<photo above: Starbucks brand-website, Facebook feed, barista>
Brand is a word that’s thrown around like confetti these days. But what does it really mean?
If you want to get down to it, it’s not that complicated. Think of “brand” as:
- What you stand for
- What your business is all about
- The impression you make on other people
- Your reputation, and how people remember your business
In a nutshell, your brand is how people perceive your business.
If you’re growing your business, chances are, you’re also building your brand.
As you build your business keep in mind these 3 elements that make up your brand: professional, personal and social.
A) PROFESSIONAL BRAND
This is the “9-5 you.”
This one is about your product or service, how well it’s delivered, how you deal with customers, and basically, the reputation you’ve built (or are building) in the marketplace.
B) PERSONAL BRAND
This is about you and the people who work for you: the way you interact with clients/customers; the “you” we see face to face and actually have some contact with.
Personal brand includes things like the way you move and sound; the way you handle phone calls, and so on.
Personal brand can also include secondary interactions like seeing you on a video or watching you on tv; listening to you on the radio or a podcast.
In essence, it’s about experiencing YOU and the people that work for you and represent your business.
C) SOCIAL BRAND
I’m not sure if many people consider this as part of their brand. I think social media has become an intrinsic part of our lives, of our interactions, and so it can’t be ignored.
Your “social brand” includes items like
- Your tone, the way you write posts (the words and expressions you use)
- The kind of things you post (the actual content)
- The things you choose to share.
Think of your social brand as the way you behave online.
How do these 3 components affect you?
As your business grows over time, I believe all 3 of these will blend together to become “your brand.” The trick is to be aware of what they each mean, and to figure out how to make them work for you.
The key is to be clear about what you want your brand to be. Ultimately, how do you want people to think of your business?
Once you know that, work towards that goal. Social, personal and professional elements of your brand should blend, and there should be continuity and consistency between all three.
Let me give you an example:
If you’re building a brand that presents a friendly, easy-going attitude, with energetic staff ready to help with customers questions…then you and your staff need to be that when you talk to potential customers.
You need to be friendly and easy going, otherwise there’s a disconnect. And when you’re online, your posts should likewise be friendly and casual.
If you post very formal, stiffly-worded posts, there will be a huge disconnect that may turn people off.
“Building your brand” happens when those 3 elements work and blend together over time. Take some time to figure out and define what your brand is. And then work towards that, remembering that building a brand takes time and needs to be a consistent effort across the board. No matter where people interact with your brand, they should get the same experience.
Is all this brand talk confusing you? Not sure how your social, professional and personal brands can work in harmony?
Let’s have a chat. I would be happy to help you clarify what your brand is, and how to present it to the world.