Build It and They Will Come: The 6 Building Blocks of a Strong Brand

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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett 

You will hear me say this over and over and over again….Branding is a process.

Branding is more than your logo, website, or tagline. Branding is complex and can be overwhelming, sometimes causing frustrations because it is the foundation and pulse of your business.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Seth Godin

Branding is how you promote the essence of your product or service to your customer. For your brand to be effective it must resonate with your customer not only through logic but most importantly through emotion. Your brand must be memorable and have a lasting effect with customers for them to want to know more about what you offer.

Are you wondering where to start? Don’t worry. I am here to break it down for you by providing the building blocks of a successful brand.

Below I share the 6 building block questions that your brand must answer to be strong and resonate with your target consumer:  

1. What is your Vision?

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, your brand vision statement are the ideas behind the brand that helps guide the future of your brand. It answers the question, “What do you want to achieve in the future?” and  “Who do you want to become?” Brand vision is something to strive for to look forward to. It gives you focus and serves as a motivating factor.

2. What is your Mission?  

The brand mission statement answers why your brand exists? It is the driving force behind your business and why you started your business. Your everyday decisions will be guided by your brand mission. It tells your customers what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and how you do it.

3. What are your Values?

Your brand values are what you stand for and how you will behave in the marketplace. Customers are looking for a reason to connect to a brand. Your values is what a customer can relate to and provide authentic engagement.

4. What is your Product/Service offer?

What is your product or service?  How does it work? How does it benefit customers? You must be able to describe why your products and services are needed in the market and what type of problem you are solving for your target audience.

5. Who is your Target Audience?

Your target audience are those people who are interested in or have a need for your product or service. They are a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market. They are the consumers who you are solving a problem for?

6. What is your Unique Selling Position?

Consumers want to know what makes your brand different and why they should choose you over a competitor. Be careful to not make the the mistake of attempting to be everything for everybody. Developing a strong unique selling proposition lets you to stand apart from your  competitors and allows you to focus your time and energy on creating things that resonates with your target audience.

Incorporating these questions into your brand building strategy will enable you to establish a strong foundation for your business. These building blocks allows for your customers to develop a deeper level of trust for your brand, and be more likely to choose you over your competitor.

 

 



Brand Vision: The First Step in Your Branding Journey

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”  - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

When I started out on my personal brand journey, I began by thinking about who I wanted to be at the end of the journey. I thought about my aspirations and how I wanted to show up. I thought about my hopes and dreams, how I can be of service to others, the problems I could solve, and who and what I was inspiring to change.

I was creating my brand vision.

Defining your brand vision is the first step in the branding process. Crafting a powerful brand vision is vital in helping you gain direction in defining your brand purpose. Your brand vision motivates and inspires your brand actions. Without a brand vision, others will plan and direct your brand for you. This is why knowing and owning your brand vision is vital.

“A great vision is like a national anthem, it has the power to pull together, emotionally connect and inspire great things.” - David Newberry

What is brand vision?

Your brand vision is the ideas behind the brand that helps guide the future of your brand. The brand vision focuses on tomorrow and what you ultimately want your brand to become. Brand vision is something to strive for to look forward to. It gives you focus and serves as a guide to measuring your everyday decisions. There is no specific timeline for your brand vision and your vision can change once you have achieved your goal. However, you should not change your brand vision because of challenges or because it becomes too hard. Your brand vision is meant to stretch you into becoming more than you think you can be.

Why is a brand vision important?

When you create the right brand vision, it serves as the foundation of your brand strategy. It is the building block. Without this foundation, all other pieces would simply fall apart. Your brand vision helps you to remain forward thinking and keeps your brand from becoming outdated. Your brand vision supports your values, your purpose, your WHY. If you try and build your brand without a vision you may find yourself wandering aimlessly with no direction. Your brand can become inconsistent, stagnant, uninspired, and ineffective. Without a brand vision, you cannot discover, own, or share your brand story. You simply cannot grow without a brand vision.

Below are 3 key components in creating your brand vision:

  1. Brand Values - brand values are the way your brand promises to show up in the marketplace and serve your clients. Your brand values deliver authentic engagement with your target audience that connects them to you.

  2. Brand Aspirations - brand aspirations are the ideals in which your brand strives to become in a long-lasting and meaningful way.

  3. Brand Purpose - brand purpose is your WHY. It’s the reason why your brand exists.

As with the branding process, defining your brand vision takes time. Once you have your brand vision, you have a road map to fulfilling your purpose and building the brand of your dreams!