Branding a company, let alone creating a personal brand, is tricky business.
The usual advice goes something along the lines of, “be mindful of the colors you choose so you don’t come off as too cheap or too expensive… pay attention to the images you use so you aren’t too girly or too masculine…” etc.
Basically, don’t be too much and don’t be too little. So, how do you find that sweet spot of what’s just right for YOUR brand and business?
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the mega success of brands like Apple or Tiffany & Co., because they sure know what they’re doing! However, you don’t have to be a multimillion-dollar company to stand out from the crowd.
Actually, great brands have one thing in common: they’ve become great not only because they have a great product or a killer marketing campaign, but simply because they gained massive clarity on one thing right from the start – their why.
The ONE Question You Need to Be Asking Yourself First:
Branding your business is so much more than just choosing a logo or picking the right colors. Don’t get me wrong, a good logo and the right colors are incredibly important, but they’re not the most essential elements like you may think. Those are just two small aspects of creating a clear and successful brand!
Branding is all about what your business communicates to your ideal client or customer across all your various touchpoints (website, emails, logo, marketing, social media, etc — any point at which your brand connects with your audience).
So how do you make sure your business is saying the right things? Well, here’s the secret question:
Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s the driving force behind your work? What makes you set the alarm at 5 AM and get down to work right away? Why are you absolutely sure your product or service will change the world and make someone’s life better? Why does it matter?
Write down your answers, and take a good, hard look at them – you’ve just set down a pretty solid foundation for your brand!
Recommended read: “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek (*)
When you start with WHY it becomes easier to define the HOW and WHAT.
They’re just technicalities now, not a major source of spinout.
This is because your why determines everything else: how you’re going to talk to your ideal client, what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, and what is the right way to help them (the right product/service/offering), etc.
As long as you have your why in place, your brand’s message is always going to be clear, and it’s also going to more easily cut through the noise of all the other companies trying to reach your ideal customer at the same time.
Oh, and whenever you’re not sure about something, for example, you’re not sure if that social media campaign is right for your business, go back and check in with your why again. That’s where you’ll find your answer, by asking whether or not it’s fully aligned with WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, WHY you’re motivated to serve your particular audience in this way.
A Little Something Before You Go:
Besides the major importance of the why, I just wanted to touch on a few other things you may find helpful at the beginning of your branding journey:
- Build your brand on what you believe:
If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, why should anyone else? People can smell dishonesty from miles away, so make sure your message is fully aligned.
- Honesty and kindness are always a good idea:
Not sure what the right brand values are for your business? No brand is more trustworthy than the brand that truly cares for its customers above all else, learns from its mistakes, listens to feedback, and always works to make things right.
- Your brand will evolve over time:
Approach branding with a growth mindset; It’s going to evolve over time along with you, your business, and your audience. Remember, don’t focus so much on the tiniest details, such as the shade of green or the Helvetica font… focus on your why!
Do you have any tips for branding a company or building a business that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!
- (*) https://amzn.to/2S3OCnj