Brands are everywhere.
Right now, you’re surrounded by a ton of branded “stuff” be they goods or services even as you read this article.
Look down at your computer. See the company? Look up in your browser…see the name of a search engine? Look down at your phone. Yup, another brand. Take a break, go to the fridge and open it….brands, brands and more brands.
So, what is a brand exactly?
Well, a brand can be either a trademark or a distinct name that identifies or represents a product of service.
Brands aren’t just a catchy tagline or logo…brands embody a customer’s experience and memories, be they good or bad.
For example, I was helping a client a couple of years ago with her mother’s estate. I called Key Bank to get them to distribute the estate funds and close the account.
The account managers I spoke with were rude and clearly had no training whatsoever. A couple of hours later, a Key Bank executive took care of us, but I’ve never forgotten it.
Every single time I pass by a Key Bank sign, I rehash the terrible service I received.
Now onto the positive…
I just LOVE my Apple products. I can’t get enough of them! Every time I hear about a new Apple product, despite their price and despite the fact that I just purchased the last greatest thing…I can’t help but take a peak.
I’ve had a fabulous experience with Apple products since I got my first iPod years and years ago.
Here’s the thing, brands aren’t just for mega companies. If you want to succeed online, you’re going to need to create a brand and then promote it.
Your brand is way more than just the name your mamma gave you!
It’s made up of:
– Your Reputation
– Your products/services
– Your customer service
– Your Unique Selling Proposition
So what kind of brand?
Well, you could use a company name or you could just use your own name. I think personal brands are the best, especially when you’re starting out.
Why Opt For a Personal Brand?
First of all, if you’re promoting someone else’s brand, you aren’t 100% in control of it.
If you’re a distributor for a network marketing or direct sales company and people only equate you to your network marketing company, what happens when your company shuts down through no fault of your own?
There goes your brand. : (
Then you have to start all over again.
Building a brand takes time, and if you’re constantly having to start over, you won’t ever get any traction.
With your own brand, you’re in the driver’s seat.
Plenty of people that you know use their “Personal Brand”… Oprah, Dr. Phil, Tony Robbins, Celine Dion, Michael Jordan are just a few examples.
This is an evergreen brand that can change with you as your product and service offerings change or expand over time.
The good news is, if you have developed your USP, you’re well on your way to developing your brand.
A brand is all about distinguishing yourself and standing out from the crowd.
What is unique about what you offer? Is it of a higher quality? Is it one-of-a-kind?
While your “personal brand” starts with YOU it ends with your customer. Make sure that your brand will align with your target market.
Once you’ve come up with your brand, now it’s time to…
Create a Logo and Tagline.
For example, my tagline is “Empowering Entrepreneurs to Build Their Brand Online”.
People know what they’re getting with me. You know whom my general target market is (“Entrepreneurs”) my Vision/Goal (to Empower) and the subject matter “Building a Brand Online.”
There are plenty of free Logo Design programs (freeware) out there. Or, you can go to www.LogoNerds.Com or www.99Designs.com to have a professional create a logo for you.
PROMOTING YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve got your brand, now it’s time to promote it. You’ll want to make sure that your website and social media are branded.
Announce your brand to the world and then advertise it! Whether that be through social media, pay-per-click advertising, forums, blogging, etc.
But if you don’t remember anything else, remember this…
When promoting your brand online, you must keep your Target Market/Avatar in mind. You must always have a crystal clear vision of their likes, dislikes, fears, dreams, needs and wants.
Then you need to cater to those things.
If your target market isn’t so tech savvy, you should make your easy to navigate. If your audience likes video tutorials, then provide them.
Writing for men and writing for women are different. If you’re writing for both, then make sure your site isn’t too “girlie” looking or too “masculine”.
If your audience is a group of professionals, you should use a professional tone. No profanity!
Stay tuned for Commandment #4: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s (or thy company’s) list
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