If you spoke to me about branding two years ago, you’d find my eyes glazed over with boredom and in truth, try it today and you might still find my eyes glazing over.
Because branding is often associated purely with the look and feel of your product and business collateral – logo’s, website colours, business name etc. In fact, I’ve seen people come up with some crazy names that have nothing to do with their product or message, all in the name of trying to be like Coca Cola!
Now, these things all have their place, and consistency of design, colours, moniker or alias – if you have one – are all great ways to increase relate-ability and memorability for YOU, your personal brand.
But most people will find that focusing on logos, colours, business names, etc alone when it comes to branding is like throwing money down the toilet.
Why Entrepreneurs Cannot And Should Not Try To Copy Big Brands
First of all, we don’t have their budgets. That’s an easy one.
Big brands, in trying to compete, will advertise in places they won’t even get exposure in the name of “my competitors are doing it.”
Take note of that statement because this is a real fear that many corporations have, partly powered by “they don’t know what to do.”
Second, big brands have different concerns, strategies and reasons.
For a start, they have to consider their shareholders and other stakeholders in the company and often profit is way down the list of their concerns.
As Dan Kennedy put it, big brands are not using their own or even real money because a lot of it comes from investments. To many of the big brands, visibility is about advertising.
Before Any Kind Of Promotion, Know Who You Are First
You can put it down to lack of funds, lack of support or a lack of knowledge of your chosen niche, but I believe that one of the biggest reasons people fail in business is because they don’t know who they are. And I certainly believe this is more true for women in business than it is for men.
Not knowing who you are is akin to trying to sell your product or service, but changing the story behind the product or the service every day.
But trust me, online, if you don’t know who you are, there will be a line of people ready to tell you!
Seriously, I don’t know what it is, but the Internet seems to bring out the loudmouths who have a lot to say, but all too often, carry very little influence.
When you know who you are, it’s natural to attract business with your message and your voice.
That way, no one can copy you. And even if they were to steal your message and repeat it word for word, it would never carry the same impact.
What Is Your Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is the perception others have of you that tells them:
- who you are
- what you do
- what you stand for
Notice the word “YOU” shows up in all three statements and in order to establish any kind of presence and visibility online, it’s important that the YOU factor is interwoven throughout your marketing.
In essence, YOU are your brand because your life is your message.
You can have the best logos, the best marketing collateral, the right words, but what people see, what is on display to the world are your actions, which tells people who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
Your experiences and what you’ve learnt is what you’re bringing to the marketplace.
Your message, with your voice, uniquely internalised.
It’s unique to you and cannot be copied by anyone else.
Can you imagine for example anyone trying to emulate Sir Richard Branson? I don’t think so. He’s unique.
And that’s why on TrishJones.com, we focus on entrepreneurship and branding from an inside-out perspective.
Your logo, website, business collateral can all be copied. But your message and your voice are yours … own them!
Until next time,