Defining Your Brand
Welcome to Lesson 3 of the 5 Lesson Business Makeover Challenge – Defining Your Brand . Yesterday was all about defining and stating the mission of your business. Today we’ll clarify what is meant by brand and how to define yours.
Do you know what your brand is? Most entrepreneurs don’t.
Since you can’t be all things to all customers, getting clarity on your brand will help you to target your customers. Figuring out your specific niche is crucial.
Entrepreneur.com contributor John Williams explains branding concisely:
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer… what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
In other words, your brand is not primarily about a logo (although that is important) or website colors. Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors.
It’s what makes you unique. It’s your competitive advantage, your secret sauce.
Strong branding allows you to charge more because customers will have a desire to choose you over other businesses. So, in addition to your mission, you must get clear on your brand.
Answer these questions in detail. Where possible, put the same questions to an outside party, such as devoted customers. Their feedback helps you to see what customers value most.
- What exactly makes you different from other companies in your industry?
- Why should someone choose your product over a competitor?
- Why would someone choose your service over another company?
Sum up your brand in a single sentence. What is your niche?
Does your brand fit with your mission? Go back and look. They should be in line with each other. Your mission statement is really for guiding your internal organization, but branding focuses on what customers want or need.
That’s it for today.
In our next lesson we’ll look at the culture of your business – whether it’s a healthy outgrowth of your mission and whether it supports your brand.
Avoid rushing through these questions.
The answers you provide will help you begin to think clearly about what really matters to you in your business and whether you’re headed in the right direction.
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