Planting Seeds to Build Your Brand

New seasons bring fresh ideas and fresh starts…keeping your mind open to life’s possibilities and unlocking your fears & inhibitions to reach new heights. Plant those seeds in building your brand and growing your business.

Building your brand is a lot like farming ~ it’s a nurturing process that creates the foundation. Spring is the time for revitalization therefore now is the logical time to revisit making connections and building your personal and professional brand.

Branding is one of the largest factors in growing yourself and your business. It is the pinnacle of your company’s identity, wrapped up and given in a manner that is memorable, natural and alluring to your current and prospective clientele.

Personal branding is equally as important as your company’s brand. The knack to building your individual brand is important. When building your brand you need an identifying image, a distinct message and an authentic voice that is recognizable.

The importance of a personal brand is growing rapidly because now more than ever, we trust people more than companies. Audiences are accustomed to seeing advertising EVERYWHERE. It pops up in our searches, while trolling Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr etc. Now we have mobile billboards and scrolling ads on television shows. We are inundated with advertising and people sense companies are solely interested in sales and often feel violated by invasive advertising tactics. Personal branding opens the door to create a reputation and identity while maintaining trust and interaction.

However you decide to use your personal brand it is important to establish. Consider the following:

  1. Determine your style/area of expertise: What do you want to be known for? Develop a specific niche.
  2. Start writing/publishing: Build your reputation by showing your expertise. Become a trusted source of information.
  3. Build continuity between your online presence: Make sure all of your online profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr etc.) are consistent with your personal brand.
  4. Book speaking engagements and develop case studies: Speaking engagements will help you establish a new audience and demonstrate your expertise. Developing case studies help you tell your story via previous clients and prove your level of expertise instead of simply promising what you can do.
  5. Build your contacts: Yep, in other words network! Many consider networking to be a daunting task but is important in growing your personal brand and business. Network online and in the real world. Interact with people in your industry, connectors and anyone who can help spread the word about your expertise.

It’s important to plant those seeds to reap the benefits. Like a garden it is going to take time, patience and dedication. You must continue to water the seeds in order to nurture your creation and develop your brand.

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” ~ Lao Tzu





Establishing A Brand

Many people do not understand the importance of branding and in business branding is more than just a buzzword that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Branding is the name attached to your product or service ~ it IS the main ingredient of selling in our current economy.

A brand is an intangible characteristic of your product or services that illicit feelings, emotions and perceptions about image, quality and status. In essence your brand establishes the perception that there is no product or service currently on the market quite like yours. Brand not only offers a guarantee but it delivers on it.

If you are wondering when you should begin branding – the answer is NOW. Yes, even if you are in the business planning stages of starting your business. Since we live in a competitive society, nearly all industries/companies can benefit from a branded product or service. While you are developing your business plan think about branding and marketing just as much as you are thinking about financing, your competition and market research.

Below are 5 tips to think about when developing your brand:

  1. The identification you want your customers or prospects to make with your product or service
  2. Analyze the kind of brand you are creating and figure out how it will play in your business
  3. Position your company differently; The power of free choice – what makes someone select your product or service over the competition
  4. How does your brand connect with shared beliefs, values and meaningful emotional connections with your customers and potential customers
  5. Know who you serve and why
  6. BONUS TIP – Authenticity is key – Keep it real!

To position your company accurately you should identify the key attributes or benefits that represent your product or service. This will create trust in your brand and as you begin to understand the relationship that your customers have with your brand, you will be able to more efficiently meet their needs, wants and desires through your brand.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

~Warren Buffet

The Power of Perception

You know your strengths. You know how to convince your customers why your product or service is superior to your competition. You know everything you have done to make your product or service the best. But, none of this matters if the only thing potential clients know about your company, your products or services is how they perceive your company.

The Power ~ Perception:

Your current client-base already knows about you. Or if you are well-known in a market, customers already know something about you – either good or bad. However, when it comes to attracting new clients who do not know anything about you or your brand the only thing to make a difference of whether or not potential clients choose to do business with you is their perception of you.

Oftentimes a company may have a superior product or service but their marketing and sales tools do not accurately communicate the true value and benefits to their potential clients…creating a poor perception.

A great tool to illustrate the power of perception is to look at your marketing collateral – does it accurately depict the image of a successful company? Sure, you may be a small company struggling but the perception you want to display is a successful, professional and competent company with the means to handle any and all challenges effortlessly.

Ask yourself if you’d like to do business with your company. Look at your business cards, brochures, website and other marketing materials and decide if what you are putting out there is how you would like to be perceived. Are you a company you’d like to do business with?

It is the same concept in your personal life. The way you dress, the car you drive, the way you carry yourself all create an image of how you are being perceived by the outside world. It is what you are putting out there for all to see and to make a judgment. Good or bad ~ it is reality, it is perception.

The power of perception is everything when it comes to winning new business and gaining respect within your industry. It is important for you to ALWAYS come across as a confident and competent company. You have the power to create a perception reflecting how good your products or services are and how you are value added to your clients’ and potential clients’.


“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.

~ Anais Nin

What Is Branding & Why It Is Important

For the most part, when people think of branding they do not necessarily understand the concept. Some have heard the term before and many think they know what it is but very few comprehend the true meaning and importance of branding. So we are going to explore what branding is and how it is important to you and your company.

Let me begin by imposing the KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) theory on you.

What is Branding?

  • Branding is DELIBERATE
  • Branding is DIRECT
  • Branding is EFFECTIVE
  • Branding is EMOTIONAL
  • Branding is POWERFUL
  • Branding is SIMPLE
  • Branding is YOU!

The primary goal of branding is to be memorable. You want people to think of your product, service or website first.

You want to be seen as the expert in your field. For example when you read the words; “Just Do It” you think Nike. When you see a swoosh you think Nike. Why is that? It’s because it’s what Nike wants you to think.

You can do this for your business too. When you are developing your logo (which is one of the most important components of your brand) keep it simple and easy to identify. Good examples of effective logo’s are BMW, McDonald’s and of course Nike.

If people do not remember what your logo looks like, they will not recognize it and most certainly will not remember your brand.

As a matter of fact, your brand can be your company name but do not underestimate the importance of font and color. Your logo design is so crucial to your company and your brand – I suggest creating a budget to have a consultant/designer work with you to create your logo.

Once you’ve established your brand name (i.e.: CLD Consulting) and your logo design (see above) it’s now time to establish recognition with your clients and potential clients.

There is no magic wand to gain customer recognition or loyalty. But the simplest thing to remember is: the more people who see your brand, the more likely they are to remember it. One way to make this happen is to make sure your brand appears any and everywhere – all the time.

Until the next time…Your brand is what you make it; so make it memorable!

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