The speaker for a coaching meeting I run, a graphic designer, said something at our last meeting that made me stop in my tracks and rethink what I’ve always heard about branding. I always thought that we create a brand, either through our logo, colors, or our website.
I’ve taken courses and have listened to webinars on branding which has led to my way of thinking; years ago, I had a logo made, I chose purple as my signature color (my favorite) for my website, but I also wore it a lot in business situations. I looked at those as portraying my brand so that potential clients would identify them. And, that this is what would be a factor in their decision to hire me.
Boy, was I wrong. A brand, according to the speaker, is what you become. It’s important to repeat it: a brand is what you become.
The brand is what you stand for, the message you convey, and the outcomes you produce. That is what gets others noticing you; as they see results you help with, that is what gets them wanting you to help them to get those same results. Once they do, then they are willing to promote you, telling others about your ‘greatness,’ thus you now are a brand. It’s what you’re known for in your niche area, or industry. This applies to the workplace, as well.
But, according to the speaker, those other areas I mentioned earlier do matter; your color, your font, photos you use, your tagline, to name a few. I have a friend who loves to wear hats, so she is memorable and known for that; another loves the color turquoise, so she has it in her promotional items, her website, and even to her nail polish – it’s now part of her identity. By being their authentic self, it’s created part of what people think of them. Mannerisms, words or phrases one says, and even actions can all be part of the brand.
Some brands are deliberate while others just organically happen. I always think of people who stand in their truth – they have a belief they feel strongly about and aren’t afraid to stand in it – as being a brand, such as Oprah and Tony Robbins. Celebrities and sports stars have brands; they’ve excelled at their craft, which then makes people love what they do and follow them, buying tickets to see them play, wearing t shirts with their face on them, and elevating them to superstar status (this isn’t suggesting you have to be a superstar to be a brand).
So, what do you believe in, what do you stand for, and how do you want to be known? What makes you memorable? Begin identifying these and living them. It won’t take long before people will start coming to you – you will now be a brand that others want.
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