How do you define your brand? Is it your logo? Your colors? Maybe YOU are your brand. 

Yes, these are elements of your brand, but it’s so much more than that. A lot of people confuse brand with branding. Your brand symbolizes what you believe and what you stand for. 

Your brand is:

  • Your voice
  • Your message
  • The reason someone will buy from you

Before you design your logo, business cards, website, and other elements of your business you first need to define your brand. Here are a few internal things to think about:

First, what is your story?

Please LOVE story. Start any statement with “Once upon a time” and people are hooked to hear the story. YOU have a story to tell. Even if you think your story isn’t that interesting, it will resonate with people, they’ll connect with you, and they’ll buy from you just because of your story. 

Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” 

Tell people why you started your business. Is it because you are passionate about your product? Or maybe the audience you serve? Maybe you were just sick and tired of your 9-5 in corporate America and gave your boss the pink slip. Regardless, there’s a story here. 

Second, who is your customer?

Before you say, “Everyone is my customer!” stop right there. While everyone may benefit from your product, they aren’t all your customer. You have to be crystal clear about the audience you serve. And if you need help defining who that is, I have a great resource you can grab HERE

When you know who your target audience is, and I mean know their age, gender, geographic location, their needs, wants, and desires, then your brand will personify your audience. It will speak to the emotions, memories, and transformations of your audience. 

Third, what do you stand for?

If 2020 had a theme, it was about standing up for what you believe in. And that should ring true in your brand. I’m not saying that you should be political and controversial unless that’s what you DO want your business to represent. But you might stand for something as simple as a solution to a common problem. 

Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

I iterated what I stand for by writing a manifesto of all the things I believe in. You can check out mine HERE

Now that you know some internal elements of your brand, let’s talk about the external elements. These are the things people see, like your photography, marketing images, logos, fonts, and colors and other elements that you will add to your brand

While you are scrolling through social media, looking for inspiration, be careful not to mimic other companies’ brands. Those are elements of THEIR brand, and when you copy what they do because you think you can piggyback on their efforts, realize that you won’t stand out. If there’s nothing that differentiates you from your competition, you’re swimming in a sea of sameness. 

I just wrapped up a four-week training series inside our Facebook group, The Startup Tribe, on all things branding. We had special guests, Madison Yen, a Branding Photographer guru, and Kristy Black, a Brand Design master. If you’re a member of the Tribe, you can access all the videos and watch them again HERE. And if you’re not a member yet, sign up HERE. It’s free marketing training!

You can also download my free kit: 5 Steps To Finding Your Brand Voice HERE. Once you know your brand story, share it with me! I love a good story.