There has been some confusion about the difference between branding and marketing, especially for those just starting their show, business or career. The two go hand in hand but have two distinct purposes.
Branding is your identity. Simple right? It reflects the beliefs and characteristics of a company or person. Marketing is the way you communicate a product, service or talent to the world. It’s like the age-old question… what came first? The chicken or the egg?
All aspects can develop simultaneously. And yes, everything evolves over time because people change, thoughts and needs change, and culture and technology change. But this post is tackling the foundation of branding and how to develop your brand in 3 easy steps.
1. Who are you?
A Brand is like your name. It’s composed of several elements, but there is a personality to it. We generally think of a name, logo, tag line and bam… you establish a brand. However, there is a lot more to it because not only do people recognize those components, but an amazing aspect of the underlying beliefs behind the brand also allow you to build rapport and a community for those who work for and with the brand.
Keep this question in mind. If my business etc. is an extension of me as a person, am I representing myself authentically?
For example, when building Branas Enterprises, just like writing my books or creating my podcasts years ago, each one represents exactly who I am. I am a person that believes that you only have one life. I believe in being yourself every minute of every day. I believe in the aspect that every person has a purpose and voice or vision to put out into the world, helping others, and the strength of human connection. I love seeing people reach for the stars just as I did long ago when I finally realized that I could reach for mine. Our brand, down to the logo, tagline, and what we put out there, use this as our foundation.
However, if you are money grubbing and only worried about your bottom line, then the above is not an authentic message for you. And we wonder why we lose faith in certain companies?
So, as you develop your brand, do some soul searching. Honestly state who you are and your beliefs. What you are attempting to accomplish? Why? Do your services or products, your marketing campaigns and brand truly reflect those answers? You can’t build a great relationship without trust. Here, we think of the word brand as Building Relationships Authentically No one Doubts.
2. Share Your Story
I love the “My Pillow” guy. Why? Because he shares his story of enduring nights of uncomfortable sleep. He developed a product that came about from personal accounts. The best part is that he is the average guy and knows that there are others out there are just like him. It wasn’t an infomercial get rich quick scheme. It wasn’t the “I want to make millions” mindset. It was and still is sincere, demonstrates care for others and quality. I have no doubt that if there were a whole line of different “my pillow” products, each would reflect his story.
Wonderful examples of this step are many non-profit organizations or fundraising campaigns. The initial creation usually has a very personal story behind it. When you share something intimate, it’s relevant to others. In this step, your brand will develop around your story. Ask yourself these questions: why you are creating your business or products? What is the personal connection that you have to its development and growth?
3. Live, Eat, Pray Brand
Do you remember taking school field trips? The first words out of a teacher’s mouth as you sit your rambunctious butt on the bus are “remember kids, you are a reflection of us and representing the school!" This goes for your brand as well. If you know who you are and understand your personal story, now it’s time to represent it!
Whether you are out at an event, networking, or about to turn on the mic, every moment of every day demonstrates if you, as a person and product or service, are in alignment with your brand. You are the common denominator regarding the growth and success of your brand.
Now go out there and BE Your Brand!