Branding, as a concept can be quite vague.
Plus, given that branding is an intangible asset, there seems to be a lot of hesitation when it comes to investing in a brand strategy and/or brand design.
I get it.
How can, something, that can’t be easily explained be worth my limited budget, time and resources?
Over the years, I’ve found the easiest way to explain branding is by thinking of it as a foundational pillar.
Better yet, think of your brand, instead of as a pillar, as a transverse beam.
This beam will underlie all of your processes and affect all of the tried, and true, components of your organization, including sales, marketing, HR, product design and so on.
This is true, when we’re speaking about personal branding as well. It will permeate all of your decisions and actions. Your resume, your elevator pitch, your networking, your social media, your work, all of it is enhanced by your choice to adopt a consistent brand.
What is it?
Your branding itself, is the way you communicate your value. How can I define my unique selling proposition and then share it with those around me directly and indirectly, verbally and non-verbally? What image does my brand, be it corporate or personal, conjure up in the minds of others?
It’s kind of like an aura or a vibe.
The impression that let others know who you are, what you do, what you stand for and what they can expect from you.
What does it encompass?
Your branding consists many different elements.
At the core, is your unique selling proposition (USP). It will guide how you define the rest of brand identity.
What is it that will set you apart? What value do you have to offer that will make your products, services and/or self, memorable?
Once you’ve defined it, then you can attempt to demarcate your values and define your brand proposition/promise, purpose and message.
This will all be done with your target audience in mind. The key is to find a balance between your brand and the audience you wish to serve. Always be authentic and true to your brand, yet learn to adapt and create with them in mind. They, your audience, will be the ones to attribute market value to what you do/who you are. You need them, and they need you.
Once you’ve successfully understood what your brand stands for then, you can think about positioning, brand design, visuals, logos, typography, color, content, etc.
The combination of the latter and a clearly defined strategy on how you’ll implement it and what you seek to accomplish will create a wealth of added benefits.
What are they?
So, what will be having a strong brand do for you and/or your business?
It can serve as a point of differentiation.
It can motivate others to take an interest you brand and/or utilize it
It can broaden your visibility
It can increase brand credibility and trust
It can build brand loyalty
It can better you an/or your company’s reputation
It can support you as you establish thought/market leadership
It can make your brand more recognizable and memorable
It can establish deeper emotional ties between your audience and your brand
It can assist in the creation of a community/tribe around you or your work
It can help you create a brand experience that makes people want to repeat interaction/transactions with you and/or your organization
In general, the benefits of branding are endless. The above mentioned are, perhaps, some of the broader, more obvious one, however, day-to-day you will notice the benefits as you interact with your target, your industry peers, partners, competitors, etc.