If I asked you to define the word ‘brand’ – what would you say?
If you answered: “it’s your business logo, your business card, letterhead, envelopes, with compliments slips, marketing material, brochures, website etc”, you’ve responded similarly to many other business owners.
While these things are all very important they are really more about the ‘branding’ elements that will help you to communicate your brand message to your prospects and clients.
Your ‘brand’ goes much deeper than these ‘branding’ elements.
This week I shared a tip on Facebook, which sparked an interesting question. My post read:
“How many times have you reached out and added value to your community. This is vital for building your brand and reputation.”
Someone then asked the question:
“Sometimes it’s hard to find that niche and be unique. Everyone is copying an idea or another. How does one truly stand out? Integrity and honesty of course – but any other thoughts?”
What a great question.
I like to think of your ‘brand’ as the perception others have of you and your business. It’s your promise of value. Your reputation.
So, want to know what your brand’s secret sauce is? It’s YOU!
There may be hundreds of other coaches and consultants working in your field offering similar systems and processes as you do. However, what will truly set you apart – is you, your unique qualities, your mission and purpose, your core values and what you stand for.
Even though you may be speaking about a similar topic or sharing similar tips and advice, what WILL be different is ‘how’ you deliver the information and ‘HOW’ you show up in all of your interactions with your prospects and clients.
And while you may be concerned that others may try to copy you, rest assured that imitators will stand out for all the wrong reasons and most likely will end up tarnishing their reputation because of the false persona they are trying to portray.
In fact, trying to be something or someone that you’re not is extremely difficult to maintain and will often result in a confused brand and marketing message. And, a confused prospect says ‘no’ and will move on and that’s not what you want.
So, remember being authentic – just being ‘you’ is important.
If you find it difficult to identify and define your core brand, here are four key areas you should consider when identifying your brand’s secret sauce.
1. Your Brand Attributes:
Your brand attributes are your characteristics; your unique qualities; your quirkiness.
- List 5-6 features/qualities that you would say are unique about you.
- What do people often admire about you?
- Do you have a quirkiness about you that is often mentioned as being something unique and essentially ‘you’?
2. Your Brand Strengths:
Your brand strengths are your gifts and talents – things that you are naturally good at.
- List 5 to 6 of your greatest strengths.
- What do people most admire about you?
- Think about some of your achievements. What strengths and talents did you use to secure these successes?
3. Your Brand Promise:
Your brand promise is what you guarantee people will receive when working with you.
- What are you committed to delivering time and time again to each and every client you work with?
- When dealing with people – what can they expect in terms of how you interact with them and make them feel throughout your relationship?
- If you were to ask several of your clients about their experience working with you – what would they say?
4. Your Brand Essence:
Your brand essence is really the heart and soul of your brand. [I use the Branding With ArchetypesTM system to uncover these elements].
Here are a few things to consider when defining your essence – the heart and soul of your brand:
- List 3-6 brand values?
- How does your brand make people feel?
- If your brand were a character, describe what that would look, sound and be like?
After identifying and combining each of these areas – your brand’s secret sauce, you too can define and build your own authentic signature brand.
Having a strong authentic brand will help you distinguish yourself from your competitors and will be impossible for anyone to copy. You’ll also begin to attract your ideal clients as they’ll instantly resonate with your brand message because you’ve made it very easy for them to understand exactly who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. Pretty cool, yes?!
Here’s to identifying your brand’s secret sauce so that you too can stand out powerfully from the crowd to get more clients, get noticed, hired and paid what you’re worth.
Was this helpful? What do you think some of YOUR quirky behaviors are that you can incorporate into your brand? Please leave me a comment – it’s always great to read your comments. If you found this article helpful please Like, Tweet and Share it. I really appreciate it!
Until next week, stay inspired!