There is a big difference between your “brand” and your “branding.”
Your brand is you: who you are , what you do, what you stand for, your DNA personality. You are a tangible artifact, which you create into a brand–an image that lives in the minds of the people you interact with and who come to know you. Are you…
- A watercolor nature artist?
- An NBA athlete?
- A criminal trial attorney?
- An eighth-grade science teacher?
- A cupcake baker?
- A cardiologist?
- A business consultant?
- A French chef?
- A career counselor?
Your branding is what you do: every way you put your brand in action to create associations with you, including your…
- Email marketing
- Community involvement
- Social media platforms
- Experiences and other Professional Involvements
- Articles, Reviews, Publications
I recently discovered a brand website called Ranking the Brands, which lists and profiles some of the most trusted, popular, core power brands out there today–Coca-Cola, Google, BMW, Microsoft, Walmart, Hershey’s, Apple, Harley-Davidson and UPS, to name just a few.
What do these standout brands have in common?
- First, they are laser focused on what they do, who they are and whom they serve.
- Second, they differentiate themselves from their competition.
- Third, they evolve how they serve through their brand story.
These brands have built legacies and leadership by paying back and paying forward. They have built schools, donated food, supported the Olympics and encouraged educational and philanthropic activities, which is why we want to support them and what we remember them for.
Here are five ways your brand and branding define you:
1) It’s your calling card, piece of real estate, your stake in the space.
2) It’s the only way to make a footprint and imprint.
3) It tells a story about you and what you do.
4) It’s the way people remember, recall and recommend you.
5) It is the single most important way to establish your credibility, authority and niche.
Sam Walton wanted Walmart to be remembered for saving people money so they could live better. Milton Hershey wanted to open new doors for children in need. Patch Adams wanted to treat patients by first getting to know the patient, and second by implementing humor.
What does your brand say about you and your business?