If you intend to have a successful business of any type, including if you are simply an online entrepreneur with a blog, Ebay or Etsy store you better KNOW what your brand is. Meaning that when I ask you that question an immediate answer must come to mind. An answer that tells me WHAT you are, what you STAND for.
For instance when I say ‘Harley Davidson’ –you think motorcycles
When I say ‘McDonalds’–you think hamburgers, when I say ‘Starbucks’ — you think coffee. Those three companies I just named are doing an excellent job with their branding because everyone thinks pretty much the same thing when they hear the company name.
What do people think when they hear your name or your business name? I promise you that they think SOMETHING, however is it what you want to be known for??? Are the words that come to mind when someone hears your name or the name of your business words that you wish to be remembered by? I have a friend Tim Davis, he is a branding trainer for Real Estate people and he does a phenomenal job schooling people in the importance of BRAND. In fact he is so damn good at it then when people say his name, those of us that know him immediately think ‘the branding guy’. He even has a particular outfit that he is known for when he does training seminars…check him out Tim Davis, Branding Guru . He knocks BRAND out of the park. The world could learn a lot from this guy…
When you don’t know what your brand is then neither does anybody else and that becomes instantly detrimental to your business, no matter what you do. Not understanding your brand is especially damaging to a large organization. Recently a global organization that has been around for over 100 years has asked for my help in regards to their branding. The request involves working to get the entire executive team on the same page in regards to what the brand is and whether or not that is being communicated effectively throughout the organization and then further out to the world. I circulated a list of questions to the executive team, one of which was “What is (the organization’s) brand? The ENTIRE executive team had a DIFFERENT ANSWER –no two answers were the same. This is from the Executive Team…the people leading this organization into the future. This kind of fragmentation in the core team will lead to failure on all fronts. If you cannot even communicate effectively WHO or WHAT you are how the hell can you do ANYTHING else????
A business functions to fulfill its purpose or mission. This purpose or mission becomes the DRIVING FORCE or brand of the organization. This HAS TO BE SOLID! You have got to know who and what you are in order to execute ANYTHING else. A strategy for growth cannot be designed without a direction, your direction comes from your brand—who and what you are. When you do not know who or what you are then you end up running in all kinds of different directions wasting time and energy on things that have nothing to do with your core purpose.
I don’t care if you are selling vintage clothes on ebay, selling crafts you made on Etsy or building a global distribution company– you better know WHO and WHAT you are and then line your strategies up behind that.
If you are a cookie company, make and sell cookies — do not waste your time trying to sell chips, milk and coffee and looking into producing and packaging those items– make and sell COOKIES like your life depended on it. LIVE into your brand and OWN it! Make and sell the best damn cookies that anyone ever had.
Part of understanding your brand is that then you know who you are and who you are not. So if someone comes to you with an opportunity and it doesn’t fit your brand, you simply say NO and move on. No time and energy wasted. When you are clueless about who you are then you will find yourself saying yes to things that don’t suit you, simply because you are not crystal clear on your brand.
Get clear on your BRAND folks, your future depends on your ability to communicate it effectively to yourself and every one else…