Let’s dive into a pretty darn important question. And that is… what the heck IS a brand anyway? What is branding?
Brands and branding is one of those things that is not always completely understood… people, including seasoned business owners, have a general idea of what it is but often can’t quite put their finger on it if you were to ask them for the definition. That’s because it’s somewhat intangible.
Here’s the DL… A brand is the public’s perception of your business when it hears your brand name, whether that’s good or bad.
It’s the emotions that it evokes, as a culmination of your business’s story, personality, values, promises, tone, consistency, and visual style.
Technically a brand isn’t even a thing that’s owned by you, it solely exists in the heads of other people. This means that every business has a brand, whether they’ve put thought into it or not.
SAY WHAT? Yeah.
While that might seem deflating, as if you have no control, that is not the case. That’s where the process of branding comes in.
Branding is the process of purposefully crafting your business in a way that influences the way the public thinks about it.
When you put strategic thought and love into your branding, you will get more of the influence you want, rather than just throwing confetti to the wind and hoping people think you’re cool.
The Pay Off of Branding
If people have a positive perception of your brand, clearly it’s good for business. It means they’re going to be a repeat customer and tell their friends.
- Increases your business’s credibility
- Increases recognizability
- Magnetizes your I’d-so-love-to-work-with-them clients
- Earns those clients’ trust and loyalty
- Sets you apart from the competition
- Encourages an emotional connection to your business
- Gives you incredible confidence and clarity in your business direction
Branding Should Always Comes First
There are three stages to business: Branding & Brand Message –> Marketing & Sales –> Service or Product Fulfillment.
It’s important that building a strong brand with a solid message always comes first. It’s your business’s foundations… just like a house, it needs a solid foundation, otherwise the walls are just going to crumble in.
Most people start their business, think very little about their brand, jump straight into marketing and then get flustered when it doesn’t seem to be working that great and business feels SO FREAKING HARD!! AAHH!
They’re getting it wrong. Marketing is what comes AFTER branding… marketing is where you go and tell the world about your brand that you’ve lovingly cultivated. If you don’t get your branding foundations all spiff and solid, then your marketing efforts are not going to have the impact that you want.
Sure, people might find you, but you’ll either be attracting the wrong type of client or customer, or your ideal clients will simply not resonate or trust you. Which means they won’t open their hearts, minds, and wallets to you and you’ll be stuck in a hamster wheel.
I mean who wants to drop tons of time and money on marketing that doesn’t really work? Probably not you because you’re too smart for dat. I KNOW you’re too smart for that, otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now.
So, if you were at all confused about what branding is, I hope that cleared it up as to why it’s SO freaking important! It really is the secret sauce that makes some businesses effortlessly soar, while others simply flop.