What is Branding?
In One Word....
Branding is the process a business uses to influence consumers when creating their "brand." Initially, when asked what a business brand is, a logo with colors and an icon or picture may come to mind; but in reality, a "brand" is much more.
While logos and names hold strong significance to branding, a Brand is the identity of a business regarding several aspects. Visual Recognition is where the logo, colors, and fonts align so consumers will recognize the company, immediately. However, beyond Visual, there should be an Emotional Connection between the company and the consumer, and that begins with how they perceive the business, and that can run much deeper and broader.
When you think of your favorite store or restaurant, why do you enjoy them? Is it Quality of Service? Quality of Product?
What brought you there at first?
Why do you keep going back?
Maya Angelou summed up a bit of branding in her words about people when she said, "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." That's similar to Branding.
How your product/business is perceived by others. How does your business makes consumers "feel." And how do they relate to their experience with you?
That's what we're here for!
Think of your Branding as a set of collectives that make up your "IDENTITY." As people, we have personality characteristics, goals, mantras, philosophies, core values, and even how distinctive we look. Some people dress fun with bright, bold colors, and express themselves more loudly, while others may dress more conservatively or professional. It's the same with Branding. We "brand" ourselves every day to our friends and the public. We just don't recognize it as such. Don't we all have that one friend who is perpetually late for parties and events? Get over it! It's part of her "personal branding."
Is your business more serious and professional? (Think of a bank.) Or do you have a relaxed and fun company? (Ice cream store) Your "Branding" should reflect who you are as a company. Sometimes your company is an extension of who you are personally, and other times the Branding for your company may have little in common with you and your personality. We recommend you KNOW YOUR BRAND before you ever take it to the public.
PURPOSE- WHY you do what you do.
VISION- WHAT are you striving to achieve?
MISSION-HOW you intend to achieve it.
CORE VALUES- Akin to our personal life, our Core Values determine our behaviors and decisions.
What is Marketing?
In One Word.... INFLUENCE
How you Share and Sell your Identity. Marketing, quite simply, is a collective of strategies used to promote your Brand/Identity. From your online presence (personal and professional pages), to print, commercial, radio. Everywhere you are and go, you are in "Marketing Mode" whether you recognize this or not. For better and worse, Social Media has made it where we market ourselves regardless of our professional status.
WWCA has spent years advising clients on what to say and how to present themselves online because hitting delete does not take content off the internet like people want to believe. Allowing the public to view your Facebook and other open forum content can be risky. From politics and religion, to how you conduct yourself or dress, you can lose jobs or not get hired should you share content an employer or business does not find suitable to their brand, and they are well within their right. Branding is akin to trust, and once broken can be difficult to regain.
This is no different when owning a business. Business owners take risks every day they put their personal opinions online. I advise clients to weigh the options. Should they find their opinion necessary enough to run the risk of losing potential clients, then by all means, proceed. Otherwise, there are times it may be more prudent to remain silent. WWCA has stepped in to run damage control several times for clients and are prepared to do so in the future when needed.
What are the Steps to Creating a "Branding Identity?"
The first thing we advise is to
KNOW WHO YOU ARE....
And second, know the proper way to communicate this to the public.
Initially, identify your similarities and your differences from your competitors. Then, focus on the latter; because face it- in today's society, nobody cares about how you are the same. Zero in on what sets you apart. Ask yourself,
What makes me unique?
What Are You Doing To Stand Out In The Crowd?
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23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
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