Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Branding is about definition. It’s crystallizing, in words, exactly who you are and what you believe in. Branding is also about using that simple definition to inform everything you do – from your color palette to the content you create.

Every branding process begins by asking questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be in the future? What is our driving purpose as a business? What makes us unique? Who is our target customer? In a typical branding process, you use the answers to these questions to shape your brand positioning and messaging.

But there’s a single question that nobody asks. It’s one that unlocks immense value not just for your brand, but also for the entirety of your business.

You need to be asking:

Why aren’t we winning business?

As much as branding is about defining who you are, it’s also about overcoming barriers.

An example outside the financial industry: Early in my marketing career, a client I worked with was one of the world’s most popular furniture brands (bonus points if you can guess who they are). This company was renowned for having incredibly low prices. The problem? Everyone thought their low prices meant they had low-quality products. This became known as the brand’s “quality barrier.” Because we knew this barrier existed, we spent time in our marketing “chipping away” at the low-quality perception through a collection of messages and stories that showcased the quality promise behind their products.