As a brand consultant, I help translate visions into reality -- into communications that connect, images that engage and tangible tools that sell. It's not rocket science, but it is a process and one step leads to another. These are the four steps it takes to create a deliver a sustainable, authentic brand:
1. CLARITY – Getting clear on what you do, who for and what makes you different
2. STRATEGY – Finding a Unique Brand Essence that will set you apart
3. CREATION – Designing and developing your visual identity and communication
4. DELIVERY – Connecting with your audience and delivering your brand every day
“At the heart of every good brand is the truth. The truth means promising something you can deliver each and every time; a promise of certain standards and outcomes. Getting to the truth is where your essence lies…”
Your essence is what sets you apart from the multitude of other people who offer, well, pretty much the same thing you do. On the surface, it's a few words that sum up your brand. But these few words, if created well, will drive every part of your business and give you a deeper meaning and drive behind your business, one that you can deliver with excitement and pride and that others will connect and engage with.
Often crafted into a tagline, although sometimes it's just an underlying theme that is filtered through your business through multiple sources, it reflects what you stand for, what you do that's different. It’s the reason why your customers will choose you, over them. The reason they will keep coming back and the reason why your brand will stand out. It’s also, if developed correctly, the reason why you will love your brand and connect with others that will love it too because it will built around what you do best, so it will be easy to deliver each and every time”.
If you’re not connecting with your audience, or are attracting the wrong kind of customers – those that don’t really value you or your offerings… then you probably need to get to the heart of your brand by defining your brand essence.
Branding is all all about getting your voice seen and heard…by the right people.
But how do you get your voice out there when there are so many voices all demanding to be heard?
- By being YOU!
- By being really clear on who you are, what you stand for
- By distilling that information into a word or a few words that engages your customer by answering their core desire or need that also differentiates you from your competitors
- By exploring how what you offer, makes your customers feel.
To do that, you need to go deeper into the heart of your brand
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
How does your brand make your customers feel?
How to identify your ‘Brand Essence’
It’s not an overnight job, but it is a very rewarding one. Here’s how you do it…
- The first step is to get real clarity on what you do, why you do it who you do it for, what they want and what makes you different. You can read more about that here
- Take the time to review all the elements and using this diagram; filter out the essence of your brand.
The answer lies in the connecting elements between what you do best, what your customers most value and where you can really shine. This will pinpoint a sweet spot that is "ownable" by you. It must be something that is real and relevant to your customer, that connects with the very core of what your customers want AND be something that you do differently, easily, enjoyably and authentically.
That holds the secret to your essence.
Once you define it, it filters out into everything you do, naturally, unforced -- as a promise you can deliver easily and enjoyably, and as real value that is tangible to your customers. It becomes what you are remembered for and why they will choose you.