Personal branding is all the rage, and we all know companies have a “brand.” But what does branding really mean? And what do you need to know to make sure you’re doing what you should be doing for your brand?
According to About.com, The American Marketing Association defines brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design,” or some combination that is intended to identify and differentiate on seller (or group) from those of other sellers.
An article on MarketingProfs states that a brand is “more than your name, logo, and tagline,” it’s also “what you promise them and what they expect of you. Your brand helps people understand how you fit in the landscape of competitive alternatives, and informs decisions.”
So, it appears that branding is the look, feel, and implied promises, including what makes you (your company) unique. We often confuse a brand image with branding. It’s true that powerful branding combined with a great image, over time, becomes highly effective as a branding message. For instance, when you see this image:
you know exactly what to expect.
The next question is, what do you need to consider to bring your company (or personal) branding to life?
What should branding accomplish?
- Be memorable
- Deliver a clear message
- Be credible
- Create an emotional connection
- Allude to product/service
- Build loyalty
Basic elements of branding
1. Questions to ask yourself
To dig in and develop or refresh your branding strategy ask yourself and answer the following questions:
- What do you offer?
- What are the qualities of your products and services?
- What is the core value of your company?
- What is your company mission?
- What do you specialize in?
- Who is your target market?
- What is your tagline?
- Use your answers to understand and develop your company “personality.”
- Are you innovative? Creative? Quaint? Sophisticated?
- How would you, given your “personality” interact with your target audience?
- Which company values will get the attention of your prospects?
Your Brand Promise is the one thing that you promise to deliver to your customers every single time. In other words, what can customers ALWAYS expect from every interaction?
3. The Physical Artifacts of Your Brand
This includes your name, logo, colors, taglines, fonts, images and other items you use.
Repetition and consistency are key to the branding process. This includes employees, customers, potential customers, partners, vendors, everyone.
Today’s “What’s Next?” topic comes from Pamela King. Congratulations, Pamela! And thanks for suggesting the topic, “Branding: Just What Does that Mean?.”
Pamela just won a $50 printing credit. You could be next! Suggest your topic here.