We have all done it, made a bad batch of JELL-O. Seems pretty impossible to mess up JELL-O, since it only takes a box of powder and some hot water. How hard do you have to try to have a failed batch? But despite the ingredients being straightforward and right under our noses, we have all done it at one time or another. Sometimes it has resulted in us throwing the batch away and starting over, or we rely on the adding more ingredients to cover it up trick such as good ol’ whipped cream to make everything better.
Your brand is a lot like JELL-O. All the ingredients are right in front of you, but if you don’t add them at the right doses, at the right temp and wait the appropriate amount of time for it to set, you are likely to end up with a runny batch. Sure I mentioned last week your brand is like dating… which it is. But heck, it’s like JELL-O too.
I have spent a lot of time talking about what a brand is, and even tried to give you common sense ways to live it. But I think to really sell it, it might help to explain what a brand is NOT.
What your Brand is NOT
Just your logo. Your brand and logo are not interchangeable. I have heard many times, “I have a logo, so I am good to go.” Which is really only just a small piece of the puzzle. Your logo not only needs to look great, but should also begin to tell the story of your brand. Does it attract the right audience? Is it in line with your business's target market?
Your website. Your brand is not your website. Your website may be used to communicate and disseminate information about what you want your brand to be. The website alone is just a communication tool created to communicate your brand message to consumers. Is your message upbeat and conversational? Can other people relate to what you are trying to accomplish?
Made exclusively for you. Your brand is more than a logo, website and clever copy. Your brand encompasses the feeling you leave behind with your customers. What they think of you and your company is out of your control. You can do as much to shape the message and manage the image you put out there, but what the people think about you is ultimately up to them. “Once an audience can see themselves in your story, the need to persuade disappears (source).” It gets right to the point, your Brand isn’t about your products or services, your price points or even your value proposition - it’s about the audience.
Your story. An effective brand doesn’t tell stories about themselves. Instead, the brand brings the audience on a journey where your audience is the hero (not you or your company). The people have an opportunity to see themselves in the context of the brand you are building. They see what they can accomplish, whether that is helping bring fair wages to the women of India or simply enjoying a well-balanced lifestyle.
Do a mini-self assessment:
- Are you attracting your ideal client or customer?
- Is your voice consistent? And does it convey the feeling you are trying to leave behind?
- Does someone understand who you are, why they should care and how to get involved instantly when they land on your website?
- Is your social media telling a story that makes your audience a part of the picture?
If you find yourself questioning if the brand you have put out there isn’t reflecting back what you thought it was, let’s chat! I would love to meet with you, get to know what makes you tick and start building the foundation for your brand.
I know first-hand all the hard work, long nights and dedication that goes into owning and operating a small business. I want your brand to match the passion and purpose that drove you to start your own company. I believe in a hands-on process that is engaging and pushes you to discover your goals and dreams, not only for your business, but how your life blends into that business.
I would love to work with you. I am currently booking for June and have just a few spots remaining! Please contact me to learn more about my branding, web design and consulting services. I look forward to meeting you.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to receive my FREE Brand Assessment! It is a great tool to help you begin exploring your existing brand and start identifying actionable ways to make improvements today.