How to Define and Develop a Brand

In Forbes’s list of top brands you will likely recognize Apple, Google, Microsoft and Coca-Cola as the top four brands on the list. But when you compare that to another Forbes list of top public companies in the US for example, you will see names like Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase.  Apple moved from the #1 slot in Brand Value to the #8 slot in biggest public companies.  What is the discrepancy? Effective brands are those that have a perceived value greater than the sum of its assets.  In other words, their customers are willing to pay a premium for their brand over competitors because of a perceived premium value. Developing a relationship with your customers where they place a premium on doing business with you creates a powerful relationship that can have lasting results.


Brand value then is essentially the value customers place above your tangible assets and is in essence what a customer is willing to pay for your brand.  This transaction can happen at the point of purchase, or it can happen when selling your company. Brands can have real monetary value based on the intrinsic values built up with your customers over time.


In order to achieve this status of a preferred brand, and to get ahead in your business, it’s essential to have a clear, resonant brand. Your desire to truly engage potential clients or customers can result in them reaching deeper in their pockets to acquire your product. By developing a brand that feels personal and connects with buyers in an authentic way, they are likely to want to find out more – essentially to get to know your brand better. They’ll get the sense that you see them as a unique individual with specific needs. If you can convey that feeling of personal interest before they even speak with you, you’ll find more success than you thought possible!


Another purpose of branding is to make you easy to recognize. It’s an instant way to set you apart from similar businesses. If you do it correctly, they’ll know exactly what you stand for. Create a story about your brand, built from the inside out from what you do really well, to touch their emotions.


But how do you develop the brand you want to project? Here are 5 steps to help you get started.


  1. Identify what you want to represent. Carefully examine your products and/or service. What do your customers need from what you offer? Now consider more than the function of a product. What sorts of values and concepts support the underlying benefit of what you’re promising? For example, someone looking for a health coach will want practical advice and tools. In order to believe that you can offer them what they need from that, however, you need to use your brand to convey knowledge, experience, and trustworthiness.


  1. Find out what you’re good at. A great way to find out what your best skills are is by asking others. What are their perceptions towards you? What common word(s) are they all using to describe you? You can ask current and former clients, employees – even your friends and family can have insights that you wouldn’t see on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You need the input of real people, not just your own thoughts on how a client might react.


  1. Be your authentic self. Your brand is a message to others. For it to be effective, it needs to be consistent. If you promise originality, don’t offer all the same things as everyone else. What sets you apart? Highlight those things over and over, throughout your web content, blog, Twitter posts, and more. Portraying a consistent image makes you more memorable. People will remember what you stand for and what you offer. Being authentic is the key. You can make yourself more relatable by being personally active on social media, as well as writing about yourself and your employees on your website.


  1. Write it down. Now that you have an idea of who you are, what you’re good at, and what you represent, you need to write it all down. Seeing something on paper or on the computer screen gives you a chance to fully evaluate it. You could even run it by someone you trust who can give you further feedback.


  1. Name, logo, and tagline. In order to be recognizable, your brand must be clearly visible in your company’s name, logo, and tagline. That name is the first thing they’ll see, so think carefully! The logo should artistically represent your value and benefit. And the tagline must absolutely be memorable!


It takes time to craft your brand. You’re conveying your purpose, passion, and strengths by creating a reputation for yourself. It needs to reach the emotions of potential clients. You need to capture their loyalty so they return to you again and again.


Following these steps puts you on the fast track. You’ll find that you’re not just attracting more clients – you’ll be attracting the best clients for you.


If you like reading this blog, please sign up for the newsletter too!