When you're working hard to build a successful business, sometimes it's hard to step back and ask "What are we working to build? What's our brand?"
It's important to stay focused on the task at hand, but equally so to keep an eye on the bigger picture.
So what is the definition of a brand?
Traci Lloyd sums it up incredibly well: “Brand strategy answers integral questions like: Why does your product matter? Why does it matter now? How is it different and better than what competitors are doing now?”
Here are a few of my other favorite definitions of “brand”:
“Branding is the encapsulation of a company’s mission statement, objectives and corporate soul as expressed through the corporate voice and aesthetic.” Margie Clayman
“Branding is the representation of your organization as a personality.” Dave Kerpen
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Jeff Bezos
At Curaytor, we've recently invested more time and effort into building our brand than ever before. When you do something that's more about building your brand than it is about generating leads, your metrics for success will be different. Instead of simply measuring leads and sales generated, stats like likes, shares, reach, comments, and video views become important, too.
It's important to note: we did not start with branding - we started with funnels. If you don't have leads, if you don't have people coming into your database, if you don't have sales happening, you're never going to build a brand. With that strong foundation built, we're able to think about branding with confidence that our sales funnel and the service we provide is stronger than ever.
Recent brand plays we’ve made at Curaytor and why:
- CuraytorShop.com: Buying swag isn’t going to make us any money. It’s a loss leader, but people are wearing our stuff, drinking out of our mugs. It generates awareness and conversations about our brand.
- Curaytor Culture video: Professional, 2 minute brand culture video that talks more about why we do what we do, rather than just what we do.
- Our vernacular: We give our new technology and strategies names like “Curaytor Brain” and “CAB: Create, Advertise, Blast” — those acronyms are part of our brand. You don't go to Starbucks and ask for a Large - you ask for a Venti. Creating a vernacular is a part of your brand.
- My Red Jordans: The shoes I wear on stage at every speaking engagement spark conversation. It's an extension of who I am - my personal preferences have become a part of our professional brand.
So for any company starting to really think about their branding, I recommend performing a SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. The answers to these questions give you the foundation for building your brand.
Once you've done this, share the results with your whole company. Sales teams (as well as the entire organization) need to understand the answers to these questions in order to be successful. The better we have gotten at explaining and exemplifying our brand, the faster our business has grown.
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