8 Ways to Build a Powerful Brand October 22, 2012

By Larry Powell

You hear a lot these days about branding. But individuals and businesses alike often misunderstand this term. Many think branding is a company’s logo or the products or services it sells. However, a brand is actually something quite different.

Simply put, a brand is what defines you. It is your image and personality – all the tangible and intangible qualities that distinguish a company, a product or an individual from others. Whether it’s a corporate brand, a product brand or an individual’s personal brand, it is the identity that resonates with your audience.

A brand is the total emotional and psychological foundation that is built over time. It is the framework for the customer experience and the promise of what to expect each time someone experiences a product or service. Above all, your brand is the true representation of who and what you are. It should consistently deliver on its product or service promise.

Independence. Freedom. Empowerment. Fun. Innovation. Fierceness. The list goes on and on. A brand is nothing until it makes an emotional connection. So, whether you want to grow your company brand or your individual brand, you MUST stand for something. Build your brand positioning around something that people care about want to rally around.

Take a look at the following companies. Set aside the products they sell and think about what their corporate brand stands for:

 

 

 

 

Now look at the following products and think about what their brand stands for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, look at these celebrity brands and consider which products, services and causes they are associated with and what their personal brand stands for:

 

 

 

 

Whether you are a global corporation, a regional company or a local one-man show, branding is essential to your success. What is your company’s brand or your personal brand?

Here are eight ways to build a powerful brand:

1. Use research to find out what customers currently think about you.

2. Identify your true brand personality and stick to it. Authenticity is key.

3. Choose a position and remain consistent with your message and voice.

4. Use a strategically planned mix of communication tactics.

5. Allow two-way dialogue with customers through social media.

6. Make sure your brand is first marketed internally, then externally.

7. Invest in your brand over the long term to create loyalty.

8. Work with an expert (like Open Channels Group) if you need help building your brand.

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