How to Build a Strong Brand
If I asked you, "What is your brand?" would you say…
A) My business logo and color palette.
B) My tagline and business cards.
C) How people think and feel about me.
If you answered (C), YAY! I bet you saw that one coming a mile away, didn’t you? Smart cookie!
what a brand really is
Your brand is so much more than the way you look! It's people’s thoughts and FEELINGS about you.
If you're a fan of Apple, how would you describe it to your friend? Would you say:
"The logo is an apple. The color palette is white, grey, and black."
"I love Apple! The products are so sleek, well-designed, and user-friendly. All my designer friends prefer Apple products. Buying and unwrapping them is an experience in itself — the attention to detail in the packaging is incredible! Even the Apple Store is sleek and fun to visit, it feels like stepping into the future! When I bought my iPad, EVERYONE wanted to check it out."
You’d PROBABLY say something more like the second option! Right? (Unless you're a logo designer talking to another logo designer… then maybe you’d talk about the logo and colors.)
Because what really matters to you is your experience of engaging with the brand.
To help explain, here’s a quick excerpt from my Brand with a Plan course:
Lesson 1: What is a Brand?
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So does the logo even matter? It does! It serves as a symbol and a visual indicator for the brand. And it should represent you and your unique energy. (The apple symbol is a great choice for Apple, because of its simplicity and associations with the tree of knowledge!)
But the brand is so much deeper than that! It's what the company stands for, why it matters, and how the experience it offers is intentionally different from anything else available.
the incredible power of Apple isn’t in its name or logo.
it's in the accumulation of memorable experiences!
so what is “brand-ing”?
Branding is essentially creating intentional experiences in a way that sets you apart! Every audience touchpoint is an opportunity to either blend in with the crowd, or create a memorable experience. Our brains give EXTRA room to unique experiences and makes them stand out in our memories.
When your audience has UNIQUE experiences with you – no matter how big or small – they add up to leave an impression. A brand is born!
Branding is basically creating UNIQUE, memorable experiences
that leave an impression!
Think of it this way: As a person, your behavior shapes how people see you! Sure, what you look like (i.e., your visual identity) influences how people see you.
But your behaviors, how they feel around you, and what kinds of things you talk about also matter! They reveal who you are beneath the surface… which, after all, is more important!
what's involved in biz branding?
If branding is leaving impressions by how you do things, like:
What you say (your content)
How you say it (your tone / voice)
Where you say it (your platforms and guest appearances)
What you look like (your visual identity)
What it's like engaging with you (your audience and customer experiences)
How you treat people and behave (your culture)
Being intentional in these things helps you build the brand you want, that feels like YOU!
And that’s how you build a business you LOVE!
what about personal or solo biz branding?
As a solopreneur or small business owner, you can offer something special: the experience of engaging with a real person and developing real trust and a relationship! It’s all about identifying your special gifts, strengths, and personality traits — what makes you you — so you can lean into them even more! Even the things you’re afraid the world will see and not like.
Your brand is your business's greatest asset.
and you are the soul behind your brand!
And taking strategic action to bring your business into alignment with who you are.
because No one else can be you!
Start with getting really clear about your brand foundations! You need to "look under the hood" and figure out what is happening beneath the surface. What do you believe in? Why did you start this business? What are you trying to achieve? What do you have to say? What do you want to create in the world?
Root your brand in who you really are, and what you believe in. When everything you do stems from who you really are, you don’t have to TRY to build your brand — you build it just by showing up authentically as yourself!
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