I’m kind of addicted to the monthly Wimbiz (Women in, Business, Management and Public Service) Roundtable… and the last one I just had to attend, not just for the networking this time, but the Subject: Rebrand and Reboot? I’m all for that this time of year, besides I can talk branding for hours. The speaker sealed the deal for me…Ifeoma Williams! I just had to make time to out of a crazy working week to be there!
As a Communications, Image and Style consultant, she aptly discussed the subject of branding putting it into context and focusing on personal and business brands. Below are the highlights that stood out for me as promised.
- You must have a 30-second elevator pitch of who you are. In that pitch, you must state who you are, not in terms of what you do but the value to add and what you give e.g. I help individuals and brands create and build their brand identities instead of saying I’m a brand consultant.
- There are 3 components of effective communication for personal and corporate brands are: Appearance, Behaviour and Communication
- What does your appearance say about you the first time someone meets you? Do you communicate confidence, are you the sort of person I want to trust? Are you taking care of the finest, littlest details of your appearance? The tiniest details people notice. Your appearance sells you long before you open your mouth. It’s a very important component of your brand. A professor once said when a person first meets you, they give you 55% for appearance, 38% for Body Language and only 7% for what comes out of your mouth. If you added 55% and 38%, you get 93%, this is called the 93:7 ratio. Appearance always trumps spoken word and intelligence initially. You might not get a foot in the door if your appearance is wrong.
- Behaviour: This is because unspoken language is a lot stronger than spoken word. A lot of times, people confuse arrogance for confidence. A confident woman’s head is held high and her shoulders are relaxed even if she walks into a room full of her competitors because she know she has a Unique Selling Proposition(USP) and that USP is her personality and people trust people and patronize people and not brands. Your desk and chairs don’t make up your business. You are your brand and you are your business. A confident brand - personal or corporate - cares for its environment. Your brand must add value to command your sphere of influence, it must be interested in the environment in which it operates so people know that you care and you’re not just about money. A perfect example ( which I shared at the meeting is Starbucks… see this video on my handle which buttresses my point… https://www.instagram.com/p/BPZj7SIDMyG/?taken-by=lifestylehues&hl=en )
- Communication: We all think in pictures and events and so story telling is a key part of your brand.
- Marketing is 50% of your business. You should spend 50% of your time servicing your clients and 50% tooting your horn because no one will do it for you.
- You must be very clear on what value you add. So your brand must be authentic, consistent and innovative.
In the end…
- Your brand is your promise to deliver, the intangible perception in your consumer’s mind. A perception you created by how you look, sound, language and the channels you have chosen to communicate that brand e.g. you can’t be talking beauty or events planning mostly on Twitter when you can be more on visual platforms such Instagram and Facebook. An HR professional will likely find Twitter more relevant
- Every human being reacts one way or another when they come in contact with you. It’s either pleasure or pain they feel. What makes them come back or not, is based on which of the two memorable experiences they get. People will always remember how you made them feel. What emotions do your brand evoke in a consumer’s mind.(REMEMBER I SAID THIS IN MY LAST ARTICLE ON BRANDING?!)
- What are your consumers experiencing with your brand? The ways to drive these are via your Appearance , Behavior and Communication.
- A diamond is no good if no one sees it, what is your game plan for positioning in 2017? Are you defined clearly? Who are you talking to?, Where do they play? When do they play there? How do you engage them further? Why should they trust you? Are you an authority in your field? Engage more, write articles, create discussions, answer questions or start a debate. If you’re in the service business, do you write handwritten thank you notes?
- If you forget anything don’t forget Memorability and what makes your brand memorable is the experience they have with your brand. It’s from collecting memories you create influence in your field in your industry. Study your industry ferociously, up your education, study competition, what are you going to do something differently in 4 quarters of the year. How are you going to set your brand apart from the others? What are you going to do personally to evolve and how it will apply to your brand so there’s congruence between you and your brand?
I wrap up with 5 key features of a good brand:
A strong brand :
- Is Authentic: Identify your USP and be yourself
- Possesses Clear differentiation: Never describe what you do by what it is, but by the value you add uniquely.
- Is Consistent: delivering your promise always.
- Must be communicated : Where are your target markets’ touch points? What are the ways to reach them?
- Must continue to evolve: innovation will keep you in business.
So, I ask again, are they really feeling your brand?