A brand that really connects with people does more than just offer a great product or service that people need. A brand that connects goes beyond just selling something, to being about something.
Let’s be clear about this. Perhaps you’re that rare, visionary inventor who has brought something to market that has truly never been seen or even thought of before, and as of yet you truly have no competitors. If that’s you, congratulations! But don’t rest on your laurels. If your product or service has become successful, just wait. The competition will be coming along soon enough!
Most businesses don’t invent something truly NEW every time they bring something to market. More often than not, what they bring is something that’s just slightly newer or more improved than the “old” product or service that’s already out there. The fact of the matter is this – other people make what you make, or sell what you sell. Your goal really should be to DIFFERENTIATE yourself and help your business stand out from all the rest. So, how do you do that?
Many might think the answer is simply to find better ways to market yourself. You know, build a better website, get on all the social media platforms, use SEO to make sure you rank at the top of a Google search, find the best strategies for paid advertising, that sort of thing. Indeed, having effective digital marketing in place is truly essential for success and growth in today’s business climate. (And when you’re ready to ramp up some powerful digital marketing for your business, nobody does it better than the pros at Cibirix Digital Marketing Agency!) But before you try to get your business seen, you need to start by clearly defining who you are, what you’re about, and who you’re for. Once you’ve done that important work, then you can focus on establishing the brand that you want which best embodies your business.
So, what is a brand, exactly? There are many definitions floating around, but in practical terms a brand represents the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. A brand is about more than just the products or services you provide. At its core, a brand represents the personality and values of a business. And branding is more than just what you say about your business; your true branding is reflected in how your customers see you, and how you’re seen in the greater marketplace and in the community.
If your business has existed for any length of time, you already have a brand, whether you’ve ever tried to formally define one or not. People who have interacted with you, or who simply know of your business, already have an opinion of you – for good or for ill. So, if you haven’t already, it’s high time that you grab the reigns and start shaping your brand more proactively.
In order to create a brand that really resonates with people, you need to start by examining yourself, knowing yourself, and defining what you’re really all about as a business. Before you spend a lot of time working on designing a unique logo or drafting a catchy tagline, you should begin by articulating who you are – your mission, vision, values, and culture. In order to properly differentiate your business, you, your employees, and everyone in your organization must possess a clear understanding and ownership of who your business is in the first place.
Are we talking about knowing your products and services? Absolutely! But it’s not just about what products you make or what services you provide – you have to go deeper than that if you want to create and cultivate a brand that connects. And here’s a vital truth that can’t be neglected: your brand must connect with your own employees before it can ever hope to connect with your customers and your desired target market.
It’s not just about having a catchy logo or slogan; it’s also about creating and sustaining a healthy organizational culture where your brand can be embodied and modeled. What do you believe? What do you care about? What’s important to you? And how do those priorities shape how you do business? How do your leaders model this culture for your employees every day? What fruit does that yield in how your employees ultimately treat your customers and clients? These are important questions you need to answer. And if you don’t like the answers you find, you have some deeper things to focus on to help make your organization healthy before you can realistically aim for sustainable growth.
Here’s one more branding tip, too – just because it works for Apple or Google or Amazon or Disney or Coca-Cola or GEICO, doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s fine to be inspired by some of the world’s best-known brands, and it’s certainly wise to study them and learn from them. But your unique brand can’t be created by merely copying someone else’s. Don’t simply borrow another brand’s aesthetic or try to say what they say, in the hopes that people will then trust you more. You have to find your own voice, and create your own space. A brand that truly connects is a brand that is authentic.
What is the soul of your business? Your brand should be a window to your business’s very soul. Let customers see your soul, and you’ll create more than just customers; you’ll generate some real champions for your brand. It’s like Simon Sinek says in his popular TED talk – if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe. He was talking about hiring the right people (which is very important!), but this truth also extends to your branding, and in how you market to the right customers in the right way.
So if you have a firm grasp on who you are as a business, and you’re ready to continue the conversation about what it takes to win with killer branding and marketing strategies, we can help! Reach out to the professionals at Cibirix, and let us work with you to fine-tune your branding and marketing strategy and practices. We exist to help you get seen, connect with your target market, and ultimately grow your business!
Scott Kyles serves as Senior Content Specialist & Trainer for the Cibirix digital marketing team. Scott brings over 25 years of experience in teaching, training, coaching, and leadership in the business, academic, and nonprofit sectors. Scott has earned CCXP and APTD certifications, and holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wake Forest University. In his role at Cibirix, Scott partners with businesses to help them clarify their message in order to better connect with both current and future customers & clients. Scott’s areas of passion include branding, marketing, customer experience, employee engagement, and organizational culture. He’s also a fan of hot sauces, an admitted weather nerd, and is better-than-average at ping pong.