WHAT is branding and WHY is it so important? If done correctly, your personal brand can really take your business to soaring heights.
What is branding?
Two common misconceptions to define branding are 1: it is NOT just a logo and 2: branding is not just for large internationally known companies. What defines you and your business is your BRAND. A brand is a complete image of your business. Your brand is how people see you and what your business stands for. Brand yourself right and everything you have ever dreamed of can come true....I seriously believe this! Dreams coming true through branding? Um....Yes! Because I believe that when you do something you absolutely love and turn it into a career, the possibilities are endless.
Before your client engages in a business relationship with you, they first see your brand in some way or the other. Your brand gives them a peak at what they will experience with you and it gives them expectations. Your brand should be able to grab your client's attention and make them hungry for more of what you have to offer. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. It is the true reflection of a business and it's owner.
Why is branding important?
Most people have a visual memory; they remember things by what they look like. Branding gives clients a mental image of your business. When we think about memories, people, or places, images usually come to mind. The same is true for a brand. The visual aspects of your brand give your audience images to remember and associate it with.
Branding makes your business memorable and recognizable. Creating an image and identity for your business makes it recognizable, even if you're only seeing one aspect of it. Branding differentiates your business from competitors. Branding allows you to set your business apart from its competitors. Who would have thought stilettos affiliated with real estate would have caught the eye of so many? Branding creates an emotional bond and a unique customer loyalty.
And if it's done right, branding can win the attention of your ideal customer. When designed correctly, great branding catches the eye of the clients you want to work with and the customers you desire to purchase your products. I chose to work with primarily women and with my brand, it has allowed me to focus my marketing on just that. Don't force your brand, ensure it is genuine and from the heart.
There are so many benefits to branding yourself and your business. You can't run a business without having a brand. Branding gives your client a first impression of your business and we all know how important first impressions are!
So before you start drafting a business plan for a potential new business venture, ask yourself what defines you and how do you wish to be perceived to your clients?
What makes you YOU? This may be a challenge because there are so many things that make you YOU. How do you know what your personal brand should consist of? These three points can help you define what you want your personal brand to be and how to get started. Read more on my related post Defining Your Personal Brand.