You have a brand, whether you know it or not.
Doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, run a small business or work for a fortune 500 company. People buy into you before the product or service you are selling. People first and foremost do business with people they know like and trust.
Branding essentially is your reputation and people’s perception of you.
Everybody is into branding now; it’s become a buzz word that folks throw around these days. Back in the day a brand was a major corporation, a household name, companies you that had those “Good Jobs” with benefits and if you lucked up a pension plan.
Before I jump into what a brand actually is let me tell you exactly what it isn’t.
– It isn’t just some fancy word to make you sound hip and smart. People know when you’re faking it and just using it to be relevant for the situation or circumstance.
– It’s not about self-packaging. Just because you have business cards and a website that links to your social media profiles doesn’t mean you’re in the clear and are off to creating a multi-million dollar brand.
– It’s not a passing fad or some fly by night idea.
– It’s not just a hashtag.
– It’s not just a statement used to list functional areas of expertise.
– It’s not content marketing. Let’s be clear content marketing is sales-minded storytelling.
– And for Pete-sake branding IS NOT your logo or any of your marketing collateral. When most people think of branding these are the tangible items that come to mind but they are solely meant to convey your brand personality, message, value proposition, and ideal client.
Branding can be hard to explain because at its core it is all about emotions and feelings… fundamentally it is all of the intangibles that are hard and difficult to quantify. It’s the time you’ve spent on professional development to gain the knowledge and expertise in your given field, it’s the unique value you bring into the relationships you build, it’s knowing and understanding who your audience is and over-standing their wants, desires and needs, it’s using your strengths and understanding your weaknesses, and all of your other personal attributes that help differentiate you from your colleagues, peers, and ultimately your competition.
So now that we have that out of the way let’s get to meat and potatoes.
It’s 2019 and long gone are the days of playing games when it comes to creating, maintaining and sustaining a successful business that can morph into a major brand.
You are either going to rise to the occasion or not and be left in the dust. Consumers are dying for an emotional connection to the brands they buy from and align themselves with; a brand that tells a story that keeps them engaged, that is relevant and never ending. Brands that create a memorable experience and can consistently keep their audience wanting more become unforgettable.
5 Ways to Creating A Stand-Out Branding Experience
1. Brand Differentiation
Just look around we are constantly being marketed to. We live in a world of infinite supply, if you don’t have it or can’t provide it somebody else will. Ask yourself, what is the one thing that sets your brand apart?
Change happens and It happens fast. For businesses to thrive they must learn to constantly pivot, adapt, prepare and act on whatever rises to the top. The way you position yourself publicly encourages your ideal customers to choose you over your competition.
2. The Branding Experience
Brands now take consumers on a journey, setting new standards in how customers will experience your brand from interest to point of purchase. Just take a look at how you shop now and all of the conveniences that are available. Only Pizza and Chinese Food Restaurants use to deliver, now you can get just about anything delivered right to your door. In creating not just a business but a brand you will need to understand your customers in order to stay relevant, engaged and most importantly loyal.
3. Leveraging Technology
Have you heard of conversational marketing? (Fix your face) It’s definitely a thing now. Conversational marketing allows brands to be present in the user journey (at all times) through Chatbots, it’s not a fad or trend that will going away anytime soon, it’s just getting started and will evolve. There is a new wave of AI hitting the scene like never before. Chatbots are a gateway helping brands create targeted and engaging touchpoints for consumers interacting with brands. Bot can chat directly with a potential customer, answer questions, all while providing a branding experience.
4. Phigital Anyone?
Cool word. Even better meaning. Phigital is the concept of merging the physical world with experiences from the digital world – finding ways to improve consumers offline experiences with the digital one providing a tailored brand journey. Developing a phigital strategy is a great way of creating real-time conversations between your brand and your audience.
2019 is definitely the year you want to level up and make a conscious effort to connect and engage with your audience. Create a process that works for you and don’t look back.