Branding Is Not Optional | NJ Brand Expert
"Your brand is the single most important investment in your business." - Steve Forbes
What is branding really? We often hear that branding is more than having a snazzy logo, amazing color palette, beautiful website and killer Instagram feed. These elements are EXPRESSIONS of our brands, but branding is so much more. It’s the overall, underlying theme that’s woven through these expressions and paints a picture of who you are as a business owner.
Branding is the impression you make on your customers.
It's your customer’s perception of your business, products and services.
It's the experience and reputation that you create.
It's the STORY you decide to tell about your business and offerings.
Many business owners believe they’re too new to the market to worry about branding. Others think branding is only for big companies, or that it takes too much time and money investment.
The truth is, branding is for everyone and anyone — new and seasoned business owners, large and small companies, those with big and small budgets. No matter the current status of your company, branding should be the starting point for your marketing plan.
Branding really isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. Having no brand is much more scary!
Sending no message at all is a dangerous place to be. Why?
Because when you don't define your brand, the market will.
Everyone has a brand. If you do nothing and are putting no effort into branding your biz, your brand may be chaotic and sporadic, but it still exists. Your audience sees it, and it’s making an impression in their mind.
Without branding, an interior designer who charges high prices and only works on specific, big-ticket projects may be labeled as expensive, elitist, or snobby by her audience. However, by taking the time to share her expertise through storytelling, she can create a brand that reflects her exclusive, high-touch and upscale boutique services.
The key is to be the one in the driver's seat, so YOU are the one who’s actively communicating your brand story.
You don't want your industry to dictate who you are
You don't want your competitors to label you
You don't want your customers to misrepresent your business
To begin the process of taking control of your brand, ask yourself these questions:
What are you trying to do? Ask the big questions to get clear on your WHY. What is your mission? Why do you really want to do this type of work? What are your philosophies and values? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
What problems are you solving? People are always searching for solutions to their problems and hangups. Think about what specific problems your business solves for your clients and how working with you makes their lives easier. Use these themes in your messaging to make sure your audience fully understands the value of working with you.
Who are you serving? Your brand starts with your ideal client — who you serve and who you get results for. When you know who your ideal client is, you can define your brand quickly. Think about their pain points and desires, and speak to those things in your messaging.
How do you do it different than the rest? Stop the comparison game. Instead of looking around at what others are doing well, look within to tell your own authentic story. Think hard about how you’re different. If you need to, interview past clients, poll your audience, ask your network — then focus on THOSE things that people love you for!
Building a brand that is constant and compelling takes work, but the benefits are immeasurable. If you’re a professional with a legitimate biz, it’s time to get a handle on your brand story and go beyond the logo NOW! Without a clear and distinct brand story, your business becomes a commodity, a clone, a copycat with no soul or story. The more you delay building your brand, the more you will lose out to competitors.
In my Brand Confidential program, we do this work together. I’ll help you identify your brand story and pinpoint your point of difference. We develop the strong foundation your brand needs to attract clients and experience business success.