Building Your Brand

Building Your Brand

1/29/2016


In every area of the business world – whether it’s entrepreneurship, finance, or sales – marketing plays an integral part of your business’s performance. Building your personal and professional brand plays into how real entrepreneurs can start, build, and run successful companies in highly competitive global markets. There are many people today who think that personally branding themselves is the way to build a business. To say the personal branding fad has gotten a little out of hand is an understatement. Countless people post online to promote themselves, build their brands, and grow their networks daily.

Put into perspective, marketing through online postings is a lot like throwing a bucket of ice into the ocean – first you see some ripples in the water, and a few minutes later it may even feel cooler. But give it a few seconds and it’s as if nothing ever happened. While there were localized short-term effects, it didn’t effect greater long-term change.

Branding can be described as many things, but it’s best defined as a promise – a promise of the value of the product or service; a promise that the product or service is better than all competing products; a promise that must be delivered to be successful. Branding is the combination of tangible and intangible characteristics that make a brand unique. Branding is developing an image and personality – with results to match.

Good branding is at the heart of any good business, but most of the branding advice you’ll find is about making sure that your brand remains consistent with your marketing efforts, or gets improved if it’s already established. But what happens if your business had never even developed a brand, or if you’re just starting out, trying to build a business from scratch?

That last one – building from scratch – isn’t going to be easy, but it’s definitely possible if you put your mind to it. Laid out below are a few different focus aspects that are key to consider when building your brand from the ground up.

Target Markets

Know who you’re selling to! Identify who your product or service is going to be marketed to – who’s going to be interested? Who does it best serve? Your messaging and imagery should be unique to your target demographic segment. Trying to target everyone at once is an exercise in futility – if you cast a wider net, you’ll lose relevance. Instead, start out with one or two key demographics, and think about who they are, what they need, what they want, how they act, what they like, where you’ll reach them, and how they need to be marketed to.

Competition

Know the company you keep. If your business idea is unique – congratulations! You’ve achieved singularity. If not, then chances are you’ll have to go up against some competitors who may or may not have been parties in the field before you. It’s important that you don’t take any of their qualities and copy them for your brand. Uniqueness is one of the most important aspects of a new business, so instead, look at the motivations behind your choices, and use the qualities that you want your brand to become synonymous with for the next step of your entrepreneurial process.

Personify

Define your brand as a person. Once you’ve collected this information and begun some preliminary brainstorming, you can speed the process along by defining your brand as if it were a person, rather than a logo or a business statement. Using this personification can help make your business more relatable to the general public. It’s the human aspect that engages people, builds loyalty, and keeps interest sustainable.

Advice

Don’t be afraid to solicit the advice of industry professionals and those who know marketing to a fault. I’m all about growing a network and bouncing ideas off of others who have been where you’re going. Their advice and wisdom could be invaluable to you, and can only help your company grow. Once you’ve established your brand’s look and personality, your responsibilities aren’t quite over. You’ll still have to ensure your entire team is on board with the brand and emulating your vision so that it gets translated to your consumers. When your branding is comprehensive, you’ve nailed a key aspect of getting to great success.


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