Over time, branding has evolved to have a variety of meanings. But when trying to think about creating YOUR brand, a great place to start is looking at why Nike, Adidas, Starbucks, Apple, and even Disney stand out from the rest. What makes a consumer or client lean towards one product or service more than another? The answer is marketing, but more specifically, it is the power of branding. It is the idea of both tangible and intangible characteristics that make the brand unique. It is developing an image, even a promise, with successful results.
Every company needs a brand, or even a persona of its own, but it is important for YOU, the entrepreneur, to build and define that brand yourself before it gets defined for you. You get to choose how you portray your company/business – so it would be smart to take some dedicated time to really cultivate what you want.
Here are a 7 important tips to build YOUR brand:
1. Think of yourself as a brand first
Imagine how difficult it would be to cultivate a brand you did not believe in or feel was genuine. Some professionals may suggest to build a brand by shaping and molding what others see, but that is both exhausting and artificial in the long run. Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. What do you believe in? What do you stand for? Maybe you stand for environmental protection so you enforce values of biodegradable bags or donations towards environmentally friendly charities. Perhaps you are passionate about growth and improvement so your fitness training program promises results in a certain amount of time. Or even if you want to be an influencer, you sell your product or services with inspiration.
2. Create and CONSTANTLY audit your online presence
You may not be able to mold the perception that others may have of you. But it is important to ALWAYS have an online presence. Try Googling yourself and see how the results show up. Create a unique name for your brand. Cultivating a brand is more than being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property or useful content.
3. Personal website
Don’t have a website for your brand or business yet? MAKE ONE NOW!! These days it is crucial to utilize one of the best ways to rank your name on search engines. It can be a simple website, but ensure that it is cleaned up, proofread, and updated consistently, so it does not look like a project left in the dark. Overwhelmed with where to start when it comes to a website? We get it. That’s why we created THIS.
4. Find ways to produce VALUE
There is ultimately no point in producing mundane or ridiculous content. Find ways to add value to your audience by creating or curating content that’s in line with your brand. If you are selling a personal training program, what makes yours different than someone else’s? If you’re writing a blog, how does your content relate to your target audience?
5. Be purposeful in what you share
Everything that you talk about, share, retweet, or post, contributes to your brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you want your brand to be perceived, you can start being more strategic.
6. Associate with other brands in your niche
It is always good to connect with others who are just like you; may that be in a friendly or professional manner. Find and leverage other strong brands that can elevate your brand while helping out theirs. Creating a wide network of connections will be very beneficial to your success. Don’t be discouraged if some people are too busy to connect or do not wish to. There are always wonderful people who are more than willing to take time out of their day to help a fellow in need (:
A strong brand is dependent on a strong narrative. In other words, what’s your story? Take a second to think of brands that you have a story narrative to go with it. Nike sells the dream of being the best with its product, with every professional athlete, it shows that the consumer can achieve anything. Apple advances the consumer into a technologically sophisticated world, even if the consumer does not fully understand all the functions of an Apple product, it is the idea of just HAVING the product that elevates them into a new world of luxury. These brands have very clear stories and consistent brands. If you have multiple passions or areas of interest, a narrative becomes even more crucial so there can be a unified theme. So, now it’s your turn: What’s your story?
One simple way to get started on showcasing your brand is through Instagram. A popular social platform that allows you to speak to your audience via imagery. To learn how to get started on Instagram – we created this business crash course for you