Quick – what is your brilliance? What makes you irresistable and memorable to people?
Are you funny and earthy? Are you intense and artistic? Are you loving and adventurous? Are you terse and distant?
And your business? How is your business experienced by clients, potential clients, vendors, and friends? Is it fun to work with you? Is it easy? Do people feel safe and grounded? Do they feel stretched and satiated by their experience with you? Does interaction with your business add zest and flair to their life or does it bring peace of mind and a sense of comfort?
Your brand is the personality of your business. It is not your product. It is not your logo. It is not your marketing program. All of these things should be full of or drive your brand, but your brand is a separate thing in itself.
It really is just like personality in a person. If you are happy-go-lucky in personality, it is likely that you choose to do things that are fun and playful (at least part of the time), you live a lifestyle that has a happy-go-lucky quality and you probably even dress in ways that reflect this personality characteristic.
Similarly, if you are serious and introverted in personality, there's a good chance that you do things that engage that serious part of you more often (reading, maybe… research, contemplation… you get the idea). You likely dress and speak in ways that are consistent with this personality trait. Your personality is consistent with your style overall.
People get to know you, respond to you and remember you based on these qualities.
The same things happens with your business. This is your brand; the personality of your business. People remember your brand when they remember your business.
So, be intentional about your branding. Be sure that you articulate your brand and make your business decisions with the conscious goal of reflecting that brand.
This is easy to say, as are most things theoretical. The application is the hard part. Articulating your brand is no trivial matter and most of us struggle to first identify the current characteristics of our brand then name them. Then it gets even more complex as we look at those characteristics and decide if they make up the personality we want associated with our business.
Alas – there are ways to get there, however! A guided, deep inquiry with specific tools designed to draw out a succinct description of your business' personality can give you a reference point to use when deciding on logos, colors, language, and even product ideas.
In the next few weeks, we'll talk more about some of these tools for branding clarity. Stay tuned.