Brand is a tricky thing.
We've all heard the importance of having a brand. But how do you go about creating one?
First, I find it essential to define brand:
"A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or organization." — Marty Neumeier.
The things that quickly come to mind when we think about a brand (i.e., colors, logo) are the furthest from the actual definition. That's helpful.
Marty calls it a "gut feeling," but essentially, it's a perception we have of a company and its products or services.
The bizarre thing is, you don't own your brand. If it's the perception someone has of you, you don't completely control it.
That's an important thing to remember. Just because you want your brand to be X doesn't mean it is.
Of course, you can manipulate or alter people's perceptions through marketing. But you only control a slice of the pie. The audience will always have the final say.
That's why I believe it's critical to speak with your customers and noncustomers about their perception of you. Without an understanding of the current perception (of you), it's impossible to take action to change it.
You can only build a plan to improve your brand once you understand your perception qualitatively and quantitively.
The same would go for your "personal brand." You can have whatever headline you want, but putting Y in your bio or website won't change much if people think X about you.
How do you build the plan, and what's in it? That's a topic for another day.
The lesson today is: You don't own your brand, but once you understand what it is (your audience's perception), you can take action to improve or maintain it.
How would you define brand?
🧠 + ❤️ // JO