If you think your brand should be an extension of you, a manifestation of all your preferences in the world…it’s time to rethink your branding strategy. Today, we’re talking about fostering a brand that grows and evolves with the needs of your client in mind.
Create a Branding Strategy that Promotes Independence
I have a question for you: When it comes to making your brand successful, what do you suppose matters most? What you think or what your ideal client thinks?
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the answer is the client. After all, he or she is the one making the buying decisions and passing on referrals for your brand. However, this common-sense methodology can get muddied. Too often, brand founders see their brands as extensions of themselves, and when those brands begin to grow outward and upward – and further away from the grasp of the owner – there’s a tendency to pull it back in.
Albeit a perfectly normal function of human nature, this practice will stifle the growth of the brand. It’s human nature to want to keep something you’ve created close to you. However, despite these feelings, you must allow your fledgling to leave the nest, to spread its wings, and to exercise its independence.
So how can you ensure that your branding strategy is fostering the building of an independent brand? How to Build a Brand would like to make these suggestions:
- Publicise your brand’s story – and be careful not to confuse this with your story. There is a place for your story, and it’s on a personal branding platform. Work to differentiate the two whilst they work together, and they will contribute doubly to your brand’s success.
- Brands are built with the help of a list of corporate values. In an indirect way, these will often overlap with your own personal values; however, I urge you to focus on the corporate variety when making decisions for your brand.
- When you speak (and write), your casual language should be distinguishable from your branded language. In your branding strategy, put forth guidelines for the language that everyone associated with your brand should be using. When words are chosen with your brand’s development in mind, those words will be repeated…and develop the brand.
- When you provide your contacts with experiences, choose carefully. There will be experiences with you, one-on-one, that don’t directly support your brand, and they should be compartmentalised. On the other hand, those experiences devised to build your brand should be heavy with positive brand associations, memory-making moments, and brand-supportive visuals and language.
As you may have expected, there’s a caveat: I am in no way suggesting that you put deliberate, significant distance between you and your brand. To the contrary, we always suggest that you grasp every opportunity to support and market your brand. What I am advocating is an avoidance of snap decisions, or decisions that cater to your personal preferences or agendas (as opposed to those that support the brand as a first priority).
Listen, I get it. You have built your brand from the ground-up, you have nurtured it, and you have watched it blossom into something spectacular. It is the fruit of your labour, and you couldn’t be more proud. And what is common sense to you should make sense for your brand, right? Not always. Oftentimes, brand managers needs to take a step back, to see the brand from the target audience’s vantage point – to get the full picture of what’s needed for continued success.
Trust that you have built a strong brand – one that can withstand the storm – and you will learn to support it without holding it back from its true potential.
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