When thinking about branding, your first questions should be, “Who am I? What do I want people to say about me/my business when I leave the room? What do I want my brand to look like? What do I want my customers to expect from me?” Your brand is your customer promise. And remember, you are your brand. While there are many components to branding: message, platform, strategy, promise, etc. this blog will focus on the brand promise.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, regardless of revenue, employee or market size. To have a successful and effective brand, you must first have a solid brand strategy. And, your strategy should give you an edge in this increasingly competitive marketplace.
Your brand promise is what clients and prospects can expect to receive from your company without exception. Your brand promise should:
- Differentiate your from your competitors
- Connect with your target audience
- Highlight your value-added benefits
Branding is essentially derived from who you are, who you want to be and how you want to be perceived. Unless you are a true full-service organization like Accenture or Deloitte, your brand promise should not be everything to everyone. Trust me, no one wants to hire a firm that alleges to do it all and can barely deliver on half of its promise. There are too many people with too many wants. Find your niche, focus on it and create a solid brand strategy.
When crafting your brand promise, make sure you have a general idea of what your target audience values. Do your research and learn your customers’ needs, habits and wants. Most importantly however, do not to rely of what you think they think, but rather, have your brand strategy and promise resonate around what you know they think!
Building a brand can be complicated and confusing. But, once you understand your brand and develop your promise, you are well on your way. Remember, you are your brand. What do people say when you leave the room? If it’s not the story you want to tell, then work on your brand promise and have them tell your story as you want it told.
 When I say “you”, feel free to replace it with your company, your product or your service offering.