I’ve found that so many people are confused when they hear this word. Do you struggle to understand what a brand is and how to create one? One of my favorite quotes is from Amazon.com’s CEO: “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos
YES! Branding is so much more than what you see; it’s the experience someone has with you or your business. It’s the logo and colors you use, the tone of your marketing communications, your personality, and the feeling someone gets when they interact with you. If you want people to recognize you in the crowded marketplace and relate to your biz, you’ve got to own the narrative and create an image in someone’s mind that they relate exclusively to you. Your brand is one of the most valuable assets you own. So you’ve got to be deliberate about building it. Don’t know where to begin? Here are 6 Brand Building steps to help you get started — or use them for a refresh if your brand feels tired! STEP 1 | DESCRIBE YOUR PURPOSE
This is much like a mission statement that defines the purpose of your business. Be sure you can fill in these blanks with a meaningful product or service that they will want to buy. It should sound something like this: I help (THIS PERSON) solve (THIS PROBLEM) so that (THIS REASON). As an example, for REL Impact, this is it: I help solopreneurs + entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses so that they can realize their purpose, share their talents with the world, and leverage their income. If this doesn’t come to you quickly, writing a list of keywords is always an easy way to get started. And then translate that list into a clear and concise statement that captures the essence of who you are and what you offer. STEP 2 | DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Who is your ideal audience? What do they need and what can you provide that will help them? Whether they’re a chef, a health coach, an artist, a healer, or a (fill in the blank), you’ll want to get clear about WHO they are so you can start to tailor your brand identity to THEM. STEP 3 | DEVELOP YOUR BRAND VOICE
Here’s your opportunity to think about the words and tone you’ll use in your business communications. This is your personality shining through! Consider what voice would most appeal to your target audience. Is it professional, whimsical, funny, or casual? STEP 4 | CREATE A MOOD BOARD
For those of you who are oh-so-visual, here’s your chance to bring your brand image to light! Create a mood board of colors, fonts, and imagery that inspire you and would appeal to your target audience. (Get the theme here? IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM!) I always recommend using a professional graphic designer, when your budget allows, because they know how to combine your mission, voice, and visual inspiration (aka the mood board) into a unique mark that your customers will relate to. The resulting logo and brand identity is the tangible element that will bring you brand recognition across every platform you use. STEP 5 | CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Create a community – online and offline – as a way to connect with those who need your product or service. This is your opportunity to build a following and a list of potential customers, to establish your expertise, and to make your brand (the tangibles + intangibles) a “destination” where people want to hang out. STEP 6 | DEVELOP YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
Create a marketing plan that makes you visible E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Think about your strategy, look at the competition, figure out where your people convene and how you’re going to reach them.
- in-person networking/word of mouth?
- social media?
- paid placements?
- content marketing and SEO?
- text messaging?
Building your brand is a vital process that will enable your business to grow and become known. When you spend time on the strategy side of these 6 steps, you are taking a leap towards transforming your business from a start-up project to an established, profitable business. So, Impactors – let’s get to it! [download worksheet]