The fact that you’re reading this now means my headline, or my brand, has caught your attention! Branding is about recognition, loyalty and influence. I love to influence influencers like you! J Branding allows influence without too much effort, allows sales without too much effort, people come to you pre-sold.
A strong brand is much more likely to be chosen over an unknown brand. It is more likely to be seen as credible, experienced, good quality, reliable and trustworthy.
Let’s think for a moment about the power of branding. If you need a sports shoe, which is the first brand that comes to mind? My research shows that around 75% of people will respond with ‘Nike’, most of the rest with ‘Adidas’. Job done! Think of a personal music player – around 95% will think about Apple’s iPod. Job done! Think of an infamous female? The response is invariably ‘Madonna’ she’s still the name that comes to mind even after all these years. That’s the staying power of brand Madonna – the mistress of reinventionß.
Can you become the Madonna, the Nike, the Apple in your particular field? Are you the person that comes to mind when someone thinks about your category of business?
Visibility & Credibility
If not, perhaps that’s a visibility issue. How visible are you? Are you out there being seen? Are you standing in your spotlight and shining like the star you are? Or are you Britain’s best-kept secret! Visibility often equals credibility in the hearts and minds of the perceiver. And lets face it, you/your brand has to reside within the hearts and minds of your clients and potential clients. You want them to see you as THE person who provides a solution to their problem.
Brand YOU differentiates you from others in the marketplace. Brand YOU offers a promise to your clients and potential clients. It’s the cornerstone of what you are about. So what are you about? What do you stand for? What associations do people make when they think of you? What associations do you want them to make when they think of you? How do you wish to be perceived?
With a strong brand you can link together different services & products so that your clients are much more likely to buy another service or product from you. Think of Apple with their iPhone, iPod, iPad, iMac, MacBook etc.
Name Recognition & The Difference One Little Letter Makes
Obama, Osama, Oprah, William & Kate. – you immediately FEEL the difference in each of the names, don’t you. Obama, Osama, William & Kate have all hit the headlines a great deal in April/May 2011. Their brand is their name. Their brand/name confirm their credibility, present a clear message, impact people emotionally, motivate people, create loyalty.
Yet have you noticed the difference one little letter makes to your perceptions … I’m talking Obama and Osama of course. One little letter makes all the difference doesn’t it. What do those names conjure up for you? How do you respond to your perceptions around those names? What feelings do you get? Would you have reacted very differently to the death of Obama rather than Osama? I’d certainly respond very differently.
For Obama, the world watched, was moved emotionally and filled with hope by the captivating inspirational speech he gave when he was elected president of the United States. Obama for me is associated with dignity, freedom, presence, great leadership, equality, social justice, inspiring oratory. He represents what is possible. His story is the American Dream. Osama on the other hand is forever etched on the consciousness of the world with his hatred for the west, his call to violence, and the audacity of his horrific orchestration of indiscriminate killing right across our world. The terrorism he devoted himself to continues to create fear, destruction, death, chaos. His legacy sadly lives on. As will Obama’s. LOVE Obama!
One letter of difference in their names, massive differences in their values, the way they are perceived, their brand promise, and in the legacies they leave behind that reflects the choices they made. What about you? What stories do you want people to tell about you? How do you want to be remembered? What are your values? Does your business walk your values and vision into the world?
Someone whose business absolutely expresses the whole of who she is, is the magnificent Oprah Winfrey. One of the most powerful and influential women in the world, her brand fully expresses her vision, values and personality. What about yours? And what a wonderful legacy she will leave behind, touching so many lives in such profound ways. LOVE Oprah!
Let’s take Wills & Kate next – LOVE them! They have an immediate emotional response within me, more especially after their glorious wedding service! A nation of mothers adopted Wills and Harry when their mother died long before her time. For many of us the Wills & Kate brand is associated with love, happiness, patriotic pride, connection, commitment, loyalty, dignity, real-ness, youthful hope, and, like Obama, they feel somehow of the people, one of us, yet aspirational too. Very different to the royals that have gone before them and so much more relevant and appealing for that difference. I find myself a royalist for the first time in my life – and that surely says something! Let’s hope they continue to live up to their brand promise!
Make Your Story Part of Brand You
Obama, Osama, Oprah, Wills and Kate all have their story. A story known by many. How does their story guide our perceptions of them?
One of my great clients (I love my clients!) is in the business of helping people use their story to build their brand, differentiate their brand, and build customer loyalty and buy-in. What’s your story? How do you use it to give you leverage in the marketplace? What difference might it make? The wonderful Joseph Campbell in talking about man and myth said we’re all heroes on a hero’s journey. Use your hero’s journey in building your brand, and as you do use your personal voice, be authentic, and let the story reflect your vulnerability as well as your credibility.
Brand Story, Brand Character, Brand Archetypes
You can develop your story through the use of Archetypes. Psychologist Carl Jung did some major work around Archetypes. Jung suggested these archetypes work across cultures. Dr Caroline Myss has continued his work and applied it to all our lives, and all our issues. It’s interesting to look at brands and the archetypes they promote. Think about Obama, Osama, Oprah, Wills & Kate. Which of the following 12 Master Archetypes are they? What about Richard Branson, Lord Sugar, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump? What about you? What character profile do they suggest? What values arise from these particular archetypes? Here we start to get to brand essence, brand personality, brand positioning, brand attitude …
And so it is for us …
Well I’ve used the luuurve word again this month! Interesting to note the feelings different brands provoke within us. And my hope is that my brand positively impacts others. When you do your work with love, people can taste the difference.
So where does that leave you and I and our businesses and brand promise? Some questions to stimulate thought and action:
- What is your story?
- What Archetypes are you aligned with?
- What’s your brand promise?
- What do you stand for? What are your values? What’s your vision?
- How are these translated into your communications and presence in the marketplace?
- What are you associated with in the perceptions of your public?
- What do you wish to be associated with?
- How are you building brand awareness?
- How do you inspire brand loyalty?
- What are the feelings you leave in the hearts of minds of those who connect with you?
- What’s your legacy to the world?
- How do you wish to be remembered?
Hope I’ve got you thinking! J
Until next time, here’s to your happy and meaningful success!
Kath Temple loves to influence influencers with her Strategies for Greatness. She helps you step fully into your spotlight and shine, optimizing your influence, impact and income, and fulfill your divine life purpose. Kath runs VIP days, breakthrough days, and mentoring programmes. Find out more on 01502 562162 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01502 562162 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email firstname.lastname@example.org to put your adventure into success and happiness in top gear.