// Guest post by contributor Elle Lynn
When I say ‘Branding’, you say: your logo, your business name, your packaging, your super-cute website, or maybe even the fact that you use hand-drawn fonts in everything … Am I Right????
Creating a brand is so much more than just a pretty design put together by one of those ‘designer-types’.
So, what is a brand then?
In his award-winning book ‘Brand: It ain’t the logo’, Ted Matthews breaks it down for us.
“A Brand is the sum total impression and memory of every remarkable, every so-so and every negative experience with any and all touchpoints of an organisation.”
Your brand is the experiences that people have with your business, it’s the culture you’re creating and it’s the stories people tell about you’re brand.
Building your brand:
Know who you’re talking to
Maybe we’re still a little scarred from our school-days when we were the last kid picked for the soccer match, but it seems we feel it necessary to be liked by everyone, and please everyone.
Aristotle said it pretty clearly: “A friend to all, is a friend to none.” This couldn’t be more applicable than when building your brand.
If you’re not clear on who you’re trying to connect with, and what problem you’re solving for them, you’re brand becomes diluted and as a result, people aren’t sure what solutions your brand offers them.
So how do you get to know who you’re talking to? Ask!
If you’re already in business, ask your existing client base for feedback on your products and services. If you’re just starting out, focus on first understanding your ideal clients fears, dreams, wants and frustrations. Join Facebook groups and forums where they hang out, get to know who they aspire to, understand their biggest struggles and connect with the brands they are connecting with.
Understanding who you’re talking to allows you to own your unique position, rather than trying to spread yourself (and your message) thinly.
Know what you are really selling
What you’re selling, is not actually what you’re selling.
Take Apple for example, what they’re selling is computers and tech gear, right? WRONG. Apple are selling style, innovation and next-level thinking enabling them to sell new-and-improved versions of practically the same product (here’s looking at you iPhone!). They know what their customers crave and understand they respect these core values of their business.
If you’re trying to get your latest premium-service off the ground, you might think you’re selling a 12-week coaching program to learn healthy-eating habits, but what you’re really selling is the permission for your customers to look after themselves; your selling self-care. So ask yourself this “what are my potential customers really craving from my products?”
Be consistent in everything
Yes, consistency in the look of your brand, i.e. all the pretty stuff, is key to having your audience immediately recognize your business. But it’s not just the visual stuff that needs to be consistent.
One of my all-time-favourite brands is the stunning jewellery company Samantha Wills. This brand has been able to develop its business across multiple industries and continents, because it is consistent in everything it does. The signature style of Samantha Wills has been transferred from bohemian-style jewellery to bridal pieces, from sunglasses to tech accessories, and even champagne!
Because Samantha Wills know whom they’re talking to and what they’re really selling (that is: style, beauty, exclusivity and luxury), they have been able to take their brand and apply it to entirely new ranges of product lines contributing to the expansion and success of their brand.
However, consistency doesn’t mean boring. Consistency means applying the core values of your brand to every touch point of your business, every new offer and every message on social media. Think about the words you use in your website, your promotional material and your social media messaging.
Here are some things to think about when it comes to consistency:
- Is the tone of voice consistent?
- Do you utilise the same word for your product/service every time?
- Does your imagery reflect your branding and evoke the feelings that resonate with your tribe?
Creating an experience worth sharing is key to building your brand; after all, the brand is really what others are thinking and saying about your business.
The first step in becoming a remarkable brand is to consider how your customers and clients want to feel. If you’re selling coaching packages, your clients probably want to feel supported and liberated. If you’re selling organic skincare, your customers probably want to feel sexy, special and ‘worth’ that self-care ritual.
Once you understand how your clients want to feel, consider how you can go the extra mile; how can you WOW them?
The aim here, is to create a unique offering to your audience that delivers a service or product experience so fantastic, they can’t help telling others about it.
In an age of over-active advertising and the depersonalisation of business, social proof such as this is your biggest ally when it comes to building and marketing your brand.
Whilst your gorgeous logo, kick-ass instagram and premium website are important aspects to help market your brand and connect with your tribe, these aren’t your brand. Just like the clothes in your closet aren’t you, they’re merely a reflection of your unique composition, your brand is all those special ingredients that make your business exceptional – not you’re logo.
Elle’s article has really hit the spot. A logo is not a brand – it’s so much more than that. Building a brand takes some strategic planning. I have only four spots remaining for four excellent women as part of my Trailblazer: In Demand program. If you are a consultant, freelancer or coach – and struggling to create a consistent brand (that brings in consistent income), register your interest here >>