When people think of branding, they often think of just a logo, website, and business cards; or the opposite extreme, and assume they will never have the budget to pull off a huge branding campaign. Even so, what exactly does “Branding” mean? Simply put, branding is a strategy that involves all the ways you create a differentiated value, image, and name in the consumer’s mind to attract and keep customers. It tells them what they can expect from your merchandise and services, and it differentiates what you’re offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are and who you want to be. Are you the innovative type? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on, who your customers want and need you to be.
Over the years, many myths about branding have taken hold in the business world and have spread like wildfire. Many of these myths have led people astray when it comes to brand building, but today I want to expose these myths once and for all. Let’s begin with the most popular myth:
Myth: Branding is all about logo, colors, and advertisement.
I found out that many business owners do regard their logo as their brand. One thing that my experience has displayed is that to develop a compelling and distinctive brand identity takes much more than a new logo, colors or advertisement. The most innovative logo and attractive colors will do you no good if you don’t offer quality and excellent service.
Reality: Your brand is your promise, your hope, and is at the heart of everything that you should be doing as a go-to resource to positively influence the perception of your customers. Customers remember you and your company by the way they are treated. Was their shopping experience good? Were their problems solved to their satisfaction? These are things that will help customers remember you beyond the logo, colors or advertisement.
Myth: Your brand has to appeal to everyone.
Most newbie entrepreneurs often get this wrong. One of the first things I ask prospective clients is to specify their target audiences, but they respond with: “we want to appeal to everyone”. I give the same response to them all, “Try to make your product/service for everyone and you will appeal to no one”. It’s impossible to please everyone, so don’t waste your time trying. Even the world’s biggest brands appeal to niche audiences.
Reality: Your brand will be stronger, and be more successful if only you focus on finding your niche and appealing and connecting with them. Customers brand loyalty is hard to win, but if you can build a community of niche fans, you will gain it much quicker than starting out trying to appeal to everyone.
Myth: I love my Branding and so will my audience.
False. Your brand and your audience are two different entities. When you’re looking to grow your personal brand, you might think it’s all about you. The truth is, it is and it isn’t. You are simultaneously attempting to grow your output and brand recognition, while also delivering value to your audience.
Reality: Your audiences only care about the value you offer to them. They are concerned with the value they derive from what you create. Just understand one very simple truth; the customer’s needs matter most, and they are a major part of how you grow your personal brand and how your brand should look.
Myth: Once your Branding Strategy is in place, you will never have to brand again.
This concept can be seen as one of the biggest myths of them all. Why?
Many businesses especially online business have this believe that once they have an amazing Unique Selling Proposing (USP), and a very attractive logo with nice colors, they have accomplished virtually everything in the world of Branding.
Reality: Your branding strategy is an ongoing process, and not a one-time event. A great brand strategy helps you communicate more effectively with your market, so you must consistently poll your customers, employees, and vendors in order to have a guide in refining your strategy.
Myth: If you build it, they will come.
Not true! This is a statement I really find so hard to believe because I need you to know that developing your brand doesn’t guarantee that your brand will receive traffic from potential customers’, but rather it only gives you a name to differentiate you from your competitors. Just because you build a brand doesn’t mean your audience knows it exists, much less know where to find it.
Reality: Your brand is only your identity, but you must get the word out about your product or service by making your brand visible to your target audience. Many people enjoy the branding stage because it’s the fun and creative part, however, neglect to focus on marketing once their brand strategy is complete. Many people end up becoming the world’s best-kept secret because no one knows they exist, so don’t let that be you.
Myth: Branding isn’t necessary right now, it can wait until later.
This is a false concept in branding. I know many people view the term “Branding” as a nonsense-pretentious term, but if you believe that branding isn’t necessary, think again! Your brand identity is a basic business essential, and it’s the central piece of marketing and promoting your business.
Reality: A brand is a necessary element for every business owner. Having a brand identity of your own now will help you avoid someone else defining your brand for you later, whether they intend to or not. As an entrepreneur or influencer your reputation is on the line, so it’s best that you consciously define yourself in the way you would like your audience to perceive you.
To your Success,
Now, I’d love to hear from you! How did these myths measure up to what you believed about branding? What is your take away or insight from today’s post?
Express your thoughts, and join the conversation in the comments below. Share this post if you found it thought provoking, or if you know a friend who can benefit from this message today.