Building your own brand. What does building a brand entails?
You probably have thought about branding as several things. The popular perception of a brand is the logo, colour and taglines of a product, company or organization.
Branding entails all of that. But those things are not brands. Many things can be branded. From persons, product, services, places, etc.
Before we dive into what a brand is and how to build one.
Let’s look at why you should build a brand.
- Establish your identity. The easiest way to help people understand what you stand for is branding. The market place is saturated and there are more and more ‘markets’, products and innovations that will spring up. Your audience, customers or clients should be able to distinguish and identify with what you are offering. Branding makes this possible.
- Building a brand can pay you so much more than an unbranded product or services can ever pay. Brands allow you to set higher prices for your product and services. Brands are more expensive. People associate higher quality to branded product, hence, they will pay more to buy from a brand.
- Brands help you gain loyal and recurring customers. This increases the value of your brand, which can continue to grow when you continue to make the right investment. Here is a simple illustration. You have probably bought something from a road side hawker before and certainly from a shopping mall as well. But this is what would never happen, going back to the road everytime and be looking for the road side hawker to buy from. You may never even meet him again.
But think about the shopping malls, you will go back over and over to buy from them. They never even come to you, they have established an identity, a perception, some security that you can trust. That’s what branding do. An unbranded product, business or company is just like the road side hawker you know little or nothing about.
- One last reason you need a brand. Humans are very creative beings. And at some point, it becomes very difficult to do just one thing. I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your career. You want to do this and that. You think you are good at one thing, yet you would like to do another. There are just so much you believe you can do. Honestly, you are right. And building a brand is the easiest way to help you effectively diversify into varieties of outlets, successfully take your audience and customers along with you while also expanding your market. I bet you like that.
Now what is a brand?
Some say a brand is the promise and reputation of your business, that’s awesome because certainly, brands make and keep their promises which ultimately build their reputation.
Another popular definition by Marty Neumeier is that “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, a service, a company or organization”. This regards a brand as feelings, emotions, and perceptions people have of you. What and how people feel about you.
Some say a brand is the overall impression you make on your audience.
Others say Brand is influence!
All these are correct, giving you understanding in different dimensions. I will help you put them all together in a way that resonates more personally.
Brand is confidence, certainty, passion, belonging, belief, security, action, unique values and results! Branding is putting all these together, then communicate and deliver them to your audience, helping them (your audience or market) have the best perception of you.
“When people use your brand as a verb, that’s remarkable.” Meg Whitman. E.g Google it!
Your question now should be, how do you go about this? How do you build a brand?
According to my research, the branding process has 5 steps.
- Awareness and
First check, define your brand! What is it about? What is your message? This is the core of any brand. It is the value preposition of your brand and what it has to offer. This is the belief system that governs the entirety of your brand.
One thing is common with many brands, they have a message, evoke desire and ask to be use. Google says find information here, Amazon says buy your books here, Facebook says find and connect with friends here. Nike tells athletes to stay smart and just do it. Alibaba says buy anything here. BeInspired Show says learn and BeInspired here!!!
Defining your brand also helps you understand and establish the personality of your brand. For instance, if your brand was a person, how would you describe it? Reliable, Strong, caring, funny, inspiring, passionate, speedy? Some persons unconsciously build this from their own personality. However, it is much more super effective to define, understand and establish what your brand represents.
Second check, your brand’s position. This is your customer’s perception of your brand. How you position your brand shapes how customers think about and perceive your brand. To position your brand strongly, you must find out and understand who your customers are, what benefits they seek and how your value preposition can help meet their needs. You need a unique strategy and boldness to strongly position yourself and stand out here. Otherwise you could get lost in the crowd, doing what nobody really wants or worse, making the wrong impression of your brand.
Third check, this is the physical expression and identity of your brand. They are the look and aesthetic of your brand. This is where you need a name for your brand, a logo, taglines, mottos, design, colour and every other thing that serves as a symbol and helps you physically express the personality of your brand.
This helps your audience and customers easily recognize your brand and remember the promise it delivers. Sadly, it is what many persons put first, but honestly, it is not what comes first. While your brand’s identity is useful in helping your audience remember your brand, when they do, the feeling, impression, perception and the idea it creates in their mind is most important. These emotions are what help your audience resonate with and stick to your brand. And that’s the core of any brand which your message, values and belief system help you achieve.
Fourth check, Now you know who you are; your message and values. You know your position in the marketplace and have got some form of self-expression. At this point, other people need to know you too. Your brand is certainly not for you. To get this brand in the head and minds of your target audience, you must create massive and strategic awareness. You do this by Constantly communicating your value both internally (i.e. when you have other people working for your brand. They must understand what your brand stands for so they can duly represent it. You do this by training), and externally to your target market. In today’s digital world, content is the king that makes this happen!
To create awareness for your brand and stay visible online, you have got to learn how to develop unique, compelling and engaging content that clearly communicates your brand’s value, message and belief system. Helping your audience resonate with your story, building the right perception of you.
This certainly is my best stage and you may already know why. As an Online Business Consultant and Content Strategist, It is what I help businesses do. Sometimes it’s amazing to truly find out some deep values of my clients. Only then can you truly develop content that duly represents and create the best perception of their brands.
If you don’t continuously and consistently communicate to reinforce your brand’s value in your audience’s mind, your brand loses its value.
The last check in building your brand is measurement. You have got to constantly measure the performance and progress of your brand. This is called your brand equity. To do this, you must develop, promote and deliver an authentic brand promise. Your promise could be a product or services or any other value you like to deliver. This is absolutely important because it is what guarantees the sustainability of your brand.
According to Marty, when you build a brand, you build millions of brand and everyone is going to be a little bit different on what the reputation of your brand is, and that’s okay.
In conclusion, you don’t want to be that street hawker who nobody can identify with, obviously because he has no identity nor any clear values. You want to create for your audience a sense of belonging, help them have unique experiences, evoke desires and connections within them, provide a good measure of security, make and keep a promise, give out great values, guarantee result, build a standard, trusted reputation; Get started on building your own BRAND
Now tell us, what’s your perception of BeInspired Show?
Online Business Consultant
Content Strategist, Author
Missed out on our previous post on how to build a standard LinkedIn profile? Get a quick catch here.