A brand. Everyone has one. But not everyone has learned how to build a brand that funds a business so they enjoy both financial and spiritual benefits.
It can be hard; admittedly, there is a finite balance between the two to ensure that the benefits show up. But before I get a head of myself, let me back up and define each for you:
A brand, according to Marty Neumeier, “is a person’s gut feeling about a product service or company” and here is my definition, “a brand is an intentional strategic message, promise and experience created to serve others through your significance.”
A brand is not your logo, website, business card or other visual representation. A brand is an experience and that experience may be easily identifiable via a logo. The logo has very little to do with your brand before you’ve been successful at creating an experience.
I take branding very seriously. I, as you may well know, am an extremely visual person. So much so that I have a brand board ( a vision board for my brand) and I keep this board in my eye’s view when I am working in my office, speaking with clients, talking about my products and services and creating new strategies. In fact, my brand board can usually be seen behind me during my weekly videos.
And because we all have a brand, whether we are intentional about it or not, you need to begin to take it very seriously as well.
But, with all that my brand has become because of my commitment to creating an experience, it does not overshadow my fiscal responsibility to build a solid, thriving business. I think that far too often entrepreneurs focus on one and not the other, but you can focus on both and enjoy the benefits there of.
Let me explain. When I wrote my first book, my “brand” got me on television and in magazines, etc but those appearances by themselves did not yield any financial returns for my business. I had to have a strategy in place to leverage each appearance so that I would benefit financially. See what I mean by having both?
A business on the other hand is a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service for the purpose of generating profit.
Branding does not guarantee the generation of income; business does not guarantee the exposure and opportunities to expand your reach. That is why you need to do both. Trust me; many entrepreneurs learn this lesson the hard way. You can thank me by leaving a message at the bottom in the comments section.
In my opinion, to ensure that you build a brand and a business you have to define, own, unleash and leverage your personal and professional brand. Allow me to break them down for you a bit now:
Define: Defining your brand is about clarifying the reasons you are different from those who technically do what you do. I often invite my clients to think of 5 words that emotionally convey who they are and how they serve their clients. What would your five words be?
Own: In order to own your brand, you take those five words and create confidence boosting brand mission statements that illustrate your value and the experiential transformation you provide. I should mention that in the ownership phase, you can look for a visual representation that resonates you’re your brand. No, I’m not talking about a logo, I’m talking about an icon or avatar that will speak to the experience you will create. What statements convey your brand’s mission? What visual would make a great icon for your brand?
Unleash: In the unleash phase, it’s time to make your concept of your brand real for others by focusing on the experience they will gain by being affiliated with you. Here is where you focus on your message in greater detail. You want to ensure that your message is experiential, educational, emotional and based on the true, top-of-mind problem that they are experiencing right now. Can you validate that your brand hits all four components?
Leverage: Leveraging your brand is largely about ensuring that at all times you are positioned to gain spiritually and financially from your brand. Leverage is about building a brand with character and equity that allows you to get consistent benefits. It means you have a strategic profit plan that will allow your brand to earn consistent income. It’s about building a brand and a business at the same time. How have you prepared to leverage your brand? What is your profit plan?
Doing these four things as you build your brand will help you to also build your business. What else have you learned about building both a business and a brand that will add value to this post?
If your brand is not positioned to fund your business, I can help you. We’ve created several consulting options to help you get what you need quickly to build a brand that funds a business.
©2012 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “5 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.