You may have a very clear idea of what you do, and why it matters. However, if you can’t communicate that to anyone else, all of your marketing efforts will fail.

We’ve noticed that it can be difficult for small businesses to define their brand. This is especially the case when you have several team members with different ideas. Whether you’re working on a slogan for advertising purposes, building out your content on social media, or writing a mission statement, this exercise can help you to narrow down your ideas and better define your brand.

1: Gather Your Representatives

In order to get the best results out of this exercise, we recommend gathering together several key members of your business – leaders, salesmen, and decision makers; people who daily have to consider how to communicate their business and its values. If you have a small company, you might find it useful to have the entire team working together on this exercise.

2: Submit Ideas

Gather together with a couple pads of Post-It notes. Give 5 notes to each person in the meeting, and ask them to write down what makes the company special, with just one or two words on each post-it. For example, one person might write “innovative” “reliable” “influencer” “contacts & access,” and “value for money” on their 5 Post-its.

Invite everyone there to put their Post-It notes up on display at the front of the room, often on a whiteboard at the front of the room, or on the walls around you. As a group, run through each note. At the end of the read-through, ask if anyone else has something that they feel needs to be included.

3: Winnow Down Submissions

Once you have a wordcloud of everyone’s thoughts, start grouping things together. Put notes with the same words, or a similar idea, on top of each other. For ideas that are close but not close enough to replace each other, group them together so that you can decide how the uniting concept can be best expressed. As a group, gradually winnow down the less-important elements until you have just 3 or 4 words/statements left, with all the other ones fitting under the umbrella terms. You might need to create a new word or phrase in order to unite disparate ideas.

Different companies will have different goals for this exercise. But whatever your endgame, this will help you to unite and define your values. Keep the raw material on hand to be used for later content and brainstorming.