What exactly is a Brand? I’m sure you’re familiar with some big and well known products like Coca-Cola or Cadbury’s, even Bentley or Apple. Each of them has a distinct Brand, but they are selling products right?
Yes, however those products appeal to certain people and repel others. So surely your Brand is all about connection with Customers or Clients, as well as being well known for logos and image. Well, from my perspective, especially from working with Conscious Aspiring Entrepreneurs, it’s a little more than that….
Breaking it down, and a really great way to remember the impact that your Brand has is to imagine it as that ‘something’ that you’re noticed or known for. So that after you’ve left a room you’re still remembered and known for that special ‘something‘.
Whether you’re in business or not, your Brand is a critical part of your identity. It dictates how you like to be seen in the world, as well as how the world sees you. And I certainly like to focus more on authenticity of how you want to be seen in the world, as much as how you are seen, because YOU alone are experiencing the moment – your Brand is the imprint, the essence and mark that you were there!
Maybe you’re known for a visual aspect like the person who always wears beautiful glasses, a particular colour combination, always having perfectly placed hair (even when it’s blowing a gale!) or even make-up. And writing this list I can think of specific friends and peers who totally fit into each of those categories, they immediately spring to mind! Either way they are each utterly unique and probably oblivious that to me they are synonymous with that one thing. And what if I said to you that each one of those people were in fact not in Business at all, but they certainly had characteristics and an identity that surrounded them and was so much more to me that what in fact they do.
Now friendship is much more open, lengthy, personal and there is a level of trust and confidence that’s built over time with a relationship that’s formed that’s mutual. You have shared experiences and long conversations which create a bond. Yet becoming a Brand is far more common today especially through social media, so it’s important to notice how you are portraying yourself. It is becoming much more common now within Organisations and Corporations to build a Brand for yourself to get known, in order to be a remembered individual so when opportunities arise, YOU are the person that springs to mind immediately. And this is so much more important now for those in Business. What do you want to be known for? And how do you portray that to others through the things you say, the way you respond and how you leave people feeling.
There are plenty of people out there advising on the best way to connect with your ideal Client, your Boss and your network of influencers. But remember, we talked about Brand and what in fact it is, which is what you are known for, remembered for, by colleagues, peers, Clients and Customers etc, when you aren’t even in the room. So let’s take it one step further, how do you create the connection for people to know you for something if you cannot create those shared experiences or have those lengthy conversations? And when we are talking about getting promotions, establishing client relationships and selling – Well, perfect hair, makeup or a killer logo won’t cut it on it’s own.
So let’s talk about Value. When you consider anyone that you know who has an identifiable Brand they have usually gotten known for something in particular. They have most likely provided significant value through work, advise, experience, product or outputs. Consider a Brand like Nike who specialised initially in running shoes, they provided expertise in becoming a leader in that market with an exceptional product. But you can start contributing Value when you ultimately know your strengths and what you are good at. Apple is one Brand who knew what they were good at and keep improving the product time and time again, to give Value to those who are specifically on team Apple. Once you’ve identified your strengths you can work towards them and use them to your advantage, these are the things you are likely already known for, so start to leverage from that place. See your strength in the value you can give to others.
And have you ever considered the feeling that you want to leave people with once you’ve parted ways on each occasion, or at each interaction? You will probably all know what I’m talking about when I say there are again some people, friends, colleagues and Business influencers who just enter and leave a room with either a positive or negative essence. Now stay with me here, because this is a significant part of your Brand in regards how you make people feel, and it is a very little known aspect that people actively talk about. But it is crucial when you are winning hearts, minds and influencing people. Do you leave people believing that you have utter unwavering confidence in what you do and can deliver, or do you leave them feeling as though you are willing to try and are a little nervous of the prospect or challenge? Again take the time to think of people that you are inspired by at this point. And ask yourself after each interaction with that person, be it from a formal meeting place at work, or via an online presence or in a social setting, how do they leave you feeling? Motivated, inspired and light, confident, important and valued or annoyed, heavy and down? Most likely it’s the former (fingers crossed!).
So have you ever considered then, how you want to affect people’s emotions and more importantly their feelings? And I mention feelings because they last the longest and remain attached to memories, which assist the process of identity and Brand recognition. So let’s compound this thinking even more now and have you recall a wonderful memory something that made you feel excited….. See what I did there? I immediately attached a feeling to the memory to assist you in identifying, most likely a happy one. So whether you like to consider feelings a part of the Branding process or not, they are critical in defining how you are known and most importantly remembered!
I know from experience and the numerous Clients that I work with who want to get significant promotions, move Companies or be headhunted for Leadership roles, benefit greatly from having a recognised Brand and using it as a way to connect with others.
So how do you start identifying your personal or professional Brand? And then what?
Follow these steps to get your Brand awareness and identity cemented!
- Value – get to know your strengths, be honest with yourself, ask your friends, colleagues, Clients or Customers, Managers and Trusted Advisors and note what they say. Then whittle them down into what you know to be your strengths. Choose your top 3 and define them. Notice what it is about them that makes you strong within that area of specialism or expertise. And then define what it is about those strengths that you enjoy. It’s so important to enjoy the process of adding Value and playing to your strengths.
- Identity – This can be broken down into many areas, but for here I’m discussing the 2 main areas to focus on:
- Visual – This is how you are physically seen in the world, be it through having fabulous glasses, always wearing pink or being renowned for wearing a suit. One of the first things people notice is appearance, and this goes for Business logo and Branding also, so be consistent and be very comfortable in your choice of visual branding. Again if you’re not sure what people might initially notice about you then ask some trusted friends and advisors. Ultimately you want to be comfortable with how you show up visually in the world as self-confidence and self-awareness is a great look on everyone!
- Language – What words do you use, and what words do you want to be known for? Tag lines and strong sentences about what you actually achieve, deliver and produce make very compelling talking point, Clarity for yourself initially and build confidence. I know someone who uses the word Awesome all the time, because its seen to be part of the excited, high vibe and accelerant he wants to be in the world, it lifts his vibration when he uses it, aligns him with his mission and tells others what a positive person he is! Now if this repels certain people that’s ok, we are not meant to please everyone, and whittling down your circle of fans is preferable, so do not conform – be the true you!
- Personal Identity Affirmation – This is for you, a way to set an intention and be very clear about who you are and how you will be seen in the world, as well as incorporating the essence you want to leave people with when you are no longer in the room. This is a statement that affirms to you;
- Who you are,
- What Value you Bring through your strengths, and
- How you enable others to Feel.
Repeat this to yourself many times a day, setting your intention of your Brand before you even interact in your day. Use it as a morning ritual practice as well as a daily affirmation – this is a way of being, becoming who you truly are.
Comment below and let me know what your Brand is, and how you’re using this information to affect action and improve how you are seen consistently in the world.
And if you’re keen to work with me to gain real traction to mindfully align with your mission and create conscious business with purpose, confidence and ease. Check out my 12-month Transformation Program. Which will give you weekly Coaching, support from other aspiring entrepreneurs, opportunities to collaborate, a safe space to test, challenge and improve your Business and your Life so that you can better serve the world through aligning with your own personal mission.
In the meantime, know your Brand and get comfy with it,
Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.
Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.