There is a misconception about what branding and brand growth really is. And guess what.
It's not marketing
So let’s destroy that wall of confusion right now before we even dive into the rest of this content.
I'm going to do my best to make this simple for you.
What is Marketing
Marketing is your approach; Marketing is your smile; Marketing is the fresh haircut or hairstyle.
Marketing is your Hollywood walk.
It is the button-up shirt or dress with the right combination of shoes,
that puts your entire outfit on a level, ready to slay dragons.
But you are here to find out what branding and brand growth is,
and I'm sure you’re wondering if that’s marketing
Then what's branding?
Branding is who you are once the door closes.
Branding is not just the conversation you have with people.
But the style in which you communicate. Branding is your personality; it is your animated or relaxed vibe.
Your ability to bring intangible benefits past the product or service you offer.
Branding is about how you make your audience feel when you arrive?
Now that is branding.
Do you understand what branding is now?
If not, that's okay because you will understand what branding is and how to perform brand growth by the end of this guide.
How to define your brand
Defining your brand is done out in the open. It won’t work behind closed doors; your visibility and reputation are paramount to establishing what you want people to know about you and through what lens you want them to see you in.
When they see information like your logo stamped on your product or catchy name appearing on the first page of Google, what is it you want them to say?
How do you want them to feel?
What reputation do you have, and how does that affect the action they take after an encounter with you
What are your goals?
Looking good online and generating revenue are not brand growth concepts, but those two concepts can be beacons for whom you want to be to your audience.
Say you’re all about making money, and you like money,
Then you should gear yourself to being seen as somebody who wants to make sure that their audience cares about making money, too, if not more than you do.
Don’t be afraid of painting yourself in a corner, because when the audience knows that you are the person to go to when money needs to be made .... when a profit needs to be turned,
They will see you as the best solution on the market for what needs to be accomplished.
Because Individuals in need are always seeking an expert for information and guidance
What makes you important to the market
This is where the digging of information happens. This point in the process is where you must be completely honest with yourself and what you offer because once you put your value out on the market,
The market will then be honest with you. Understand that price and value are two very different things.
You control the price, and the market determines the value of your product or service.
So here are some question you need to ask yourself about what you offer:
- What benefit does your product or service offer?
- Who exactly are the people you want to focus on (and get extremely personal with this question)
- How will your product or service solve their problem (this doesn't just mean that you have a solution but does your solution make their life better, does your solution it makes their job easier, remember your audience no matter what you offer are people)
- What makes you so special?
And I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but really what makes you so unique that they should choose your solution out of all the other options?
Depending on hope is not a long-term strategy.
Everybody has a story worth telling.
This may be a little controversial.
But you're not that original.
People are not so different from one another, it's actually our similarities that tend to be forgotten about, but they happen to be our strongest bonds.
Let me explain.
Who doesn't like a good movie, right?
You ever look at a commercial that's promoting a movie at home, and you say, “wow, that movie looks like it could be pretty good” …. I don’t know what type of genre; pick one, use your imagination.
Anyway, you decide to see this movie, and 100 people show up to see the same movie ….with you?
These are people you do not know, never seen, a true stranger, and as you're watching the movie, the emotions you have are right on point with the person’s emotions sitting right next to you.
Keep in mind, once again, you …. do … not …. know …. this … person.
The movie ends (and this has happened to me a couple of times) all 100 people in that movie theater stood up and clapped, and some even whistled.
I even saw a baby walk for its first time, just pure joy for everyone in that theater.
Stories bring people together. Even your own story has that power.
No matter how you got started,
Where you are now.
Or where you're planning to go
People want to be part of your journey because we have more similarities to a stranger than you think.
Humans are social creatures,
it's not your place to decide that your peaks and valleys don’t matter
Its 2021 personality is a good thing.
There is a saying, and I'm not sure where I heard it from, and I'm not taking credit either.
It's said like this, "People take more of themselves to the grave than they leave with the living.”
And that's a simple statement to make. I mean, all I did was put fingers to keys.
But it doesn't make the quote less true.
In the modern age, your personality is seen as an asset. Monetizing who you are isn't just cool; it’s effective.
The problem with displaying your personality is that you will have to take punches, and I'm not condoning violence. Still, it’s going to feel like that when you have individuals who strongly disagree with you.
But those are the times when you digest that and become stronger, get used to eating tree bark for the time being.
Because success doesn't come with an easy road, but your personality will attract people who want to invest in you and people you want to serve, accept that not everybody will find value in what you offer—the market.
Don't shy away from who you are.
Be comfortable in your skin and blaze a path for yourself and those who want to join and follow you.
One Statement… Tell me what you do.
Say we were a couple of strangers at a trade show.
Never seen you before
But because you had a service that could serve or help my business accomplish X goals, you were in a position where the motivation to start a conversation with me was …. Tempting.
Later that night, I came to you and asked, “what did you think of the trade show,” You tell me, and then you ask me, normal conversation.
And then I ask you, “what does your business do,”
Could you tell me in 50 words or fewer without putting me to sleep?
Make time for creating a compelling brand statement. You’d be surprised at the positive response you get in person if done with clarity and a clear benefit to the listener.
5 steps to put together your brand growth strategy
Create your personal avatar
Before you even build a product or offer a service, the first step is to research your ideal client and get weirdly personal about it.
Every little piece about your ideal client matters
Here are some personal questions you should ask about your ideal client
- Are they currently working
- Are they mostly women or men
- Do they have children?
- How old are they
- What activities do they take part in
- Do they like art
- What kind of music do they enjoy listening to
- How many hours do they work
- Can you describe their entire day?
- What genre of movies or books do they enjoy?
All these questions are relevant, remember the story about me at the movies, finding similarities are important, don't focus on the difference; they are only there to pull us apart.
Where do your ideal clients like to hang out?
This is a simple one.
- Do they enjoy going to the convention
- Will you see them at trade shows
- Will you see them in meetup groups
- Maybe they will be at industry conferences.
- Do they spend a lot of their time on Facebook?
- Do they enjoy visual content, Instagram may be an excellent choice.
- Are they happy with short content where they can click on links? Twitter and options like Link Tree would be a superb choice here as well.
- LinkedIn may be a place they reside if your audience is business-focused
- Social listening is a tremendous advantage that modern business has that no other generation has experienced. Getting to know your customer unfiltered and unchecked is a great way to know who exactly they are.
Behind the keyboard, people are more likely, to be honest with you than if you were to ask them a direct question.
This point in the process will appeal to different access points concerning your business.
Your messaging is a strategy will reach audiences such as
- People you wish to partner with in the future
- Candidates that would find your brand attractive and would like to become a potential employee
- Of course, clients who find you to be a great solution to help them accomplish their goals.
- Influencers who love what you're doing and what you care about and want to get behind your brand.
- And businesses and individuals, you see you doing great things and love what you stand for and refer to somebody that thinks could benefit from your product or service.
Take your character on a rewarding journey.
I could have named this Content Marketing Strategy, but the way I have this subhead framed is how you need to think about the person you're attracting.
Now don't get confused thousands, if not millions of people will read your content, but you only care about the one person in the room that will listen.
we are more similar than we are led to believe, and one character could be the reality of 100 people or 1,000 people or 50,000, maybe even more.
So limiting your voice as if you are only talking to one person, your content can then be personal.
There are 3 stages of content marketing:
- Awareness: is when the prospect is experiencing a problem and is looking for an opportunity to solve that problem.
- Consideration: This when the prospect is fully aware of the problem and can put a face on it, and has a good idea of approaches offered to fix their problem
- Decision: This is when the prospect has done the researching and going back and forth on which path to take and is confident in their decision
At the end of the buyer's journey, they have consumed so much information about you and your product, they have unknowingly created a bond with a total stranger.
But because you focused on what your prospect needed, you could give them what they wanted.
As the old saying goes, “nobody wants a hammer; they want a hole.”
Get your house together.
Creating a website is becoming a little taboo.
Seeing people build their home base on other people’s platforms is something I don't recommend it.
When I say “other people platform,” I mean Facebook, LinkedIn, basically social media accounts that can change their algorithm or rules, and you can lose your whole setup.
That's why building a website is such a plus because the amount of security is up to you, and you can create your own rules and regulations.
And most importantly, give your audience a place to go to find out information they want to know about your businesses and what you offer. Using social media as a satellite business to link back or refer to your website is a great way to improve traffic.
And the more traffic you get, the more Google looks at your site as an industry authority.
Who should be accountable for your brand growth strategy
Your brand is really something you want to get correct from the start.
It's kind of like pictures on the internet, once it's out there, it's out there.
Moving forward, you want to know exactly what needs to be accomplished initially, so you can have the outcome you want.
And here at GINI Brand Growth Experts, we actually help you capture the vision you have for yourself and your business.
7 concepts of brand building
This concept of branding is what makes you different,
Although you may offer the same product or service as your competition.
What stands out?
What features and information do you offer that differ from your competitors? Is it your seal? It could be your famous 60-day money-back guarantee when everybody else in your industry only offers 30 days because you're that confident in your solution.
Leveraging that rent space, you have created in a consumer's mind to make new products or products that supplement what is already being used by the consumer is a powerful weapon.
There are two different types of brand extension:
- One is referred to as a line extension.
- And the other is category extension.
As it titles, this concept is about your identity.
Who are you?
What do you stand for?
What are your core values?
Developing a voice, whether arrogant, passive, or animated, will find people who will identify with you no matter what.
It's an enormous world out there, and you’re not as lonely as you think.
Its basic function is your lawyer.
People can get into a lot of goofy activity, and brand management will help steer you in the right direction.
There will be times when your ego starts making moves instead of realizing that you need that balance.
We are human, so expect to make mistakes, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be proactive and put measures in place to help prevent or, in the worst-case scenario, cure a problem.
Prevention is better than a cure.
Information to I've by.
No one likes a sleazy salesperson, and a brand that cannot be trusted is just as bad.
When there was no internet, brands could get away with lying to the public and with little, if no, consequences on the horizon.
Today is a different game; trans-parity is seen as gold to consumers. People just don't want to be lied to anymore; how could you blame them.
But this puts more pressure on businesses to be honest so the public can trust you.
Whether or not you made a mistake, owning your mistake is seen as an asset.
Who knew being honorable had the potential to be monetized
So this is one of our more elusive concepts, where the information available is a bit polarizing, but I can tell you that the brand’s valuation begins with two lines of thinking:
Half of the brand valuation needs to be measured by its hard assets, like the product, facilities, stocks, and land, things that have a closer to a fixed number.
The other is where the difficulty comes in because the valuation process begins with the brand’s name, logo, and trademark.
Information that is hard to measure.
Many say that if you had to split the two apart and ask both to survive independently, the name, logo, and trademark portion would bounce back because essentially, they carry the audience, the people with them.
3 brand growth strategies to help build your small local business
Facebook has the key to your city.
There are few options if any that are better than Facebook when it comes to local marketing for businesses.
Not sure if you know this or not, but people don't search on google to buy local or find out how to participate in local activities; they use Facebook.
And since you can offer coupons and discounts for your business, you can build a local brand as a business that supports the zip code or area you’re located in
Not to mention having 3 billion users hit your platform a month makes building your local brand on Facebook a no brainier
Sponsor Local Events
I do not really see a downside in this strategy of building your brand.
You get great exposure, and people get to know you and where your business is located. You're also able to give out information like business cards and flyers out about some promotions you have coming up.
Have the opportunity to give to a local charity so the locals can see you as a business supporting the surrounding environment is not a bad benefit either.
Partner with competition to boost awareness
I know you are probably like, huh?
This seems a little counterproductive, but this strategy pushes you to do better than the competition
I remember in school when my classmate that sat next to me used to get and “good job” and pat on the back by the teacher, and when she saw my drawing, she would say
“Maybe next time,”
And that would make me compete for that good job and pat on the back.
The point is competition drives up sales, and you see it everywhere, so don't be shy of little competition.
“Iron sharpens iron,”
Before you go ...
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this post, branding starts with what you want to represent, picking a lane and following it thoroughly.
There are millions of people out there, and a lot of them are looking for somebody that understands what they are going through and who they are.
And you may be the person who can actually relate to them.
All you have to do is be you and lead with your core values and a unique voice, and you will attract an audience that looks at you as one of them.
Brand growth is all about relationships and forming a bond with your audience, and providing information that resonates
And if you need help with that,
grabbing a free consultation with GINI would be a step in the right direction for growing your brand into the vision you want.