WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A STRONG BRAND
It seems a little crazy to have to say this at the end of 2019 but...
Your business needs a brand.
Seriously. It really needs one.
Now, I get it - the whole branding thing can seem really confusing, especially if you're just starting out as an entrepreneur. There are a million and one articles out there talking about branding and how it works, however many of them seem to contradict each other, or deal with concepts that don't apply to you yet. Hello….corporate branding, no one cares….
I'm here to help cut through all that clutter and help you understand why you absolutely need a brand for your biz. But first... what IS a brand anyway?
SO MUCH MORE THAN A LOGO!
One of the most common misconceptions (and one of the few things every expert agrees on) is that a brand is just the logo, color scheme and typography used in your business.
That's like someone describing you... by talking about your left hand. It's part of you certainly, maybe even an important part, but it's just one part - not the whole.
So it is with a brand. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once described a brand as: "...literally what people say about your business when you’re not in the room."
Your brand acts as the foundation upon which your business is built. As we'll see in a moment, it informs your decision making and focuses your communication with your audience.
YOUR INTENTIONS MATTER
"Strong" may actually not be the right word here. While your brand should be strong, what it must be is INTENTIONAL. By that I mean, it's been carefully crafted with your business goals in mind, not just randomly tossed together.
Consider this example: Everyone has a "style." They may not describe it as such, but they have certain pieces of clothing they like to wear on a regular basis. That becomes a personal "style," albeit a somewhat haphazard one. Some people on the other hand are very intentional in what they wear on a daily basis. They also have a style, only in their case, it has been crafted over time.
A business works the same way. Whether you realize it or not, if you have a business, you have a brand. However, a haphazard, almost accidental brand is not really very useful - in fact, it can actually hurt your business.
BENEFITS OF A STRONG/INTENTIONAL BRAND
1. It keeps your message clear and consistent.
Branding allows you to put structure around your messaging. The tone and "voice" (playful, authoritative, etc) you use with your audience can be clearly defined, along with the message you want to deliver. It ensures consistency across all your marketing materials and social media profiles.
2. It informs your audience and creates recognition.
If your audience isn't clear about what you do, they aren't likely to do business with you, right? A brand helps people understand what you do and builds positive associations (trust). That brand recognition pays off over the long run when one of your audience suddenly needs what you offer - they will invariably buy from a brand they recognize and trust.
3. It helps develop social media content.
So you've built a bunch of social media profiles... what do you post about? Hold off on the cat videos! A strong brand gives you a framework around which you can build powerful social media content; not just for promotion, but for audience engagement and education as well. It allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field, building even more trust in the process.
The process of branding can often seem complicated and confusing, and you might be tempted to think you can get away with not using one, especially in the beginning. Well don't you do it! As we've learned, your business will end up with some form of a "brand," and you want to make sure that it's one that aligns to you and your goals.
The difference between a business that screams "Trusted and super-capable glitterbomb of awesomeness" and one that mutters, "Hang on... What is it we do again?" comes down to the strength of your branding.
What's that? Still feel like all this branding stuff is way outside your wheelhouse? I hear you and my team is here to help. We eat, drink and breathe this stuff. We can help you get super-clear about what you offer and what your brand represents, and then help you share that awesomeness to the world!