Branding is about how people remember you. It’s how you stand out amongst all the white noise spilling over people’s days.
A metaphor always helps to bring clarity to any writing so let’s go with this one.
Think about a hummingbird. They’re very small, unique, colourful and can hold a sustained hovering flight position while drinking nectar. They’re synonymous with wonder, beauty and specialness – all positive attributes. They are so prized that a hummingbird is often used as a symbol.
Now, think about a vulture. Vultures are large and ugly with their bald heads, craggy stoop and angry frown. They feed off dead, dying and weak. Known as the scavengers of the avian world, they have a largely negative reputation.
Both species are birds. But which would you rather be associated with?
That decision is based on the brand of the bird. Hummingbirds have a positive, attractive, appealing brand image while vultures are branded as something to avoid. Everything a hummingbird or vulture does reinforces their brand. If they did something oppositional to that brand, it would jar.
So branding is about how you and your business are perceived. How are you building and reinforcing your reputation. Everything you do adds or detracts from your brand, even if you are not aware of it. Every product, every product cover, every social media post, every blog entry, every forum conversation – each and all add to your brand image.
Here’s the thing. If you are not consistent, you are building confusion.
Think about how you want to be perceived then ensure everything you do (or don’t do) contributes to that brand image.
Three things you can do right now:
- write down the words and feelings you want to be associated with your brand
- ask a friend to check over your business and describe your brand to you – does it match?
- check out a competitor or two and see where they brand better than you