Sometime in the late 2000s, way back when, I learned that the thing I loved learning about the most had a name : branding. Up until then, I had confused branding with advertising or marketing. And I wasn’t alone in this confusion. Branding is such a hard concept to explain even though we interact with dozens of brands throughout our everyday integrating them into our own personal experiences.
But, let’s start at the beginning - what is a brand? Brands are multi-sensory strategies carefully researched and designed to engage an audience with the purpose of creating loyalty. Now, what exactly does that mean? It means well-branded businesses make YOU want to want THEM and LIKE it. Branding is the ultimate Christian Grey effect. You just can’t get enough of them no matter how hard you try to resist. AND YOU LOVE THIS. You do. People love being loyal, because it's one less decision you have to make when it comes to choosing which supermarket to go to, what phone to buy or which condom to use. (Safe sex is important, guys.)
And it’s not about selling (well it is a little, we all have to eat, ya' know) - it’s about fulfilling a human need like happiness, security or confidence in a way that’s unique to you. Identifying your core purpose as a product or service is one of the fundamental steps to building a strong brand. If you know what human need you're fulfilling, you know what you stand for, your mission, and your focus. (Stay tuned for a future post on how to find your core purpose.)
When it comes to branding, you can tell you’re on the right path when your dream clients accept that branded experience, which you’ve so carefully crafted, as unique to your business and they want more - from YOU. Take a few minutes to evaluate the brand you’re putting out into the universe. Are you proud of it? Does it make you AND others happy? Is your brand strategy consistent all across the board? Are you attracting your ideal client? Do you really, truly know the value of what you’re offering? These are important questions you should constantly ask yourself not only when first developing your brand, but as it grows.