What do people say about you when you leave the room? Think about it for a minute. Was it hard to imagine? How can you ensure that what is said about your brand is in line with what you want people to think of you? As emotional creatures we pay particular attention to our connections and communications with other people. We might heed to a dress code to a particular event, or change the tone and language if we are speaking with a small child. It would be amazing to think that someone said how much he or she loved your style, or said what a great person you are. Now, imagine what people would say about your business.
According to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” and people’s responses to brands can be as emotive as they are to other human beings. How many times have you said that you ‘loved’ a product or brand? (I personally love my new Mahabis slippers in part for their beautiful design). A good brand is remembered (in the right way), a mediocre brand is very rarely remembered.
Branding isn’t just about the logo, it embodies the personality of the business, it speaks volumes about who you are, where you are going, and why people should love you.
Lois Geller writes about why brands matter - the point here is that brand is extremely important to the success of the business and can’t be done quickly. Don’t ignore your brand as your starting out, or building your business ‘it’s shorthand for what you are’.
So, how do you develop your brand? We start by understanding your vision, what is the change you want to see in the world, why do you get out of bed in the morning to do what you do? Simon Sinek talks about understanding your why so that people know what they're buying into. We also liken it to putting a destination into Google Maps, the software knows where you are going and can work out the best route to get you there. If you know where you're going it will help you get there, it will also help other people understand and buy in to helping you get there.
Next, you want to understand why you are different, how you are positioned in the market. What is the value you provide to your customers that they don't get from an alternative? Hopefully, there will be at least three areas where you out rank your competition on value.
Now you have to understand who will see those things as valuable, who are the early adopters that, when they hear about what you are trying to do will buy into it straight away. What are you promising to them? What are their expectations of you? How should you communicate with them, visually and verbally?
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by Samantha Hurley
Written by Samantha Hurley
Sam co-founded Marketing Entourage after spending 18 years in senior sales & marketing positions for companies such as Lonely Planet and The Press Association in Melbourne, New York and London. Sam started out in a design agency and used design thinking to help develop a product that went on to revolutionise the media industry in 2002. Sam also teaches Digital Marketing and Data Driven Marketing at General Assembly. The daughter of an engineer and a designer, she learned to code and design at a young age. She feels she has the mind of a scientist and the heart of an artist and likes to sit in the space where creativity, technology and business converge.