Yesterday a lovely lady asked me what her brand was.
There isn’t a one word over-arching answer for her brand that I could give in a moment. All I could say was that it’s what other people think, feel, say and remember about her business.
Knowing what your brand is takes time.
I can say that one brand I’m working with right now is about giving parents knowledge to support their ADHD or Autistic child in a calm and positive way.
I can say that another is about helping stressed out mums live their best and healthiest lives.
Another is about helping people to express themselves.
My brand is about your journey to brand bravery.
All of these have been through a process to reach an understanding of what the brand is. And there is more than one answer to give for each business.
We are all different. Our brands stand for different things and are for different people.
There are different meanings attached to this depending on who we are and who our clients are.
We all have different values and different goals. Different ideas of what matters in our businesses, about what we promise to provide. Different issues. Different perspectives on what we want our businesses to be like and how that looks.
There isn’t a clear answer without putting in some work.
What makes you different?
Where are you now?
Where do you want to be and why aren’t you there yet?
What got you into the thing that you do? Why do you care about THAT?
What ultimately is it that you deliver for your clients? How do you change their lives?
Do you create peace, connection, an inner-knowing, happiness, visibility, sales, confidence, joy, belonging?
There are a lot of pieces to uncover. A lot of areas to consider. A lot of thoughts to thrash out.
And when you’ve done that, your answers will not be the same as anyone else’s. Your Brand Strategy is completely unique to your business. Like a fingerprint. There’ll be similarities to others of course, but there is no way that when you’re done you’ll have the same responses to create the same brand strategy.
This will guide you when you feel stuck, and when you need inspiration.
It will give you clarity when you feel fuzzy.
It will show you how you want people to think, feel, say and remember your business.
Really the question isn’t “what is my brand?”, it’s “what is my brand identity?”, or “what does my brand stand for?” or simply – “what’s the point?“
Your brand isn’t really yours. It’s what individual people have in their minds when they think of you.
Good or bad. Or indifferent. Or anything else!
It’s up to you to do what you can to help each person get it right as best you can.
You already know what your brand is to you. You might need some help to get it out, to really step into it, to understand what it’s all about and find the words to articulate that.
Once you have it down you can use that information to create a brand that lives up to that. Creating a reputation built on what matters to you, on your values, vision, purpose, story and goals.
This means creating visuals which emphasise that and contribute to the story others are seeing, creating emotions and memories and showing your magic before they get to the words. Your audience will see your colours, your visuals FIRST – which is why these aspects of your brand matter so much. They create a strong impression on others which leads them to want to know more about your business so they can create an idea in their minds of what your brand is all about.
This means crafting content that aligns with your strategy. Blog posts, videos, social content, podcasts, comments, articles, PR, collaborations. All with your values, vision, story and ideal customer in mind.
This means creating offers which back up your intentions. Naming them based on your values. Understanding what your ideal customers needs and creating things that will help them most.
This means following your strategies and tactics to meet your goals and drive your business forward.
Leaning into your strengths.
Aligning your business plan with your brand strategy so that you’re using every opportunity to strengthen your brand in some way.
Your brand is created when you use your moments of connection, interaction and visibility to create layers of meaning for others. Showing them what to think, helping them to feel a certain way – this could be joy, nostalgia, safety, calm, cared for… creating helpful memories and developing stories that they can share which help them to connect with you even more.
This needs to be done in an authentic way, not a fake way. People can see through fake and you owe it to your clients to be who you are as much as you can. Working on your brand isn’t about making up a new story, it’s about being intentionally MORE you.
Amy Purdie, The Brand Explorer takes you on an Adventure to discover what your brand is all about, helping you with your brand strategy, brand visuals and content ideas. You can join Amy’s Brand Success Club or join her in your very own Private Brand Adventure.
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.