Your brand is much more than your logo…
There are a lot of misconceptions about what branding is and isn’t. Lots of people wrongly think the design of their logo, or how their website looks is their brand, but it’s so much more than that. Your brand is your promise of what people can expect from you and what you stand for in the world. It’s the impression that you create in people’s minds about you or your business.
People are going to form perceptions of you whether you like it or not, and many of their views will be shaped by what they hear others say about you and how they perceive your communication style on or off line. So it’s important that you take control of it and tell them who you are first, rather than leaving it to chance and getting misrepresented. It takes a lot of effort to change people’s perceptions once they’ve already made their minds up about you.
Branding v marketing
Another thing that’s often unclear about branding is how it differs from marketing. A way to see the difference is that you can look at marketing as energy that’s pushing out – its masculine, dynamic, driving energy that sends out a message to get a sales result. It’s the communication channel that connects clients with service providers, and builds relationships based on shared interests, values and needs.
Branding, on the other hand, which comes first and should be beneath any marketing you do, is the feminine balance – it’s about attraction or pull. It’s the expression of the essential truth about who you are, your characteristics, your values, what you do, why you do it and who you do it for. It’s what people remember about you because of how you made them feel – whether they bought from you or not, and they become part of your tribe because they believe in what you stand for.
To create a successful heart-centred, service-based business, you need to create a brand that reflects the real you. It needs to communicate your particular energy. There is no one else on this planet who has the same energetic make up as you. You’re totally unique because you’re made up from all your life experiences, beliefs, values, your personality, passions, the big dream inside you and your higher purpose – the potential that you are constantly growing into.
A powerful brand is one where you can take this energy and communicate its essence clearly, simply and authentically.
Creating clients through Law of Attraction
It’s a physical law that like energies attract, so when your brand says who you really are, it will attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer in the way you offer it, because they are similar to you and resonate with it. And these are your ideal clients.
When you don’t do the work to uncover your unique brand, a huge part of which is identifying who your ideal clients are, then your marketing will be untargeted, unclear and won’t be as successful as you’d like.
You might think that your service is for everybody and that if you make your target audience too small they, or you, will miss out. But the truth is you can’t be everything to everybody. If you try, you’ll end up wasting time, energy and money having too wide a focus, and that can start to knock your confidence because the results you get won’t match all the effort you’re putting in.
And if you choose not to brand and you settle for a generic industry template that has little or none of you in it, or you model yourself too much on someone else in your industry so you just become a cardboard cut out, the energetic vibration of your brand will be out of alignment with who you are.
This incongruence unconsciously causes confusion in people’s minds, and a sense of mistrust which creates a barrier that you have to work harder to remove. It also means that the people who are your ideal clients won’t recognise you because the vibration your brand has won’t resonate with them.
People spend money based on their emotions – on how they perceive something is going to make them feel – which is energetic, so you need to get them to buy into you (and your energy) before you get them to buy from you.
When you have a clear, unique, authentic brand you’ll know who your ideal clients are, where to find them and the problems they have, which means that you’ll know where to focus your time, money and energy in your marketing to meet their needs. Your potential clients will be able to notice and recognise you from the rest of the market as the one who can help them, and once they become your clients they’ll become loyal fans who will love you, support you and rave about you – which is the best kind of marketing you can get!
So your brand essentially forms the foundation of your business, and when everything you say, do and be is in alignment with it you will have a powerful ‘natural attractor factor’, and a blue print aligned with your heart and purpose for the way forward!