Always remember: Your business is about more than just what you do, it’s about how and why you do it.
People choose to work with YOU because of the how and why, not the what.
Let’s face it. There are other people out there who can do what you do. But not necessarily in the way that you do it.
And it’s that secret sauce, that magic, that je ne sais quoi that makes all the difference between a yes and a no.
So, how do you go about branding a business?
These 7 branding guidelines will get you started powerfully:
- Get inspired. Start by identifying 5 businesses or brands that you admire and want to be like. Which elements or emotions do you want to incorporate into your brand?
- Understand how your business is currently perceived and the REAL reason clients work with you — then reflect on whether you want to maintain this perception or change it. (Tip: if you don’t know, then ask your clients.)
- Define how you want your business to be perceived — both now and 3-5 years from now. Build a brand that will help you reach your business goals.
- Define your big brand idea or strategy. How are you different from everyone else in the marketplace? (Yes, that means you have to study the market.) How will people remember you? What’s the biggest juiciest promise you can claim? For me, it’s expressed through my tagline, “(you can) become the #1 authority in your field.”
- Before getting into logo design, think about the experience you want to create. The look, feel and tone of your brand is less about your personal preferences and more about evoking an emotional response. Your brand has to be congruent with what you’re selling and resonant with who you’re serving.
- Branding is a magical combination of logic and emotion, strategy and gut impulse. You need an approach that combines your head and your heart, your left brain and your right.
- Branding is not a one-time process, but a living breathing set of activities and relationships that are reinforced (or eroded) by everything you say, do and create. The secret to branding is consistency. That doesn’t mean your brand can’t surprise or evolve, it simply means you have to do it in a way that feels authentic and congruent.
I trust these principles will guide your branding efforts. Let me know how it goes…