We’ve all lived our entire lives surrounded by branding and being marketed to by brands everywhere from magazines and newspapers to Saturday-morning cartoons. But about ten years ago with the explosion of social media and online marketing, “branding” became a real buzzword. Although branding is not a new concept, it was having a real moment in the early 2010s. “Branding specialists” were popping up all over the place, how-to seminars and workshops about branding your business/yourself became incredibly popular and remain so to this day. Successful companies exist that focus solely on personal and professional branding, never mind marketing. Yet with all of the information out there, confusion still remains.
What is branding, exactly?
Branding is the process of defining not only what your business is but who your business is. I know, but stick with me. One way to start thinking about it is to picture your brand as a person. When you describe someone’s personality, it gives others an idea of who they are. Are they intellectual, happy, serious, artistic, lively? Now take that train of thought and describe your business and the impression you want people to have about it. Is your brand lively, serious, entertaining, thoughtful, simple, educational?
Knowing and being able to articulate the personality of your brand and how you want people to feel the minute they get to your website is vital to successfully developing your brand. Your brand must uphold a detailed set of standards that align with the emotions you want your audience to feel. All other things – marketing, web design, social media presence – flow from consistent and clear branding.
Next time we’ll dig a little deeper and learn how to pinpoint your branding by identifying your ideal client. Stay tuned!