Standing out from the crowd â€“ Building your brand
Understanding the power of branding is essential to creating a successful business or career. Your brand is the embodimentÂ of those traits and qualities you communicate about yourself, your company, your product. Itâ€™s the way others perceive you or your business.
Branding has always been important for large corporations and celebrities, just ask Lady Gaga or President Obama. Â In todayâ€™sÂ competitive market place, as individuals seek to differentiate themselves from the crowd developing a unique brand has become the catalyst for success.Â Everyone and every business is in fact a brand.
There are literally thousands, even millions, of people and businesses vying to provide the same services and products as you.Â If you donâ€™t have a brand, if you donâ€™t stand out from the crowd, youâ€™re just an invisible part of it.
Branding requires time and effort to develop, it must stand alone and it must be relevant and must be suitable.Â Generally your brand will include:
- BrandÂ statement;
- Brand position;
- Name, that speaks to what youâ€™reÂ doing;
- Brand promise;
- Unique Selling Proposition Â or Point (USP);
- A graphicÂ image
Think of your brand Â as your battle standard; Â it differentiates Â you from your competitors and gives your customers confidence in choosing you. Your personal brand will define and accelerate your career, your business brand will generate sales and customer loyalty.
Discover YourÂ Brand
Use to your advantage the lessons learned by successful corporations, celebrities, and politicians.Â Appeal to the needs and wants of your audience even to their weaknesses.
- Unique traits and capabilities;
- High standards and values;
- A promise;
Brands establish what makes you outstanding and your product unique – they must give the consumer confidenceÂ and security in choosing you over the other guy.Â Plain and simple, it’s about developing a positive and favorable perception.
What makes you or your product special, what differentiates you?
Do you have a specialized credentials or superiorÂ qualities?
Do you work well or appeal to a certainÂ demographic?
Do you or your product have extraordinary traits or features?
BrainÂ storm. Think tanks have been around so long because they work.Â Collaborate friends, family, colleagues, customers, and bosses.Â They can all provide insight and perspective on what makes you and your product unique and powerful.
The biggest mistake you can make is to consider branding as simply a component of your Â marketing and advertising strategy. Â It is far more than just another tool. It is the foundation of your marketing and advertising strategy. Â It deserves more than just a cursory effort.Â Investing the time and resources on effectively branding will attractÂ opportunities and pay dividends.
Brilliant brand positioning takes into account and capitalizes on the oversights, shortcomings, and banal attributes of your competition. If your competition appears unable to communicate without unnecessary jargon and double-speak, thatâ€™s an opportunity to position yourself as practical, friendly, andÂ down to earth.
If you appeal to a certain demographic, your positioning should reflect that. Â Be sure to be consistent with when you deliver your message, or your risk sending mixed messages and undermining your brand.
Specialized or General?
It may seem that because you are accentuating your own unique qualities being a specialist or targeting a special audience is the route to go.Â Donâ€™t be so fast. There are a great many examples where individuals have shortchanged themselves by â€śover specializationâ€ť. Â It may be that you are operating in a niche market.Â But be sure. Â Do an honest and open-minded assessment of the situation.Â Do your research and of course think outside the box.
Sometimes finding the balance between transparency and privacy is difficult. Protecting your personal privacy and protecting company secrets can be important. But appearing insincere or not being forthright can be deadly in todayâ€™s market place. In todayâ€™s world, marketing is a two-way conversation so you must be open to feedback, open to criticism, but most importantly, open with yourÂ content.
You have your brand now – let the world know about it and be consistent. Remember, branding is the foundation of your marketing strategy so donâ€™t loose sight of it. Both online and offline marketing should take into consideration your brand.
And expect it to take hard work and time. Overnight successes are generally the result of months of planning and hard work. Â As Thomas Jefferson said,Â â€śIâ€™m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of itâ€ť.
Successful marketing in todayâ€™s world of social media requires a different outlook. Â Sure at the end of the day itâ€™s still self-promotion, but as counter intuitive as it may seem, that should not be your primary focus.Â You must first engage your audience. Â Listen to them, provide them with solutions and useful information.Â Remember, they will pre-qualify you – not the other way around.Â Once you have demonstrated your abilities and proved your product, they will want to buy.
Keep these points in mind:
- Content â€“ create a steady stream of engagingÂ and unique content
- Connection â€“ connect and pro-actively engage your audience
- Communication â€“ communicating is a two-way street, talk with them not to them
- Share - co-operate and share with others in your industry and community
- Authenticity â€“ be real online and off, keep it succinct and synchronized
- Conversion â€“ be prepared to convert to a sale when the moment is right
With focus, a well developed brand strategy and a lot of hard work, you will have set the foundation of your success.Â So what are you waiting for, get started!
We, at ave49, wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors and remember, if you need help, we are here for you. Contact us for a free consult. We can help.