Your brand is the culmination of your company’s identity, packaged and presented in a way that’s pleasing, familiar, and attractive to your prospective and recurring customers. In essence, it’s your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
If you run a small business, who you are and what is important to you can become the branding mantra of your company. After all, people want to do business with other people, not companies.
Your brand can tell customers and prospect what it’s like to work with you. It’s a way to build confidence and trust, two key ingredients to building any lasting relationship. Think about the companies you like to do business with, and pinpoint what it is about them that keeps you coming back.
Creating your brand identity isn’t just about you, though. Remember, you’re building a relationship, so when defining your brand, look at your business through your customer’s or prospect’s eyes. Consider what’s important to them and give them a reason to choose your business and prefer to buy from you again and again.
With the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to express your brand, but you have to be clear on what your brand stands for. Here are some things you can do right away to help you visualize your brand:
- Be authentic: look at your strengths, your likes, and where you shine.
Example: I will never be like Richard Branson. You will never see my jumping out of planes or rock climbing. It’s not my style. I’m low-key, purposeful, intuitive, and expressive in my own way. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, but focus on what makes you different.
- Be known for something: harness and build your skills, expertise, and knowledge.
Example: Back to Richard Branson – he’s known for his brash, brazen business ideas and for turning industries on their head. But you don’t have to be a Richard Branson to stand out. Maximize your strengths by uncovering your unique skills.
- Tap into your values: your values are the personal compass that gives direction to the choices you make.
Example: When thinking about what makes you tick, what words come to mind? Some things to consider include assertive, accessible, creative, curious, direct, efficient, kind, optimistic, stable, or spontaneous.
- Pursue your passions: your passions fuel your actions. When you integrate your passions into what you do you create engagement, enthusiasm and inspiration for those around you.
Example: What would you do if money was not an issue? What do you like to do with your family and friends? These should provide clues to what ignites your fire.
- Make an impact: giving back is the best way to express your values, passions, and purpose and gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths.
Example: Use giving back as an opportunity to showcase one of your strengths, align your values, or express your passions.
When you have a distinctive brand, it can give you a major edge. A solid brand can help you deliver your message clearly, connect your business to your target audience emotionally, motivate buyers, and strengthen customer loyalty.