Brand Messaging Basics
It’s a surprising fact that most business owners don’t do a lot of thinking about their brand. They don’t, but they really should. A brand is many things, but at its heart, your brand is your reputation, what people say about you when you’re not around. As a business owner, you are faced with a choice – to be proactive about your brand or to let others, including your competition, take control of your message. The latter sounds like a lousy option because it is.
In building and sustaining an authentic brand, the first and most important step is to craft a foundational brand message that puts you securely in the driver’s seat, a one-or-two-page statement that succinctly sums up what you do, why you do it, and why someone would choose you over one of your competitors. It’s the solid foundation upon which your brand is built.
The whole idea of authenticity – you being genuinely you – is key to the success of any brand message, but creating that message isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s not about “making things up” or looking for anything that’s not already there. It’s more a process of “peeling back the onion” to get to the heart of the matter, that genuine differentiator that sets you apart.
A great way to get started in this process is to pick up a pen and write – about yourself, your family, your business, your “why,” all of it. Writing on a daily basis, the important stuff slowly rises to the surface and the fog starts to clear. You’re getting there.
Bouncing your ideas off of friends, family, and peers is also a great way to gain clarity on your brand and the message you want to convey. These folks know you well, and they likely have good BS detectors as it relates to your thoughts about the direction of your business.
At some point, it can be helpful to hire a professional to help you dig deep, sift through your ideas, and craft that truly impactful brand message.
Whatever business you’re in, you’re sure to face competition. In all of this, it’s important to remember that, while your competitors might be able to be a lot of things for their customers, there’s one thing they can never be. They can’t be you!