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Branding Basics For Your Biz

branding basicsBy Simone Kelly-Brown

Let me just cut to the chase. EVERYONE IS NOT YOUR CUSTOMER. If you don’t know what your brand stands for, who your target market is, then I’m sorry to break the news to you, you truly don’t have a business strategy. You won’t know how to identify your services or how to communicate what you do effectively and worst of all YOU WON’T BE MEMORABLE.

Okay, now that I got the bad news out of the way…let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what you can do to stay on the minds and hearts of your consumer…

DEVELOP A KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS OFF BRAND!

What is Branding?

I like to look at branding as a little more than just your logo and colors. Its story telling about what you do via your messages, your activities, and of course your image… your mark. It’s a promise about what you are going to deliver.

•    Your brand is the heart and soul of your company. It’s apart of what you stand for.

•    A brand can give a small company a corporate identity that is larger than life. A highly developed brand can position your company alongside the ‘BIG DOGS’ in your industry if done correctly.

•    The more consistent you are with your message, the more memorable you’ll be.

As a small business owner it’s also why you wake up every morning. Your brand is what you live for and what you stand for! Own Your Power stands for helping people awaken to their greatness, heal and transform…it stands for power, passion and freedom.

It’s a collection of meanings that we carry around with us. The feeling, emotions, results, and  trust we put into a company.   It’s also about quality and service.

Okay…Quick ‘Lil Exercise:

Here are a few brand names to look over. Think about what emotions, memories, or images come to mind… Jot something down for each one.

1.    McDonald’s

2.    Spirit Airlines

3.    Whole Foods

4.    BP

5.    Barbie

6.    Nike

7.    American Express

8.    Phillip Morris

9.    Jack in the Box

10.    Target

11.    Jet Blue

12.    Barnes and Nobles

13.    Starbucks

I bet you thought about more than the logo, huh? ☺  Some made you feel good and some might have made you feel upset and disgusted! LOL  Some you probably didn’t know much about and felt indifferent.

Think about what came to mind when you read those names. Now…put your company name on that list. What would you like to hear your customers say after they saw your name or logo?

Branding also sums up the beliefs of your organization and your mission. But oh…it goes even deeper than that. It’s the music you play in your restaurant,  the smell of that incense in your yoga studio, the way  your team dresses in all red at  your hair salon, your top-notch customer service, the colors on the walls, the way you advertise. It’s that cute and fun way you answer the phones, it’s in your email signature . It’s in your own signature style, your podcast theme song, the font you use. I could go on…but I won’t. You get my drift by now!

Who knew you could drop little bread crumbs of your brand around in all that you do each day? ☺  Just about anything that can connect your customers emotionally to you is a part of your branding.

And a big one, that I can’t forget: It’s about how you interact in social media networks!  It’s so important to inject a little personality and a touch of your own life within your postings.  You just have to find a balance where it’s not soooo much about your kids and how you’re about to go to Walmart to catch that sale on Ice cream vs. being too sales pitchy and only talking about your business.  Think of your social media interactions as a conversation.

When you are in small business, being authentic truly matters. Bring a bit of your personality and your business brand mixed together. It’s extremely hard to HIDE BEHIND your brand these days. It’s actually a plus to have a personality to represent what you do.  Like I jokingly tell my clients new to social media…You can run, but you can’t hide.

Really dig deep and understand WHAT BUSINESS YOU ARE TRULY IN? What does your brand represent?

Holistic Business Coach, Simone Kelly Brown, the passionate visionary behind Own Your Power Communications, encourages you to own your business and pursue a holistic lifestyle. Check her community out and connect with like-minds here: http://www.ownyourpower.ning.com

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