Brand, brands, branding. Any variation of the word brand seems to be a hot topic these days. I’m a girl who likes the finer things in life, and well, a great brand is one of those things. Everyone under the sun seems to know a lot about brands and branding; what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong; the best way to build a brand; even the best brands in the entire universe. Everyone, that is except the person who really needs to know about brands. You.
When you’re running a business, next to turning a profit, your brand should be the most important factor. The issue is that too many businesses gloss over the nitty gritty when it comes to their brand and just jump straight into the water. Kind of like going to a pool party and not taking off your shoes before you get into the pool. To avoid being the gal (or guy) in the pool with shoes, make sure you learn and understand as much about your brand as possible.
Here are the three things that you need to know when it comes to your brand:
- It’s not only about you.
- The rule of authenticity.
- If you build it, they WON’T come.
What happens with a lot of brands is they tend to think one-sided and have selfish tendencies. One of the most important things to remember is that your customers, stakeholders, employees, etc., matter just as much as you do. Factor them into the equation when making decisions or developing your brand strategy. Instead of always thinking about what you can get out of the deal, think about how your brand will impact your key audiences.
In this day and age, it takes a lot to be unique, but it takes even more to be real. When it comes to your brand, remember that the people who you want to reach don’t want to have the same old garbage spewed at them. They don’t want fake and phony, people see right through that. Engage with them from a place of authenticity, which in turn will help them connect with your brand instead of just browsing over it.
A common misconception among businesses is that if you build a solid, fun, great brand, people will flock to it like no other. Wrong. It takes a lot to build a brand but it takes even more to effectively connect with the audiences your brand is meant for. Once your brand is built, you have to put the same amount of effort (if not more) into getting your message out there as you did in starting. People won’t magically know who you are. It’s your job to tell them.
Branding is like the new family that moved into your neighborhood from *insert cool foreign country here*. Everyone wants to get to know them and be a part of the newness and coolness they bring, but not a lot of people will take the time to truly get to know them for more than what’s on the surface. It’s tough, I know, but trust me, this stuff is important for building a solid business.
Did I leave anything out? What are some things you feel are important for business owners to know about their brands (or branding in general)?