Define your business or personal brand in 12 minutes or less

21 replies
Do you have a brand?

Do you need one?

WTF is a 'brand' anyway?

Ah yes, 'branding'. That odd concept that pesters marketers and entrepreneurs the world over.

Every year, hours of content is created on the topic of branding. And every year, millions of dollars of books and courses are sold on the same topic.

But ask most entrepreneurs what their "brand" is, and they won't be able to tell you.

Because what the heck is a brand, anyway? Is it your company name? Your logo and tagline? Colours on your website? All of that? Something else?

It's confusing, ain't it?

And so I ask again - do you even NEED a 'brand'?

Well, hold on just a second.

What if I told you that you already HAVE a brand?

Here's what I mean...

Do you know what your marketing says to people? And I don't mean the actual words you write or speak.

I mean, how does your marketing make people FEEL?

Can you describe the feeling of your marketing?

Because I believe, more than logos and colours and taglines, it's how you make people feel that's the essence of your brand.

So that demands the question: how do you WANT to make people feel?

Is there a specific emotion you want to evoke? Do you want to make people laugh, make them cry, make them ponder, ask questions?

Do you want them to feel alive and excited, or powerful and motivated? Do you want them to feel like you're the right one to help them?

How do you make them feel? That's your brand.

And you can make it whatever you want.

5 quick n' dirty brand questions

Here's 5 fast questions to help clarify your brand identity:

1. Who do you serve? This is not about appealing to the widest possible audience. Quite the opposite. When marketing, you want to have a single, specific person in mind. Beyond simple demographics, consider the psychology of this imagined person. Ask yourself questions like:
* What keeps them up at night?
* What are their top frustrations or challenges?
* What is their deepest dream or desire?
Sketch out a clear image of your ideal customer, and talk directly to that person every time you're marketing your business.

2. Who are you to them? What could you call yourself that would create the feeling of your brand? Some of this depends on what products or services you offer, but not all of it. Consider how some professional titles have evolved:
* 'Secretary' became 'administrative assistant'
* 'Garbage man' became 'sanitation engineer'
* 'Dishwasher' became 'steward'
Now, I'm not saying you have to create an entire new title for yourself. But instead of 'marketer', maybe you call yourself a 'marketing funnel specialist'. Or instead of 'copywriter' you're a 'crafter of converting copy'. Whatever you choose, make sure it aligns with what your ideal customer wants, and how you want them to feel when they hear about you.

3. What do you believe in? Not a lot of people think about this one, but it's one of the most crucial elements of a brand. Communicating your business values is a direct line to creating the feeling you want in your potential customer. Ask yourself:
* What do you stand for?
* What do you stand against?
* What can you be counted on to do?
* What will you never EVER do?
* What do current or past clients say about you?
The ability to weave your values and beliefs into your marketing is one of the most valuable things a business can do. You can't fake this one, so whatever your values are, make sure you really believe them - or they won't believe you.

4. What are you known for? It's great to be a generalist or 'jack of all trades', but it can be really tough to get traction with an audience that way. Instead, position yourself as the top expert in a few specific skills to attract your ideal customer. Create content and marketing messages around those specific areas so you can show the depth of your knowledge and achieve a high level of authority in the market. Then when your clients come on board, you can share everything you do as they need it.

5. What results do you get? Ultimately, this is what it all boils down to. Your brand feeling comes to life when you can prove your results. When you prove your brand is real, your confidence soars and you'll always have people who want to hire you. Proof of results can include:
* Testimonials from clients
* Demonstrations or case studies
* Certifications, endorsements, awards
In my mind, the simplest and most powerful '1-2 combination' to prove your authority is testimonials from other clients and EMPATHY. Even if you're new, when a potential client gets the feeling you understand and care about them, you're much more likely to win their business.

Tying it all together

Now you've got a bunch of information about your brand. So, what do you do with it?

What you can do now is craft a simple value statement. This sentence is used to convey a feeling about your business to your ideal customer.

A simple template for a value statement is:

"I help [ideal customer] get [specific results] without [thing they hate]."

Examples:
* "I help lawyers get more clients without spending thousands on advertising."
* "I help job seekers make an awesome resume without hours of frustration."
* "I help people earn money online without cheap and scammy marketing tricks."

That simple 'value statement' template will get your brand out of the gate. From there you can keep your eyes open for other people's value statements, and see if you want to adapt some of their style into yours.

As you can see, branding is really just a way to communicate the enthusiasm you have for what you do to the rest of the world. It's how you tell everyone you love what you do, and you love the unique way in which you do it.

And when you inject that clarity, enthusiasm and love into your marketing, you're bound to attract the right people. There's no other way it could work out.
#brand #business #define #minutes #personal
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  • Profile picture of the author mostCPA
    An awesome article.when you're done asking yourself these questions, you should feel a sense of comfort. there's an overwhelming relief in having an authentic personal brand. unlike clothes that hang ignored in the closet, the authentic brand is like the classic outfit you can't wait to grab again and again because it aligns perfectly with who you are, how you feel, and where you'd like to go next.


    Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author NathanZad
      Originally Posted by mostCPA View Post

      An awesome article.when you're done asking yourself these questions, you should feel a sense of comfort. there's an overwhelming relief in having an authentic personal brand. unlike clothes that hang ignored in the closet, the authentic brand is like the classic outfit you can't wait to grab again and again because it aligns perfectly with who you are, how you feel, and where you'd like to go next.


      Good Luck!
      Thanks a lot for your reply!
      N
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    I'll just take the puppy.
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    Gone Fishin'...
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    • Profile picture of the author NathanZad
      Originally Posted by IGotMine View Post

      I'll just take the puppy.
      Yeah, puppies are darned cute. I don't blame you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DRP
    Decent post, but I have some feedback for you.



    Originally Posted by NathanZad View Post

    But ask most entrepreneurs what their "brand" is, and they won't be able to tell you.

    That's not true at all. They very well can tell you, and they should be able to as well since branding is core to the identity of a company.


    Originally Posted by NathanZad View Post


    Consider how some professional titles have evolved:
    * 'Secretary' became 'administrative assistant'
    * 'Garbage man' became 'sanitation engineer'
    * 'Dishwasher' became 'steward'


    Now, I'm not saying you have to create an entire new title for yourself. But instead of 'marketer', maybe you call yourself a 'marketing funnel specialist'. Or instead of 'copywriter' you're a 'crafter of converting copy'.


    And those are laughable at best. You're not a "Cosmetologist", you're a hairdresser. You're not a "sanitation engineer", you're a waste collector.



    Unless you're hell bent on being a professional freelancer....using "creative" job titles that are not congruent with industry standards is a surefire way to NOT get hired. I laugh when I see job titles like the ones you've described...or others like:


    "Inbound Marketing Executive"
    "Social Media Coordinator and Creative Copywriter"


    You're a "Digital Marketing Specialist" AT BEST. And if you want to get hired, use job titles that are congruent with the industry....lest you remain "Creatively Unemployed".
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    I'd rather tell you an ugly truth than a pretty lie.
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    • Profile picture of the author NathanZad
      Originally Posted by DRP View Post

      Decent post, but I have some feedback for you.






      That's not true at all. They very well can tell you, and they should be able to as well since branding is core to the identity of a company.






      And those are laughable at best. You're not a "Cosmetologist", you're a hairdresser. You're not a "sanitation engineer", you're a waste collector.



      Unless you're hell bent on being a professional freelancer....using "creative" job titles that are not congruent with industry standards is a surefire way to NOT get hired. I laugh when I see job titles like the ones you've described...or others like:


      "Inbound Marketing Executive"
      "Social Media Coordinator and Creative Copywriter"


      You're a "Digital Marketing Specialist" AT BEST. And if you want to get hired, use job titles that are congruent with the industry....lest you remain "Creatively Unemployed".
      Thanks for your opinions! I see how my advice wouldn't be appropriate for lots of companies and individuals, and you're clearly one of them. That's OK by me. Appreciate the comments.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Good but i think the main key is that:

    a Brand is defined in comaprision to your competitors: what's the Unique Selling Proposition?

    What is the main differentiating point that solves an unique problem your competitors do not solve?
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    Originally Posted by NathanZad View Post

    Do you have a brand?

    Do you need one?

    WTF is a 'brand' anyway?

    Ah yes, 'branding'. That odd concept that pesters marketers and entrepreneurs the world over.

    Every year, hours of content is created on the topic of branding. And every year, millions of dollars of books and courses are sold on the same topic.

    But ask most entrepreneurs what their "brand" is, and they won't be able to tell you.

    Because what the heck is a brand, anyway? Is it your company name? Your logo and tagline? Colours on your website? All of that? Something else?

    It's confusing, ain't it?

    And so I ask again - do you even NEED a 'brand'?

    Well, hold on just a second.

    What if I told you that you already HAVE a brand?

    Here's what I mean...

    Do you know what your marketing says to people? And I don't mean the actual words you write or speak.

    I mean, how does your marketing make people FEEL?

    Can you describe the feeling of your marketing?

    Because I believe, more than logos and colours and taglines, it's how you make people feel that's the essence of your brand.

    So that demands the question: how do you WANT to make people feel?

    Is there a specific emotion you want to evoke? Do you want to make people laugh, make them cry, make them ponder, ask questions?

    Do you want them to feel alive and excited, or powerful and motivated? Do you want them to feel like you're the right one to help them?

    How do you make them feel? That's your brand.

    And you can make it whatever you want.

    5 quick n' dirty brand questions

    Here's 5 fast questions to help clarify your brand identity:

    1. Who do you serve? This is not about appealing to the widest possible audience. Quite the opposite. When marketing, you want to have a single, specific person in mind. Beyond simple demographics, consider the psychology of this imagined person. Ask yourself questions like:
    * What keeps them up at night?
    * What are their top frustrations or challenges?
    * What is their deepest dream or desire?
    Sketch out a clear image of your ideal customer, and talk directly to that person every time you're marketing your business.

    2. Who are you to them? What could you call yourself that would create the feeling of your brand? Some of this depends on what products or services you offer, but not all of it. Consider how some professional titles have evolved:
    * 'Secretary' became 'administrative assistant'
    * 'Garbage man' became 'sanitation engineer'
    * 'Dishwasher' became 'steward'
    Now, I'm not saying you have to create an entire new title for yourself. But instead of 'marketer', maybe you call yourself a 'marketing funnel specialist'. Or instead of 'copywriter' you're a 'crafter of converting copy'. Whatever you choose, make sure it aligns with what your ideal customer wants, and how you want them to feel when they hear about you.

    3. What do you believe in? Not a lot of people think about this one, but it's one of the most crucial elements of a brand. Communicating your business values is a direct line to creating the feeling you want in your potential customer. Ask yourself:
    * What do you stand for?
    * What do you stand against?
    * What can you be counted on to do?
    * What will you never EVER do?
    * What do current or past clients say about you?
    The ability to weave your values and beliefs into your marketing is one of the most valuable things a business can do. You can't fake this one, so whatever your values are, make sure you really believe them - or they won't believe you.

    4. What are you known for? It's great to be a generalist or 'jack of all trades', but it can be really tough to get traction with an audience that way. Instead, position yourself as the top expert in a few specific skills to attract your ideal customer. Create content and marketing messages around those specific areas so you can show the depth of your knowledge and achieve a high level of authority in the market. Then when your clients come on board, you can share everything you do as they need it.

    5. What results do you get? Ultimately, this is what it all boils down to. Your brand feeling comes to life when you can prove your results. When you prove your brand is real, your confidence soars and you'll always have people who want to hire you. Proof of results can include:
    * Testimonials from clients
    * Demonstrations or case studies
    * Certifications, endorsements, awards
    In my mind, the simplest and most powerful '1-2 combination' to prove your authority is testimonials from other clients and EMPATHY. Even if you're new, when a potential client gets the feeling you understand and care about them, you're much more likely to win their business.

    Tying it all together

    Now you've got a bunch of information about your brand. So, what do you do with it?

    What you can do now is craft a simple value statement. This sentence is used to convey a feeling about your business to your ideal customer.

    A simple template for a value statement is:

    "I help [ideal customer] get [specific results] without [thing they hate]."

    Examples:
    * "I help lawyers get more clients without spending thousands on advertising."
    * "I help job seekers make an awesome resume without hours of frustration."
    * "I help people earn money online without cheap and scammy marketing tricks."

    That simple 'value statement' template will get your brand out of the gate. From there you can keep your eyes open for other people's value statements, and see if you want to adapt some of their style into yours.

    As you can see, branding is really just a way to communicate the enthusiasm you have for what you do to the rest of the world. It's how you tell everyone you love what you do, and you love the unique way in which you do it.

    And when you inject that clarity, enthusiasm and love into your marketing, you're bound to attract the right people. There's no other way it could work out.
    I have a brand that cost me six-figures.
    Now I dont have any money to build the brand, ROFL.
    go figure
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    Awesome share. I love the formula of value statement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bittrexsupport
    Helpful Information
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  • Profile picture of the author NathanZad
    Thanks to everyone who's commentented on this post. And thanks so much for reading too.
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  • Profile picture of the author simonmc
    The power of branding. I could go on about it all day long

    Here's a very simple observation you can all make about the power of branding. Go in to your local supermarket and head over to the drinks section. No I'm not even going to mention Coke (oh damn just said it) ... but really go to the drinks section and look at the different bottles of water on sale. Water is water right? Water is that thing that is in infinite abundance on much of this planet earth and some of us are even lucky enough to get it for free. Yet here we have in the drinks aisle 10 different BRANDS of water (the same water that has been here since time began) and those 10 brands all have different price points. Go figure that one out.

    Same as the local gas station selling the exact same gas for more than the gas station down the road.

    That's what branding is all about. So anyone that tells you branding is not important has not realised the blatantly obvious which is that most of us follow brands and it's often subliminal.
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  • Profile picture of the author mohdmacki
    Branding is all about you positioning yourself as an authority. Representing oneself infront of them again and again which gives them more trust in you & Definitely by adding immense amount of value
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by mohdmacki View Post

      Branding is all about you positioning yourself as an authority. Representing oneself infront of them again and again which gives them more trust in you & Definitely by adding immense amount of value

      I get where you are coming from and agree for the most part. What you say implies that you or your brand are unknown to "them" and your way is to make you or your brand known to them. All fine and well and I agree with you for the most part.


      Your business brand is not limited to you as the brand. Everything about the business including front-end to back-end (A to Z) will always be the brand and the only brand.


      For example, A person speaks at a business conference and at the end of the conference other business minded people want to join your business. Fine! Your staff helps bring them into the fold. Oops, no staff! Bad Brand!


      Again..
      Everything about the business including front-end to back-end (A to Z) will always be the brand and the only brand.
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      Entrepreneurs starting out and small businesses without giant staffs and budgets.

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  • Profile picture of the author hnrindani
    A brand is about how you differentiate your self from others and where do you want to position yourself. If you see around every brand have something special and that has to be reflected in each activity you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author SDJ74
    Great article. I believe in simplicity. Another way of explaining your "cutting it to the bone is" - Once we as humans get into any kind of new thing it usually looks easy on the outside. But then as we start digging our hands into it, we see how complicated and hard it really is. Until we become masters - we´re it all actually is pretty simple and we´re able to make only a couple of powerful moves and get the job done fast and with simplicity and ease.

    It´s important to gain as much knowledge as possible and ask as many questions as possible - only to sooner than later be able to create ONE simple framework for what really works and what really counts.

    "Shaving away all unnecessity is a sign we have arrived at mastery"

    #framework #mastering #branding
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    .. in 12 minutes or less:


    Honest and ethnical marketer.



    The bottom line is when I contact other marketers in my circle or they contact me.. they know that I only do it one way.. with transparent honesty and only employ ethnical marketing methods.
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    Entrepreneurs starting out and small businesses without giant staffs and budgets.

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  • Profile picture of the author NathanZad
    Thanks everyone, great discussion!
    N
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  • Brand means establishing a goodwill of service and product quality in the market.
    Whenever any product enters in the market then it the service quality which make it and establish it as a brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laracraft Lara
    Keeping in mind the end goal to enhance your computerized nearness or drive more business on the web, you'll have to begin creating heaps of online movement: distributing content, growing a web-based social networking nearness, taking part in PR activities
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Excellent post. Getting clear on my brand and its core message helped me stay on topic, or, on brand, persistently. I think too many folks have little or no clarity and never build a brand to begin with. They want money and have no interest in thinking this through.....but if you do think it through and build brand awareness, the potential is just stunning.
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