What’s Branding? It’s Personal.
Creating a new brand identity for clients is one thing that my team and I do this quite often. We have a process that begins with a questionnaire that we talk through with clients, defining the persona of their ideal client, their own long-term goals and more. We enjoy this work and we’ve been doing it successfully for years now.
Part of the advantage of working on a client’s brand is that we can view everything from an outside perspective. That’s a good thing because getting a brand right is a big deal.
Looking in the Mirror
When working on our own brand (the one you currently see on our website), we had to resist the urge to overthink things. It was important to step away from all that we knew about daily operations and to instead take in the bird’s eye view. You have to learn to see your company from an outsider’s view and to get inside the minds – and emotions – of your current and aspirational customers.
See, branding is about so much more than just a logo. Sure, your logo, font, colors, imagery and other visuals all play a role, but it’s deeper than that. At a visceral level brand is what people feel about your company, when they see you for the first time and when they see you for the hundredth (or thousandth) time. It’s about how outsiders talk about your company when you’re not even in the room, and also about how your employees talk answer the phone and explain what it is that you do.
Presenting Your Best Self
Branding a company is one thing, but branding an individual is equally as important, especially if that person IS the draw – whether he or she is a thought leader, speaker or writer. Or in a profession where customers choose who to work with based at least partly on personality or who they feel comfortable with. Professionals who could benefit from branding themselves include real estate agents, lawyers, doctors and other medical professionals, salespeople, insurance brokers, and almost anyone who works with the public.
Write Your Own Story
The process starts with defining your customer and yourself, but then it evolves into easily and fluently being able to tell your brand story. What’s a brand story and why is this important? Well, whether you like it or not you already have a story that people are telling about you. They look you up online and form their own opinions based on what they see.
Maybe you’re presenting yourself as the expert on fashion and the newest trends. Or maybe you’re presenting life advice in a funny way. Or are you a lawyer who’s on a mission to protect clients from being taken advantage of because you want to protect others from hardships your parents faced years ago?
All of those scenarios are great brand stories, which can be developed and grown into the backbone of your overall brand. My best advice is to cultivate your own story rather than allow others to write that story for you. Know who you are and share that vision with the world.
My own story has emerged from years of entrepreneurship, success, struggles and GRIT. That’s huge for me and that’s what I want people to think about when they see my brand: success, security and GRIT. How do you think we did? Please share your thoughts in the comments and happy branding!