The Power of the BRAND
By Jay Flowins
For the next couple of weeks I will be sharing the importance of Branding, the power effective Branding gives you, and how you can use it to your advantage. Whether you are an artist, model, photographer or run your own company, knowing how to Brand yourself or your company is very pivotal to your success. According to the American Marketing Association your brand is “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. When thinking about successful companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, and Mercedes Benz an image pops up inside of your head and its an image that great companies have ingrained in your mind by continuously marketing and promoting their “Brand”. Companies spend millions of dollars on building and developing their Brand because there is a direct correlation between your Brand and your income which is determined by your Brand Equity (A term I will touch on in the weeks to come). Creating a successful Brand will separate you from your competition. Your Brand taps into the sub-consciousness of your consumers and is one of the only reasons why they will choose you over your competition. The Power of the Brand is why consumers choose Sprite over Sierra Mist, Nike over Adidas, Mercedes Benz over Hyundai and the list goes on. Build your Brand and watch your company/career increase exponentially.
The first step to building your Brand is to determine what makes you or your company different than others. This can also be referred to as your Brand Identity. Your Brand Identity gives you an advantage by allowing you to dictate how consumers perceive you as an individual or company. If you were to look at a Gatorade advertisement or commercial without knowing anything about the company or product it would immediately communicate to you that it is a beverage for premier athletes by using a well known athlete as a part of their marketing strategy. Therefore, eliminating a lot of their competition before the consumer even tries the product. The second step is to figure out how to use different visual elements to effectively communicate why your Brand is superior to your competition. The visual presence of your Brand is very important. Statistics prove that first impressions are formed between 7 and 17 seconds and every encounter after that only confirms why the consumer chose to like or dislike you or your product. So, the quality of your logo, website, and presentation of yourself or product can determine whether someone decides to invest in you. The third step of building your Brand is knowing your target audience. Once you know who your target audience is you will be more effective and efficient at marketing your Brand to your consumers. A lot of individuals and companies suffer because they have a good product but don’t know who to market it to.
When thinking about developing your Brand you have to understand that there is no one right formula when it comes to Branding but there are many examples of companies and individuals who have succeeded in Branding their company. Just remember that you have total control of how people perceive you and can be very creative with managing and enhancing your Brand. If you don’t use the tools and resources that you have to Brand yourself or your company someone else will create a Brand for you. And the last thing you’ll need is for a critic or a competitor to connect negativity to your Brand. In order to be successful you have to create, develop, and manage your own Brand! If you are an artist, model, public speaker, etc. You are the Brand. Your music, photos, how you dress, speak, and interact with the public communicates why you should be invested in and helps compare you with your competition. In order to be successful you have to understand the Power of the Brand and how to apply it to your business.