Break it into two categories initially, 1) What you are offering tangibly to the person receiving the brand? For example, If it's a cup of coffee then be clear - this liquid is coffee. 2) If it is an implied need or promise - then share the effect the brand will have on their lives. For example, coffee will bring enjoyment, energy, boost in their day.
The tangible forms of brands are often the easiest to describe and the most overlooked by the brand creators. Unfortunately, as the common phrase "Can't see the forest for the trees" implies - many people do just the opposite and do not spend enough time focusing on the trees. I've seen far too many times where people get ahead of themselves and disregard the importance the messaging on their brand right from inception so they land somewhere in confusion later trying to figure out how do they start over, untangle or worse yet - bail. Imagine watching the cartoon above play out in front of you. As an observer it wouldn't take you long to figure out that this stately dude needed to ask for the crown not a hat. When looking at the messaging of your brand - take time to see it as your customer would. That like in the case of the cartoon above - might shed the easiest first step to your big revelation.
Let's look at another example from the brand channel folks:
"The story of a small business of California marvelously illustrates this situation. Until 1991, the airport of San Diego, California, was served by Supershuttle, the franchise of a largely undifferentiated shuttle operator. Its brand experience was no more than four wheels under a van, lacking any emotional appeal. As a result, even former customers arriving at the airport were about as likely to call a competitor, such as Sureride. That was good for the competition, but not for Supershuttle.
Loaded with debt, the operator filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, restructured its balance sheet, left the franchise network and changed its name. Since its phone number was 1-800-9-Shuttle and San Diegans live in a corner of paradise, the name Cloud-9-Shuttle came to mind. (To be on "cloud nine" means to be in paradise.)
At first, the new name seemed crazy and unbusinesslike, but it was clearly differentiated and San Diegans came to love it. Bearing its new identity, Cloud-9-Shuttle flew out of the rubble to quickly grab a 75 percent share of the local shuttle market."
So if your building a brand, analyzing what you already have in hand or demolition looking for a makeover - consider starting with one basic step. "What is it?" Start by being as few words as possible to describe your brand tangibly. If you can't - then maybe you have not landed on the right messaging to talk about it anywhere. Once you have the right words as you read in the example above about the Shuttle service in San Diego, it can make the shift in a brand to turn everything around.