What is a brand?
The more I do this the more I find myself intrigued by the concept of branding. I've been listening to Debbie Millman's podcast Design Matters (I'm addicted), and one episode really hit home with me. It was an episode with Carolina Rogoll, which you can listen to here.
In the episode she talks about the importance of branding and what it really means to have a brand. Like so many other small businesses out there, I'm constantly struggling to stay relevant and stand out in a market that seems so saturated already (especially with the new Instagram algorithm!). But all of that aside, it is a problem every business faces. I am definitely still an amateur, but having designed logos for other small businesses and contributed to their brand development albeit slightly, I thought that the advice I got from the podcast would also be applicable to my past and potential clients, or anyone who's interested in building a brand. If you have a business then I'm sure it goes without saying that your goal is to grow your business into a successful one. But I always struggle with the question of how. Doing something for an extended period of time doesn't guarantee success, which means that persistence and consistency alone probably won't cut it.
In Rogoll's words, brands are ideas that allow businesses to generate income by creating differentiated products and services. Your products and services can be whatever, it can be you - this is the case with bloggers, etc. If you're a blogger, you're providing a service to your followers or the consumers of your blog by providing them with relevant and interesting content. Your brand is the most valuable asset of your company, so you really need to know what your brand represents. How are you solving the needs of your consumers? Think service. But in order to create this sense of familiarity with your brand, you need to materialize your idea. Unless you have a logo or a product to show, the brand is only an idea.
Two things to develop your brand:
Know thyself. What does your brand really represent? You can't expect your consumers to reach out to you or to relate to you if you don't even know what your brand really is about. Who are you trying to appeal to? Important questions to think about: what has driven your success, and what has held you back?
2. Higher order purposes
Sure a business is to an extent about transactions and selling products or services. But go beyond that. Stand for something more. If you want your consumers to connect with your brand, then give them something to connect with. What can you offer? Again, think service.
In line with the first point of clarity, it's always good to remember that you need to know where you stand before you decide where you're going. C L A R I T Y. People can't just know what you are about or what you're trying to do if you yourself can't even give a definitive answer.
But most of all, make an action plan. And then take the plunge and actually do it. Thinking about things is good, planning is good, but it means nothing if you don't actually act on it.
If you want to learn more about it I have linked the episode above. If you're like me and you're interested in things like this I highly recommend the whole podcast! Like I said, I'm addicted. I hope this short little post helps and do let me know your thoughts!