You know how you’d like to come across and what you want to say—but instead of standing out, your brand is a lemon stuck in no man’s land. (Or the chasm between clients, as the case may be.)
At the heart of your struggle are probably some limiting perceptions around what branding yourself or your business is really about. So your focus (and budget) are serving the wrong things, or you feel wary about putting your business out there in a big way at all, in case it’s a big fail.
If this is true for you, here are three fresh perspectives to help you reframe and move forward:
1. Brand is an experience, not a logo.
I love a good logo. This, your tagline and website are all important elements, for sure. But your brand encompasses far more than visuals or words (or even the combination of the two).
It’s someone’s complete experience of your business, personality, values, culture, products, service and performance. It’s the sum total of how you come across, make people feel and meet their needs when they come into contact with you, in every place they do—online, in print and in person. From handshake, to how you help, and beyond.
The best brands marry a phenomenal visual identity and brand message with showing up consistently. (And you don’t have to be ‘big’ to do this well!)
2. You define your brand. Your audience informs it.
Branding your business starts with looking at where your strengths intersect with people’s needs and desires. This is your ‘zone of genius’—your point-of-difference or greatest distinguisher—and it’s yours to define and develop. It’s the brand position you can own based on what you’re best at.
But it also accounts for what your audience needs and isn't getting elsewhere. (So you don’t waste time carving an identity as a creative ink-slinger if those you’re talking to want a conservative corporate copywriter.)
And if you find there’s a gap between audience perceptions of your brand and your own, consider whether your zone of genius is really something you’re genius at. Or something clients really care about.
3. Brand is a business driver, not a nice-to-have.
Your brand has a huge influence on your business success. Right from the start. Even before you launch.
If you’re pitching potential investors, they’ll be looking to hear your clear and compelling point-of-view and point-of-difference (and can pass or play based on this premise). And if you’re already established, your ability to make the right statement and stand out will sway clients, employees and business partners.
Learning to describe in a sentence or two what makes your product, solution or culture dynamite helps you cut through, so the right people recognize you. And when that happens, so can lots of other good stuff. (Think: Dreamier clients, premium fees and press coverage, for starters.)
Stuck behind the curtain making the 'lemon face' is no place to be. If you’re keen to get out in front, let’s chat. Learn more about ‘Brand Jam’—my complimentary consultation.