I’d like to write a bit about a topic I feel is crucial in the marketing of any business and one that is cause for much confusion. I want to talk about your branding. I meet many people in the course of my work and I often hear the words “I already did my branding” or “I am working on my branding”. When I ask what they do to work on their branding I almost always hear “I have an awesome designer doing my logo and website”. That’s where I want you to stop and consider this: Your brand is more than how you look. It is who you are and what you stand for. A Logo is just one aspect of your brand. It is the visual representation of your values, your advantage, of YOU.
When you think of a brand you need to think beyond your visuals. You have to start with the substance and think ahead. Today, you embark on a journey, you start a business. But if you don’t already think “big” about becoming a brand, you won’t get far.
So what is the correct process of branding then?
1. Ask the right questions
Why are you setting out on this journey? Who are you going to do it for? What will you do for your clients? What is the novelty/difference/added value you bring to the business?
2. Think ahead and think big
Where do you see yourself and your business in 1 year? In 3 years? In 5 years? Consider that rebranding is not an easy and not a cheap process. Your brand will take time to build and gain awareness. It therefore has to represent you and your business for as long as possible. Brand your business as your future vision!
3. Think personal
You are the brand. You are the spirit and brains behind it, and even if you are starting a multi-billion dollar corporation, it still starts with one person or a few passionate people. So, what are the values you hold personally? What is most important to you? Those values are what guides you in your life and make no mistake, they will (and should) also guide you in your business conduct.
This is the stage in which you can start thinking about how you want to come across, research competitors, see what they do (and not just how they look) and plan your message to the world. Every aspect of your branding – your logo, your website, your business card, your content, your social media and anything else really, must fall in line with the plan.
The result of a correct branding process should be an identity and a personality of the business you are building.
This is why a true and correct branding process begins with strategy and cannot be performed by one person. It cannot be performed by a graphic designer, as good as he or she may be, because they only see part of the picture. It cannot be performed by a business developer only, because they too see only a part of the picture.
True branding is a process and journey of discovery and it has to be performed by you, together with a team of experts who can, together, create the complete circle for you.
Ask me more about branding and how the complete Engagement Strategy process can benefit you.