Branding: A Drier Introduction

Branding: A Drier Introduction

Drier Introduction

 I love writing about branding. I've written about brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand experiences and the importance of having a brand. When it comes to branding, almost everything is important: from what you wear to how you speak and even how your business presents itself online.

 If you're new to the world of marketing and want to learn more about branding specifically, I suggest taking a look at my previous posts on brands and their importance for small businesses (found here). Next time we'll go over why every entrepreneur should consider creating a personal brand for themselves! However, if you want an introduction into 'branding', this post is for you! Let's dive right in…

 

What is Branding?

 

Branding can be an intimidating word. It's not only associated with large corporations like Coca-Cola or Nike but also with celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Kanye West (who both have verrrry strong brands). The point of branding isn't just to make yourself stand out – it's also about building trust with consumers who may eventually become customers – whether that means buying your products or services as consumers or hiring your business as clients. In short: "A Brand creates value by giving people something they can't get from someone else" – Seth Godin. I have to get attention before I can create a relationship.

 

Back to the Basics: What is a Brand?

 

A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. – Wikipedia

 

While I enjoy writing about branding and marketing, it can be hard to describe what exactly it encompasses. It's not just logos, slogans and pretty colors – there's more to it than that! The above definition may seem simple enough but don't be fooled - defining what makes up an actual brand is much easier said than done! Let me try my hand at making this clear by breaking down the elements of branding into two categories: Identity & Personality. These two categories are used often when discussing how brands gain popularity and trust with consumers (you). Let's start with identity…

 

Identity: Defining your company/product/service online…or offline? Building your company or business' identity starts with creating an understanding of who you are as both a business owner (founder) and/or business itself (product/service). That means defining who you are in relation to your competitors (what makes you different), which helps define who you want to target as customers (your ideal customer profile). We explore this further through the process known as 'positioning'. Positioning is essentially getting yourself noticed within your target market by explaining why you're different from others. This is an important aspect of branding because you need to get noticed before you can create a relationship with your target market.

 

So, how do we get ourselves noticed? How do we explain our difference? One of the best ways to build a personal brand is by using social media and other online platforms (like blogging!) While it's always good to maintain a physical presence (i.e. having an actual storefront or retail location), this can be costly and/or difficult for some companies and/or businesses that aren't quite ready for such expansion yet. Instead, leveraging social media, blogging and other forms of online marketing allows start-ups to get their name out there while also developing their identity at the same time! This means creating original content, engaging with followers/readers through comments and building up your network (Facebook fans). It takes time but is SO worth it when done right! When I started my business in 2012 I was so excited about everything that went into building my company's identity: from logo design to website design…to coming up with my tagline "Let's Get Dressed"!

 

Personality: Why people love your brand Now once you have established who you are as both a business owner or business itself it's time to figure out why people would want to buy from YOU specifically - over any other competitor out there.

 

When you create a personal brand for yourself or your company, there are two main things that will happen:

 

You'll be more memorable You'll feel better about your business

 

When it comes to branding, there is a lot of self-reflection involved. If you're new to the world of branding and marketing I suggest taking a look at my previous posts on brands and their importance for small businesses (found here) as well as my post on how to start a business from scratch (found here). Once you have some understanding of what branding entails, take some time to explore the elements outlined above. The first step towards creating a strong personal brand is finding out who you are as an individual/business before diving into social media and other online platforms! Thanks for reading!