IMG_20150118_075836_resizedImagine there’s no labels.

I know we think that our labels define us, but labels create an avatar out of real people reducing them to certain traits. You wear many labels: woman, daughter, wife, friend, sister, work associate, club member, political party, northerner/southerner, your country, your hemisphere even your planet. All are labels defining your character traits. While some might be right on the mark, others are far from your individual truth. What does your demographic get wrong about you?

So what’s really the difference between a label and a brand? Labels limit and brands espouse a lifestyle. Branding is how a certain style expands and develops. That is why branding is so important. Whether you are creating a product line, service category or branding yourself,  the most critical part of your brand is the authenticity behind it. People are drawn to honesty and clear concepts.

Here’s the hard part, deciding just what that honesty and clear concept is. Here is a list in no particular order of how to go about defining your brand.

  • Create and write down your brand message
  • Create a tagline which is a meaningful short statement that captures the essence of your brand
  • Integrate your brand to every aspect of your business, website, biz card, email signature, social media, what you wear to a sales meeting, how you answer a call, everything.
  • Find your ‘voice’ and apply it to all communication and visual imagery online and off
  • Be consistent, consistency is the honesty that will connect you to your customer. Don’t break that trust but if you need to make changes, make them fast.
  • Biggest shame of all is over-perfection. Waiting until everything is 100% brands can flourish and grow, start somewhere then grow that way if you did make a mistake you can adapt and change before you spend all the money!

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