Blacksheep Strategy, a business and branding consulting group, has some ideas for ways pork producers can identify and maintain a product or business brand.

While you may think this applies only to products in a meat case, think more broadly. This exercise can apply to many aspects of your business.

The first exercise involves creating a positioning statement. Make three columns on a piece of paper with the headlines Target Audience, Category and Point of Difference. Follow these guidelines:

1. Target audience

- Who are you trying to appeal to?

- Identify customers by common need or concern.

2. Category

- What business are you in?

- Who are you competing with?

3. Point of difference

- Identify specific benefits that you want associated with your brand.

- What unique qualities, attributes, services are you able to provide?

The second exercise involves identifying brand attributes. Again, make three columns; label them as shown below. Then answer the following questions:

1. Currently known for

What are the main attributes that people currently associate with your brand (business)?

2. Want to be known for

What are the attributes that you want people to associate with your brand in the future?

3. Don’t want to be known for

What potentially negative attributes do you need to shed or avoid?