There will be people in this issue who are far better qualified than me to tell you how and why you should be building your company brand. What I thought I would throw in to the ring is how we, at Independent Women, use our brand, what we think brand really means for us and why it has to be protected and fought for.
We’re all in the business of storytelling; and every day we are responsible for telling our own personal and business stories – hopefully as fact rather than fiction (though this is certainly not the case with many people I’ve met and I’m sure I’m not alone!) In choosing each day what we put out into the ether, we are actually much more in control of our own thoughts, feelings, responses and personal projections than we may sometimes feel; as Eleanor Roosevelt once so wisely said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
Sometimes, it really doesn’t feel like that and we can be hurt, angry or confused by someone’s take on us – and actually sometimes we all probably just have to live with it, acknowledging we may be able to influence our own responses to a given reality, but it’s really not so easy to do that with someone else’s…. When it comes to your business, however, you have to play the game a little differently than you may decide ultimately to do in terms of your interpersonal relationships; you simply cannot afford to have anyone attack your brand unfairly – or you’re allowing them to attack your lifeblood, your income stream and thus everything you are doing this for. Your brand is one of the most (if not THE most) valuable and communicative things you have and you cannot afford for people to be badmouthing or challenging your business identity in any way. Consistency is your best weapon against slander.
Define your positive brand values clearly, promote them via every medium you employ, ensure your staff and clients know what they are and then live and breathe them with every transaction you make. Don’t give anyone reason to contradict them in you or your business and make sure that your clients become your advocates and your defenders by consistently providing a first class, ethical service that leaves them unable or highly unlikely to be swayed by someone else’s negative opinion.
Independent Women’s ‘Six Stages of Women’ recognises that, as women, we go through regular (and often mind-numbingly and shatteringly impactful) change throughout the spectrum of our lives. Our brand is all about helping women to navigate these impacts by assisting them in the creation of a financial bedrock that will enable them to navigate, battle with or at the very least, weather the storms that life so often throws at us. Basically, whatever your relationship status, your home or career choices or your degree of affluence or otherwise – you are still an Independent Woman. Our brand is intended to reflect that. Independence is about freedom and choices and whilst having your finances sorted won’t necessarily give you the life you want right now, it will enable you to make more choices today and tomorrow. Everything we do is thus about enabling women to establish, feel and exert that independence.
We don’t just deal in money, we deal in emotional responses, complex decisions and brave choices. Our brand reflects who are clients are and what they want – all packaged up in a way they like and enjoy. The brand isn’t just the name and the logo, it’s the experience and the story that every client has and we’re as proud of every one of those clients as we are of our fabulous brand – they live it for us….
Strategic Director, Independent Women