, but there are probably other fish stalls that have good prices. The unique offer is the experience of his identity and going to that specific location for those fish. So don't let this stress you out. If you're entering a saturated market, it could very well be that your unique offer is your identity. And if you're working with personal branding, your unique offer is your identity. It's that there's no one else on the planet whose quite like you, we've now gone over all of the tools in your brand building toolbox. So it's time to reflect on what we've learned 7. Course Project: for this course, the assignment is going to be to reflect on the tools that we've learned about that exist in our brand building toolbox. And to think about just one pick, the one that most surprised you or intrigued you in some way. And answer this question. How does this brand building tool affect the success of a business? Now your answer can be short. It could be one word if you want. Just keeping in mind that we know it's harder to be concise than it is to ramble on. But you're welcome to write a few sentences, a few paragraphs, whatever you feel compelled to do. Go ahead and add your answer to our gallery, our project gallery and the more of you that do that, the more we're all going toe learn. I'm really looking forward to your ideas on these brand building tools, and I hope that we have some discussions around them. So please visit the project gallery. You'll have the project listed there as well. The question will be posted for you to go over, and if you want to start a discussion, you can also do that. They're or on the discussion board 8. Wrap-up: there you have it. Your brand building toolbox, your mission statement, business idea, audience identity and unique offer. Now where do you keep your toolbox? You can write it down on a napkin or some documents in a folder on your computer. There's only one place I recommend. You don't keep it. That's up here. It's not very easy to share something that's just in your head and is not very reliable either. Would do large corporations do well? They usually have something called a brand book, and it is a collection of these different elements and sometimes other things, too, like the history of the company or perhaps product design, etcetera. You can go online and look for these brand books. They're generally considered internal or confidential documents, but they are sometimes publicly available. So go ahead and see if you can find a brand book for a company that you like. How do you put together a brand book of your own? I realize it's a step from understanding what the elements of a brand Boucar to actually making them yourself. So that's why I'm going to be making a part two for this course and in part two will go through each of the tools, and I'll give you techniques and exercises for actually making your own for your own brand . So please keep your eyes open for that upcoming course. If you're looking for some more personalized support, I am available for brand consulting. So go ahead and check out my skill share profile and see how you can get in touch. Don't forget, you can always brush up on your brand basics with my other course here on skill share brand basics for business success. And please don't hesitate to reach out, upload a project to the project gallery or start a discussion on the discussion board. I really do enjoy talking branding with you all thank you again for your attention and until next time, happy branding. 9. Blooper Reel: in my recording. Yeah, Okay. And there you have it. Your brand building toolbox. Your mission statement. Business idea. What's the other one? That I do crack? Yeah. We do it again. If you're entering. If you're important. Captor. Mission statement. That's fine. That's going to do. And I'll give you exercises. Exercises? I was not recording. Okay, that's great. One more time. Check. 12 check. 12 Did I press record? Yes. Why are you here? So again, we're looking at specificity. Specificity, specificity. I am going to rewrite it, so I don't say that. But I generally generally almost something in their works.