Your Guide to Creating an Empire through Branding
Building a recognisable and distinctive brand is a necessary part of any business strategy. Without it, it’s like having Mochachos chips without the special seasoning or a chicken curry without any chicken, it simply doesn’t work.
There are many, many articles on how to create a buzzworthy brand, but many fail to cover the most critical point, why do you actually need a brand? Let’s take a step back.
When you future stonk soldier entrepreneurs start bringing to life that business idea you’ve been thinking about and working on for ages, the first thing you’ll notice is there are SO MANY decisions to make before you even launch your business. And once you’ve launched, the decisions don’t slow down, if anything, they just become more intense. Because now your decisions have a financial impact, you’ll agonise over them more and constantly wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
This is where having a well-defined brand can help. Branding is about more than just fancy business cards, a kickass logo and eye-grabbing packaging. Creating a brand means you’re creating a North Star for who you want to be and what you want your business to stand for. A well thought out brand gives you the opportunity to create a compelling definition of the role you want to play in your consumers lives. It also helps you define the purpose that is driving your vision for the future.
When you have this clarity, you’ll find making decisions so much easier and a lot less daunting. Your business will also look a lot more polished and professional. For example, you’ve decided you want to become a Fitness coach that helps moms become fitter, stronger and healthier. This is how having a well-defined brand could help you build a business empire you’re proud of.
Step 1: Start by asking yourself why?
Why do you want to do this? Is it just about the money? Yeah, sure all of us are in business to pay bills at the end of the day but to sustain the effort you’re going to have to put into building that business, you’re going to find that you need a stronger, more compelling reason than money.
Usually, the industry you’re drawn to is one that holds a special significance or interest to you. That’s your first clue. Continuing with the Fitness coach example, maybe the reason you want to launch this business is because when you first became a mom you really struggled to find resources to help you get back in shape after giving birth. You wasted time and money using the wrong things. And so you want to help other moms go through the recovery journey with more ease and support and not make the same mistakes you did. You’ve always been interested in fitness and you finally have a Pilates certification so you know what you’re talking about and can give good advice.
Now these are all compelling reasons to go into the business. They’re also wonderfully powerful elements to add to your brand. Elements that can help you differentiate yourself from the millions of Pilates fitness instructors out there. Your story, your real reason why. When you incorporate your why into the very essence of your brand that’s when the magic happens.
Step 2: Define your vision for the business
Knowing what you want to become is another key step in articulating your brand. And no you don’t need to have Steve Jobs like clarity (though if you do, that’s awesome!) but you do need to have a general idea of how you want to grow.
Once you’ve established yourself as a knowledgeable expert, how do you monetise your influence and start building that empire? Well you could launch a set of paid classes that moms can subscribe to, to help them with their recovery. You could then expand a step further and start your own activewear clothing line, one designed for nursing mom’s bodies. How about a line of Nutritional Shakes? See how we’re beginning to build that empire?
Step 3: What makes you unique?
The magical element of every successful brand, is that unique trait that makes your brand undeniably yours. For example, a fellow Pilates trainer who didn’t go through the pain of a difficult post birth recovery, could never connect with an audience of moms, the way you would. Yes she might know all the correct exercises but she wouldn’t really understand what these moms are going through. However, because you’ve been there, you’re able to offer a genuine understanding- one that isn’t easy to replicate, because it’s a shared lived experience.
Step 4: What qualities do you want to be known for?
Are you going to be a tough, “do an extra 10 reps” kind of persona? Or are you going to offer a gentle “take it in your stride” approach? It’s helpful here to create a list of “Who I am versus who I am not”. There are thousands of brands shouting for your audience’s attention. Getting clear on what you want to be known for, is a critical ingredient in setting yourself apart.
Step 5: Who are the kinds of people I want to be my customers?
This will help you plan your marketing activities, everything from SEO to creating content to knowing which brands you may want to partner with. It will also help you decide which ideas are worth pursuing and which marketing activities are worth investing time and money in.
Step 6: How am I going to make my customer’s lives better?
Every great brand starts with an idea of making your part of the world better. Because when you do, you’re offering value to the world, value that’s worth paying for. And that my friends is the best way to build your empire and make it rain dollar bills.
Are you ready? Let’s go!