Brand Development – Characterize Your Brand to Make it Easier

Characterize Your Brand

I'm always amazed at how difficult people make branding to be. I am not saying that it's not important and that it doesn't take strategy planning and time, but honestly, I think 99% of the time we make it more difficult than it should be.

Let me share with you a personal story - bear with me for a moment I think at the end of this article you will be glad you did. I think I can break down the branding concept so that everyone understands how to develop, build and promote their own brand easily.

Take, for example, my brand. It's me. My brand is Laura Lake. Here is what I know about my brand:

Strengths and Benefits

  • I'm full of energy and life.
  • I get excited at the success of others; especially clients I work with.
  • I've been in marketing since 1997, starting my career in digital marketing.
  • My specialty is the integration online concepts and innovation with offline strategies
  • I have a natural ability to see something from a targeted consumers perspective.
  • I will work until my mission has succeeded - no matter how long it takes.
  • I've taught myself the most mundane yet technical tasks in order to succeed and understand the online market and the technology it takes.
  • I love what I do and the passion not only shows in my eyes but in my dedication.

Flaws and Weaknesses

  • I don't photograph well.
  • I sometimes write so quickly I make grammatical errors that should be avoided.
  • I run... I don't walk and at times this can cause mistakes.
  • I'm impatient and a workaholic.

Packaging and Promotion

My package takes a little extra work in order to be positioned correctly. Those I work with understand I only share with them the truth from my experience, but our work is a collaboration. I will always listen to their ideas and guide them to the best of my ability. When they work with me they gain my expertise, my energy and my guarantee of success.

Brand History and Development

Let me explain to you how I got here. It's quite personal, but I think it will help all of you. My brand has always been "me". It's my expertise, my energy and my dedication. I've always had the ability to see things my clients didn't. Call it a gift, I just call it being in this business a long time and being able to sit down and tap into the world of consumers.

In 1997 I began defining and developing my brand. At the time I weighed close to 200lbs. I was stifled. I couldn't get in front of a room to speak; all of my work was done via the telephone. I began to question who I was and who I wanted to be. This story isn't about weight, please understand that. However, it is about the weight I carried around that made my brand ineffective.

I have learned that there are certain things that I must do to solidify and strengthen my brand. Since the year 2000 I have lost close to 60lbs. In order to keep my energy up and reflect the brand that I have created I must feel good about myself and the way that I look. I must be able to stand in front of a room with not only confidence in what I know, but in who I am - because that's my brand. I must not doubt my energy level or my capabilities. For me, this means I must workout 4 to 5 times per week. I must eat healthy food and feed my brain with knowledge since my industry changes daily. I have to take 100 pictures normally before I'm happy with one.

Do you see the challenges I have faced with my own brand? Now let's take a look at yours. This could be you, it could be a product or it could be a service.

What are the strengths of your brand? What benefits do you offer to your clientele? Go ahead and list them, don't be modest - but be honest.

Ok, I know the next questions is a little more difficult. We all want to believe that our brand has no flaws, but it does. It's better for you to recognize them now before you customers point them out. Perhaps it's the packaging? What about the experience level you have in the field? Maybe it's price?

Now, let's get to promotion. How can you promote your brand with confidence in the strengths and awareness in the flaws? Give your brand a personality. By acknowledging not only your benefits, but the flaws as well you create an awareness and a confidence in your own brand. You are able to now broadcast the benefits and strengths and be prepared for the flaws that may just come up and bite you. Never be afraid of the flaws. It's acknowledging those flaws and counteracting them to the best of your ability that will actually put you ahead of your competition.

If you find that you have difficulty in identifying the strengths as well as the flaws in your brand don't hesitate to seek out the opinion of clients, customers, co-workers, partners or even a branding consultant. There are times we can be so close to something that it's difficult for us to point out the strengths and weaknesses on our own.

About the Author Laura Lake

20+ Years Marketing Pro. Passion for where marketing and technology intersect. Outspoken. Defying the Ordinary.

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