We hear the term “brand” used on a daily basis, we’re told that we need to have a personal brand, that we need to build our brand…but what if you’re not even sure what your brand is?
Today I had the privilege of being on a panel for The PR Net at The Hills Penthouse in West Hollywood chatting to a room full of inspired women about the power of branding. For those who weren’t there I want to share my tips for helping anyone clearly articulate what their brand is and how to start building it.
Whether you’re trying to attract new clients for an existing business, starting a new one, on the job hunt or simply trying to build your own personal media presence – before anyone decides if they want to deal with you, hire you, collaborate with you or give you a single dollar you can be sure they will consider your brand and base their decision on if they feel it’s a good fit.
Think of your “brand” as your “reputation” and you need to be in control of it!
But what if you’re not even sure what you want your “brand” is? Here’s how to figure it out in no time.
Develop A Brand Motto
A single sentence that sums up the very essence of what you stand for, the heart and soul of your brand. For examples, check out the instagram profile of your favorite brands or individuals.
The Honest Company: Empowering people to live a happy and healthy life. Providing trusted, effective and delightful products.
Disney: Family Fun Entertainment.
High Heel Jungle: An inspiring, supportive space that helps you navigate the modern jungle of life in high heels.
Ivanka Trump: Entrepreneur and passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of women and girls.
So how do you come up with your own “Brand Motto”? Follow these three easy steps by creating three separate columns.
Step 1: What Is Your Emotional Hook?
- Write down how you make people feel?
- What benefit will people gain from dealing with you?
- Write a list of words that other people often use to describe you?
Step 2: Who Is Your Audience?
When you’re building a brand it’s easy to get so caught up in your head you think only of what you want, instead of what you offer others. Getting a clear vision of who your aiming at helps you serve them better and ultimately grow your brand and business.
- What is your exact industry or field?
- Who are you helping/ aiming to reach?
Step 3: State Your Function?
Get crystal clear on exactly what you will be doing for people interacting with your brand. In the case of High Heel Jungle, it is to “inspire and support”, Disney wants to “entertain”.
- Write down exactly what service you are providing people with?
- Articulate what separates you from other competitors in your field?
Now look at these three columns of answers and from that you will get a very clear distillation of your brand. Play around with these words and phrases until you come up with a simple, inspiring motto that sums up the very heart and soul of what you do and who you are: your Brand Motto.
Remember that is should be simple and easy to grasp by any busy person who isn’t invested yet in your brand. You’re not trying to win a Pulitzer; you’re trying to clearly communicate your essence.
Think you’re done? Not so fast…
The Final Step: How To Bring Your Brand To Life
A brand motto is essential for clarifying who you are to yourself BUT it serves little value unless that motto is reflected in every single touch point. Every time your audience comes into contact with you they need to experience your brand motto for themselves.
This means your business cards, website, media kit, office decor, staff behavior, email communication style, how you dress, how you speak on the phone, your punctuality, your slide deck…every single aspect of your business must live and breath this motto.
Then and only then does a brand come alive.