It can be difficult for consumers to believe in a brand when they don’t get the impression that the brand owner believes in it. Not long ago, at a networking event, I ran into an energetic young lady whose brand was in the start-up phase. She had lots of questions about branding, marketing, and promotion. When I asked her what her brand was all about, she sunk into herself, lowered her eyes toward the ground, and told me about it with a sort of awkward embarrassment.
I knew, at that moment, that all of her efforts would be in vain. She didn’t believe in her brand; therefore, no one else would.
One of the biggest questions in the brand-building industry today surrounds how to build a brand you can believe in. This common approach is a bit backward. In fact, it’s 100% backward.
The truth is that you can’t even learn how to build a brand you can believe in. You have to build a brand around what you believe in. Only then can your brand be authentic, trustworthy, and lasting.
Allow me to explain…
How to Build a Brand…around what you already believe
For consumers, there’s a certain comfort when investing in a brand that’s easy to believe in. And when is a brand easy to believe in? When its owner believes passionately that what he is offering is better than the competitions’, that it will invariably be his ideal clients’ first choice, and that the value of his brand far exceeds others.
So how will you know if the brand you’re building is one you can believe in with contagious passion? Before you move forward, ask yourself these five questions:
- Am I leading with my heart?
- Am I following my passion(s) for the thing(s) I love most in this world to make decisions when building my brand?
- Have I named my values, and are those values central to my brand?
- Is my purpose—the thing at the forefront as I work, build, and market my brand—something that is close to my heart and central to my worldview and convictions?
- Do I truly, from the bottom of my heart, know that my market, community, country, or world will be better with my brand in it?
If you’ve answered a resounding YES to all of these questions, then your corporate brand and personal brand are things you can wholeheartedly believe in. Your belief will result in consumer trust—and that consumer trust will result in profit.
How can you know if you really have what it takes to know how to build a brand on your beliefs…so you can believe in it? BE HONEST. From the moment you ponder the notion of how to build a brand, be honest with yourself—honest about your natural strengths and capabilities. When you work with what comes naturally to you, it will be much easier to believe in your capabilities. Also, be honest about your opinions; if you choose to adjust them according to what you think will be well-received, then your brand will feel like a fraud. With honesty comes confidence and energy in everything you do—which builds trust, which builds income.
When the Belief just isn’t there
What should you do if you have the sinking feeling you’ve been building a brand you can’t believe in?
First, understand that you’re not alone, you’re not the first, and this can be fixed.
Second, ensure your stumbling blocks aren’t just fear disguised as a lack of belief. There’s no question that markets are brutal places, that competition can be fierce, that customer loyalty is difficult to win, and that total team involvement can be hard to achieve. Cash is a problem for most start-ups, as are nagging questions about having “what it takes.”
The true test of your belief in your brand is determining if it’s stronger than all of this. Make a list of all the misgivings you have about your brand, and then ask yourself, “Is this about fear?” If the answer is YES, then make a plan for overcoming that fear. Invariably, you will find that belief will always overpower fear.
If you find that fear is not the problem, that it’s more about a lack of interest or misgivings about the viability of your brand, then it’s time to re-evaluate your beliefs and learn how to build a brand around those beliefs.
When your brand is built upon real convictions, you will find that you have a brand you can believe in. You will find that you have more clarity in communications, more purpose and forward movement in daily tasks. Your passion will be infectious and you’ll find yourself better equipped to motivate others. Consistency will be easy to achieve, because you will always make decisions based on what comes naturally to you.
Now is the time to commit to learning more about yourself, so you know how to build a brand that is authentic, believable, and trustworthy. Don’t hesitate to ask those closest to you about how they see you—and what kind of gifts they can see you bringing to the marketplace. And don’t hesitate to join the How to Build a Brand branding experts on the next How to Build a Brand B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass, a one-day experience that will clarify the direction your brand should take—to become something you can believe in.