Welcome to the 19th edition of From V to You, a weekly letter of inspiration, tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes of how I’m building a business around my personal brand so you can too. If you’ve missed the previous letters, you can always read them here.
Let’s brand dance today, shall we?
How Should We Define Our Brands…
According to some experts, here are some brand definitions on the digital streets:
Seth Godin, a marketing expert, defines a brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, said: “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Scott Cook, the co-founder of Intuit, has said: “a brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Steve Jobs, Apple Founder, said: “a brand is not so much about rational arguments, jobs argues, but the way that the company resonates with people emotionally.”
I mean, I think they all kind of agree but also frame their definition from their perspectives. And though the definitions differ, I will say that an unclarified brand makes a marketer’s job very difficult.
Marketing amplifies the promises and purposes of the brand. Not knowing what the brand’s core is, makes aligning our marketing efforts with our customers’ aspirations impossible too. So what is your brand’s core??
Clarifying your Brand’s Core
I often compare the task of clarifying your brand’s core as developing your brand’s island. Companies and their brands at the start feel incredibly isolated from the rest of the world. The world where our potential customers reside. The customers we hope to become aware of our island to visit and love over and over again.
We have to differentiate our island from the other islands to convert potential contacts into true and loyal customers. We know our island is the right island for the right person but getting the right person to see that is our biggest pursuit when growing our businesses. That all starts with understanding our brand’s, aka island’s, core.
Brands/Islands may change their look over time, and they might have more features and offerings with more development, and so forth. But at its core, what makes it special? Let me share a story Rachel Hollis, mega personal brand and 2x NYT best-seller author shared from the stage at INFLUENCER:
When she started as a new blogger, her business tagline was simple:
Give people the tools to change their lives
Fast-forward 10 years and her business tagline has NOT changed. As she said to all of us: “back then it was recipes…now I have more tools.”
Tools like books, podcasts, merchandise like journals, #last90days movements, 6-figure speaking engagements, QVC clothing line, multiple thousand-person events on personal and business development, a future Target line, etc.
What started as home recipes on a blog is now an entire media empire but the business tagline of giving “people the tools to change their lives” hasn’t changed. WHY???
Because the business tagline is actually a BRAND PROMISE. A promise to give people the tools to change their lives. That’s the brand. And all brand endeavors need to fulfill that promise or the integrity of the brand is lost.
Your Brand = Your Empathetic Calling to Help Others + The Promise(s) You’re Willing to Make to Those You Serve
It certainly tells people what you’re all about, why they’ll feel emotionally connected to the stories you’ll share, and it’s what they’ll share with others who are also needing help in some area of their life.
There’s more I could say on clarifying your brand’s core but for today, I challenge you to think about the promises you’re willing to make to those you wish to serve by your brand and it’s business. Keep a promise, keep a relationship ️
Until next week!
Ps. If this email resonated with you or helped you in your own professional pursuits, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.