The first thing to remember is that your brand is not what you think you are, your brand is what other people think you are.
So, you need to get out there and show people exactly who you are. Which of course means that first of all, you need to be out there. Be online, be in communication, be visible wherever you need to be visible for people to see you. Write those blogs, create those vlogs, write social media posts, comment on people’s posts, get some PR, just be seen out there. And while you’re doing that, you have to remember to, first of all, be authentic. Be you-nique.
Be the brand that you want people to know. Have that unique voice when you speak so that you can build your following, build your recognition and build a community of people that know, like and trust you.
How do I stand out?
Have a memorable design; wherever you go, your logo goes; wherever you go, your brand colour palette goes; wherever you go, your brand fonts go. Always the same, being consistent, being the same, being recognisable everywhere. Because this is just going to empower people to recognise you, to know who you are and what you do.
You need to weave your brand into everything from your blogs and your website, to your business card and your LinkedIn profile, everywhere. Your brand needs to be really, really consistent so that people can instantly recognise you.
And don’t try to talk to everyone. This is really important, because if you try to talk to everyone, you end up talking to no one. Know specifically who it is that you’re talking to so that you can talk to them with a clear voice, with authority and so that they can recognise you for something. Being the master of everything makes you instantly forgettable.
How do I win trust?
Building a brand is about creating a relationship with people. When they trust your brand, price becomes a secondary consideration to a buying decision. To win trust you need to produce value – and this isn’t the same as being cheap. You don’t need to be Apple to create an amazing product (arguably). Even lower end products (think IKEA) produce amazing value to their customers.
So, think about what sets your product or service or company apart from the others. What value do you provide and how does that value differ from that provided by your competitors? How do these benefits really tap into your customer’s emotions? How do they make their lives better? How do you solve their problem? Your brand taps into all these emotions and what is important to you, is important to your ideal client – this is where your brand is at its strongest point.
Putting a price on branding
Everybody struggles to work out how much to charge, but do you produce enough value for what you’re charging? Or actually, do you produce way too much value for what you’re actually charging? Think about how you are being perceived and make sure that you put a good enough value on that.
If you look cheap, with a home-made logo and a website you cobbled together in Wix, you might struggle to charge premium prices for your service as there is a gap in what is believable there. If your brand looks amazing but you fail to produce the value that people expect, that’s also a cavern that will destroy your brand.