‘The Secret Sauce' — 5 Ways to Build a Professional Brand That Stands Out (From Scratch)

woman typing on computer

Canva / Fairygodboss Staff

Profile Picture
Amy Hanlon
April 21, 2024 at 1:27AM UTC

Companies are just like people — they have characteristics and personalities that make them who they are. Knowing, understanding, and being able to articulate these elements is the secret sauce most companies lack. Defining these basics will make your professional brand stand out.

Brand Positioning

So where do you start in determining or evaluating who your brand is? Start with your brand’s positioning and ask the basic questions about your company: Who are you? Why do you matter? What is your differentiator? What are you solving? 

Your positioning pinpoints your role in attainable spaces while building a foundation around your competitive advantages. Get to Aha! by Andy Cunningham is an excellent source that has actionable step-by-step instructions on this very subject matter. She covers this topic in great detail and you’ll walk away with a very clear understanding of who your company/brand is.

Target Audience

Next, evaluate who your audience is. There are so many different names for this — some call it your target audience/demographic, ideal customer or a high-expectation customer (HXC). Regardless of the title, it’s essentially the customer your brand will service. A great place to start is to develop your target audience’s persona. Here’s a free exercise to get you started. Based on the personas (and you should have more than one), you can generate their likes, dislikes, hone in on their psychology and more which will all play into other elements of your brand. 

Now, combine everything you’ve just discovered.

Brand Characteristics

You’ve now cleared the clutter, have the basics, understand what your core positioning is and know who your target audience is (with personas to reference back to). Now, it’s time to build on your brand by describing its characteristics. These should represent who your company is if it were a person. And, just like a human, these characteristics will attract your target audience.

Written Communication

Now, how do those personality traits play into your brand messaging? What does your brand sound like when it’s speaking to your target persona? Your brand’s tone should mimic your selected traits in written communication that is focused on your target audience. 

Visual Communication

Finally, let’s take everything that we’ve developed and implement it into your visual communications. These elements should have a clear connection to your target audience, your brand’s persona and its messaging. These elements will visually tell a story that supports your written communication. 

All of these elements: brand positioning, characteristics, and your written and visual communications create synergy for your business. They all work together to reach and bring in your target audience which equates to sales. Truly understanding and having this basic amount of information will help elevate your brand over the noise of the online space and your competitors. It’s a simple road map that your brand can follow as it grows.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for making your professional brand stand out? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always