The 4 Essentials of an Aligned Brand
If you missed the last article, you'll want to take a minute to catch up now. This is the second part of DesignGood's special blog series on alignment and why it's essential to success. That article will help you understand the fundamentals of alignment. You'll also learn how to create a thriving business that's in line with who you authentically are.
Having your brand in alignment is equally as important. For all the talk that's out there about branding, there are still some fundamental misconceptions that keep businesses from achieving their fullest potential. Your brand is truly what you are reflecting to the world about your business.
When I have initial calls with entrepreneurs who have already taken a stab at creating a brand, their brand rarely represents who they really are and what they do so well. It wasn't created with their audience in mind, and it doesn’t communicate who they are and the highly specialized service that they provide. Similarly, those planning to launch a business are often not considering alignment when they start to think about creating their brand
So what's going on here?
The problem is that many entrepreneurs come at branding from the wrong perspective. They think that branding is just a website and a logo. How do I know this? Well, we get a lot of calls from businesses that just want us to create those two things.
This is where the reframing and education begins. Even though we could create just a logo or website, simply doing that alone would be doing their business a serious disservice. They don’t need a logo and a website. They need a brand. A brand is everything someone thinks about when they think about your company. It’s how it makes them feel. It's what they visualize, and it’s the words you use to connect with your audience. Brands are emotional, and they can be instrumental in creating a truly successful business.
It doesn't matter how great a brand looks if it isn't in alignment with what makes you and your business unique and it doesn't communicate your worth. If your brand isn’t connecting on a deeper level with your audience, it’s not effective. If it’s not clearly communicating your worth you may be losing customers without even knowing it. Your brand is truly the only thing that is out there representing you 24/7, so it needs to be great.
An aligned brand communicates four essential aspects of your business. Your target audience has to understand these four things to feel confident that you are the best choice for them.
- Your 'Big Why'
When I talk with entrepreneurs, I always ask them about their passions. Many times their answers are NOT reflected in their website and other branding materials. I never would have known them if I hadn't asked. And that's a missed opportunity.
You will find success when you spend your time creating something that's meaningful to you and that you feel passionate about.
Your brand has to communicate a deep sense of purpose. If it doesn't, you won't attract the people you really want to work with. Owning your purpose creates a powerful energy your target audience will respond to.
- Your Expertise
Your brand also tells your audience why you are uniquely qualified to deliver the results you promise. Your brand should embody all of your experiences, expertise, and education that allow you to do what you do in the way that only you can.
I'm always surprised at how many entrepreneurs downplay their expertise and experience in their branding materials. This isn't about shameless self-promotion. It’s about painting a clear picture of how everything that makes you YOU also makes you uniquely qualified to do the job you created for yourself as a business owner. There is a natural and authentic way to do this and — you guessed it — it has to do with being in alignment. This is about showing up as yourself, and what you have been called to do. Remember, people want to do business with experts. When you make your experience and expertise clear, you are helping the people you can best serve energetically find their way to you
- Your Audience
Your brand needs to speak directly to the people you want to work with. Your ideal customer should be able to go to your website and self-identify themselves as the right fit based on what they see and read. Part of a brand's job is to call in the people that need what you do and are the best fit for your product or service. So you also need to be very clear about who those people are. Your audience wants to feel like you understand them, so be sure you are speaking directly to their needs. Great businesses solve problems for people based on a need they see, and effective brands communicate that to their audiences.
Your brand has to show your audience that you understand them and that you can help them. Is your brand in alignment with the people you so deeply desire to work with?
Your brand is not the place to cast too wide of a net. When you try to be all things to all people, you fail to stand out. What you do is rarely ever for everybody, and your brand shouldn't feel that way, either. This is about showing up fully for the people you were created to help, and being seen for the work you were born to do.
- Your Offering
The products or services your business provides, and how you talk about them, will play a big role in attracting your target audience. Yet how many times have you been to business websites that might look hip and trendy but leave you wondering "OK, but what do they actually do?"
When your audience sees that your services speak specifically to their needs, they will know that they’re in the right place. You will clearly stand out from their other options.
I hope that this article has demystified branding for you and given you a new framework for thinking about how to create a memorable brand.
In the next part of this series, we'll talk about one final, essential area of alignment: aligning your business and your being. In the meantime, if you'd like to talk more about creating alignment in your business and brand, let's chat. Just fill out our get started form to schedule a call with me.