You Are Your Brand!

When most people think of a branding, they look at examples like the McDonald’s arches, the Nike swoosh, and the Target bull’s-eye. National branding makes an association with  products and/or a services; they are not personal. The popular National Brands are usually associated with quality products, services and/or smart and creative marketing strategies.  McDonald’s food quality is not the best, but they have done a phenomenal job targeting children with their Ronald McDonald mascot, toys in their Kid’s Meal, adapting to changes in demand by making changing or adding to their menu. However, they still continue to offer their hallmark menu items.

If you are building a personal brand that you want to depict who you are, what you represent and sets you apart from your competition, then determining how you want to be perceived by your customer is key!  What key word describes you best… it professional,  honest, sincere, assertive, creative, knowledgeable, thorough, experienced, committed, etc.?  Whatever that one key word or characteristic happens to be, your customers should see those characteristics consistently in your business practices. Branding is not just a logo it’s a logo that when people see it, it is immediately identified with you and your unique business proposition, service and/or product.

When you are a sole proprietor or any small business entity, you are the primary reason people do business with you.  People typically buy from people they like.  You are selling and experience….one that causes your customer to want to continue to do repeat business with you and become one of your avid supporters and referral source.  After completing a transaction with you, your clients should be better off having met you and better informed about what you do and the features and benefits of your particular product or service.  You are your Brand.  When choosing a logo to reflect you and your business, take time to really think about the message you want to convey and how that logo can stand on its own to represent you. A positive or negative experience with you and your company can strengthen on hinder future business opportunities.

A great brand may also evoke negative responses by your competition.  Don’t be discouraged, that may be an indicator that you are moving in the right direction.  If you think that your reputation has been unjustly damaged, just press forward. Keep doing the right things, focus on your positive experiences and consistently strive to  give great service, provide a great product and over deliver in all that you do!  “If you don’t do branding intentionally, you’ll do it passively, and you’ll see a variety of mercenary factor(s fill the void.” ( Pete Gall). Happy Branding!!

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