In a recent study on my personality, I started asking people how they experience me. Let me tell you, it was insightful to say the least. In my mind, I’m a winsome enthusiast, life of the party type, who inspires my teammates and coworkers to get the job done and some people would agree. Others would say that I come on a bit strong and, at times, emotionally driven. Reality is somewhere in the middle.
I needed an outside perspective to show me my blind spots. Everyone has them. And every brand has them.
Your brand doesn’t matter, how people experience it does.
Start with branding, not marketing.
The art of branding is reconciling perception with reality. Most businesses need an outside perspective to weigh in and analyze how people are really experiencing them. Understanding guides communication. Continuing to communicate in the same way, just more intently, is just more noise. It is necessary to begin with building and not incessant marketing. Branding is the strategy that informs the tactical. That’s where brand audits, brand strategy and good brand architects come in.
What do I mean? Here is a short list of terms we might use as we talk over coffee.
- Brand: The way in which a company, organization or individual is perceived by those who experience it.
- Branding: The act of shaping how a company, organization or individual is perceived.
- Brand Audit: A health check of the brand to identify and address problems areas with a net result of helping you turn things around and grow your bottom line.
- Brand Strategy: A long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals.
Building Your Brand
Branding is so much more than a logo and something that you think looks pretty. Preference may be pretty, but it isn’t perception. Crafting your perception takes research, strategy and expertise. It’s more than the cool logo your artsy cousin came up with in class, it’s a comprehensive process to create a system that works for your company.
Key word: system
A good brand is a system that informs everything else. It creates company culture, builds clear strategy, equips brand ambassadors, multiplies excellence, defines decisions and drives towards results. The link between branding and results is hard to measure, but it is the most essential part of a company. How could you not begin with building your brand or rebrand?
Hearing how people experienced me was both encouraging and illuminating. The audit done on my personality was the knowledge I needed to be a better version of myself. I didn’t change who I was, I just learned to communicate and connect with my audience in ways that improved the results.
Are you brave enough to ask, “how are people experiencing me?”
We see blindspots @blackroses.co