Everyone knows about the importance of branding, but how do you know if you’re doing it right – if at all? What does the term “branding” mean anyway?
Branding is a euphemism for all that you – and by extension your business — represents at its authentic core: the real deal. To have a strong, successful and effective brand, you have to first know who you are and what you do the best.
Are you a true expert in database systems? Do you make and/or sell the most delicious cupcake? If the answer is yes, that’s half the battle. If you are not the best and try to brand your company on a false premise, you will ultimately fail. It won’t take long for clients and others to discover your shaky underpinnings.
No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.
– Nathaniel Hawthorne
So let’s assume you are indeed an expert and have found a niche that is in demand. You still won’t reach the highest levels of success without good, solid, integrated and consistent branding. You must tell your ideal potential customers who you are and what makes you so special.
William Arruda, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, says you should ask yourself the following questions to discover what makes you, YOU:
1. What’s your superpower? What do you do better than anyone else?
2. What are your top values – your operating principles?
3. What do people frequently compliment you on or praise you for?
4. What is it that your manager, colleagues, friends and clients come to you for?
5. What adjectives do people consistently use to describe you – perhaps when they’re introducing you to others?
6. How do you do what you do? What makes the way you achieve results interesting or unique?
7. What energizes or ignites you? What are your true passions?
Once you have the answers to these key questions, you will be well on your way to establishing a truly great brand and telling your organization’s story in the most effective possible way. In my next post, we’ll talk about what comes next: putting that information to work through a thoughtful strategic communications and marketing program. Go forth and be real!
Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.
– Eckhart Tolle
Karen Bate is President of KB Concepts P.R., offering strategic communications and marketing services to small businesses and nonprofits since 2007: Great Ideas for Good Causes.