Building Your Brand

Last night I attended a panel at BU with some local powerhouses — Tom O’Keefe, Founder & CEO of Flutter & @BostonTweet; Kate Weiler, Co-Founder at DrinkMaple; Aman Advani, Co-Founder & President at Ministry of Supply; and Greg Gomer, Co-Founder at VENTUREAPP.

They shared stories of their experiences founding and growing their own businesses. I loved the authenticity of each story, soundly resonating with the eager faces in the audience. The panelists talked about the ideas they stumbled upon when, married with their passions, led to the incredible brands they’ve mastered today.

Branding is such an interesting part of business. There are entire companies that exist simply to help you create, build, and market a brand. But what is a brand exactly? It is defined as a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. But in business, as many of us know, that definition is narrow in scope, and is thought to be more closely related to trademark than how we think of ‘brand’ today.

Today brand can represent a product, a business, or even a person. Tom O’Keefe shared that when he started @BostonTweet he just happened to throw his face up there, and in doing so, he became the brand. In this example of branding, it is the unique “you” or your authentic self. And as we know, one of the best and most valuable things you can do as you create and grow your brand, is be authentic.

But when you represent a brand, how do you remain authentic while also being appropriate? Does it depend on your target audience? With the prevalence of social media, the propensity for people to embody the brand that they create, at what point do we separate the two? Or do we? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts to me @lirladyinred!

Still curious? Check out these other articles!
What is a Brand, Anyway? by Jerry McLaughlin from Forbes.com
30 Branding Definitions by Heidi Cohen of Actionable Marketing Guide
Be Yourself, But Carefully by Lisa Rosh & Lynn Offermann, Harvard Business Review; When — and When Not — to Share: take this fun quiz by Lisa & Lynn!

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