Have you ever wondered why you buy any of those things you desire? Ever wondered exactly why you want them in the first place? Why do you want that car? Why do you want to live in that part of town? Why must you fly with that airline? These questions even apply to the little things…Why do you want that particular meal? Why do you want that brand of shaving cream? Why would you buy that brand of milk? Your answer will most likely be… I’m comfortable with it. It suits my personal style I love the way it tastes I think it’s cool I feel secure with this one I feel better when I use this product This car rides smoother This side of town suits my current or desired status and the list goes on.  The most common denominator in these answers is  the feeling. We put our money on items and services because of the things they do to and for us, which in turn translates to our happiness, peace, health, comfort, security, confidence and more. In our quest for these desired feelings, we get very specific and selective as to the different existing sources of these feelings. Why do men aspire to the Bentleys, BMWs and Camaros of this world? Why do women love Tiffanys, Mac make up and Chanel or Celine Bags? These choice brands promise and evoke premium, luxury versions of these most desired human pleasures. So,in the end, your brand will evoke something in the hearts of your targets which eventually translates to perception. In other words, what do people think of your brand? What comes to their minds when they see your name? How do they feel when your brand comes up in conversation? What is the word on the street regarding your brand? Exuding the right vibes is a long term venture of sowing the right seeds. Seeds of imagery, seeds of consumer or customer experience, seeds of right publicity, seeds of the right actions and so much more. It is, therefore, a careful balance of seeds. Everything your brand does is a seed towards (hopefully) your desired image. The word “brand” is something we all throw around but what does it really mean? According to Phillip Kotler , the renowned marketing professor, brand is defined as a "name, term, sign symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the goods and services of a seller… and to differentiate them from of competition.  But one definition that does it for me is this: A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product over another by Seth Godin. So you see, branding goes far beyond logos and colours, it’s a whole package of the tangible and the non-tangible elements you present to your audiences and how they perceive you. Irrespective of whether you are a small business or a big one, branding is knowing who you are and why you are in business and what you stand for. What is your brand promise? What is your brand persona? what is your USP(Unique Selling Proposition or Point)?  What feelings are you generating with your brand because people are not buying the physical product they are buying the feelings that your product gives them. Just look at the biggest brands, Coca Cola, Starbucks, McDonalds, Chanel, Virgin and so much more… they continue to support their brands with ADs that speak to the feelings you get or they hope you get when you buy their offerings… they understand that humans are emotional beings. Such things that speak to your identity and the feelings you need to create or needs to be met must be identified and documented before you even get started with crafting your brand… By now, you must be wondering if I'm speaking to you as an individual or just the entrepreneurs! This issue holds true for both brands and for each of us. What is your personal brand like? What do you stand for? What are you known for? Can a person vouch for you? When you give your word, does it mean anything? You see, you are selling yourself to audiences each time. If you're not presenting your best self to a prospective spouse, you're presenting yourself for a job offer or senior position at your firm, or as a possible business partner or as someone who qualifies for a loan or grant etc.  It’s critical, therefore, to know who you are so you can focus on what’s most important to you and your brand and leave all else out. It will help you! If you need help with figuring your brand out, from developing brand identity documents to designing logo and stationery to developing strategy or you need to work on your social media or web content, in a bid to move your brand forward, please send us a mail to Ayodotun@lifestylehues.com we will be happy to help. Personalities looking to write their profiles, re-design their Cvs are also welcome! I leave you with this video  I shared recently on Facebook. It's a great example from a brand I admire so much! [embed]https://www.facebook.com/lifestylehues/videos/1830676963871995/[/embed] Love, Ayodotun

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