Often I meet clients who say what they want, and are ready to invest in social media and content marketing, to grow their business. All very good. The problem starts when I ask them one simple question:
“Tell me about your brand. What’s your story?”
In other words, what is the promise of value you’re going to make, and why? How do you aim to make people’s lives better? What makes you unique, differentiated, powerful? What’s your personality? What are your values? What do you believe in? WHO are you?
So the clients explain to me in detail, for hours about the product/ service they sell, and show me a logo they got developed. Without much thought about what the brand is, they probably simply outsourced the logo development to a designer with a brief that said: “please create a nice brand. logo”. While it is inspiring to see their passion for their product, here’s the problem:
A product/ service is not a brand. And neither is a logo.
A brand is a promise, an experience, a connection, a story. It is unique, it has a mission, it improves peoples' lives, in a way that others don't. It also has a specific personality, a tone of voice.
A product can have 10000000s of competitiors.
A brand is more unique, because it it made up of a whole lot more than just product features.
Think of it this way:
Brand = A person.
With a story, a personality, a set of values, certain dreams of the future, a way of connecting to others. Maybe this person has a sense of humor, or strong beliefs and convictions. Other people describe this person in a certain way, and it is very hard to find someone else who is extremely similar to this individual, in all aspects.
Also read: 7 essential elements of strong brand equity
Corporate identity, logo = How this person would dress and move.
What colors and styles would they wear? What would their body language be like? What kind of words would they use?
Marketing & communication = What this person would do and say, to achieve what he/she wants (which would be the business objectives).
If you don’t know who the person is, how will you know the rest? How will you form a connection with your target customers, rather, with people you want to connect with, if you don’t know who you are and how you want to talk?
So do NOT build a corporate identity, a website, and do not do any kind of marketing BEFORE you know what your brand is.
Otherwise your marketing and communication will not follow the basic rules of consistency that a brand should have. It will be a bit of a havoc, and all your marketing investments may not generate the ROI that they should.
Only when you have the core essence of the brand figured out, create a corporate identity that reflects it and THEN, based on your business objectives, create a website to tell the story, and build a marketing strategy and content, to communicate the value that your brand has to offer. Be #PowerfullyYOU.
How did you build your brand? Would love to hear your comments. You can connect with me on LinkedIn for more tips and information on branding, marketing, and communication.