You have a brand, even if you don’t think you do.
Brand is what other people think, say, feel and remember about your business. It’s what they think you’re all about (even if you’re not). It’s the stuff they say to other people that you don’t know about (unless someone tells you later), the feelings that come up for them when your business is mentioned or when your post pops up on their social media feed. It’s what they remember about you a week later. It’s your reputation.
So what is Branding?
Branding is the actions that you take to brand your business. To affect how your business is thought about, spoken about, felt about and remembered by other people. To gain as much purposeful control over each moment as you can.
Typically, when people consider branding they tend to think first of all about the visuals – and certainly this is where a great deal of my time is focussed with my clients – but that is just one aspect of branding. There’s a lot to be considered both before and after this in order to create a stand out brand. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous how your brand looks on the surface … those colours and patterns, the bespoke photography, the clever copy, the snazzy systems.. and the beautiful logo.. if there’s no substance once you reach beyond that then creating a visual style was pointless. You need to work on the substance first.
When you’re working on your brand, you need to begin at the very beginning otherwise you’re wasting your time and will need to go back there later. The first step is to work out what your brand is all about. What is that you think people will think, feel, say and remember? What are you hoping they’ll be left with ? What do you want their first impression to be? What do you believe in that you want to convey to your audience?
Most importantly – be real. There’s no point in pretending to be something you’re not. You’ll just get found out. Decide to be, then stand for – what you ARE.
This means working out what’s already important – what really matters – and then doing THAT with intention.
Your brand starts with your values, your personality, your vision, your mission, your ideal clients .. all YOUR ideas. So stop and take note of these, figure out what matters and what you’d really like your business to be like – and then you’ll be fuelled with information to help you create, tweak, build or grow your brand.
Branding is about taking the foundation pieces and incorporating them into everything that you do. Both the visuals and the way you DO everything. Each touchpoint should convey something about your brand to help create a picture to those around you of what you stand for – which will help to attract your ideal client.
At the beginning I said you have a brand, even if you don’t think you do – imagine how much more powerful your brand would be if you crafted it, with purpose, so that the things people think, say, feel and remember about your business are the right things?