WHY DO YOU NEED BRANDING?
Let’s dive right in, shall we? The number-one question I get from entrepreneurs and company leaders is this:
“Why isn’t my branding working? “
There are already hundreds of articles about how to brand yourself properly. There are tutorials on how to create a powerful logo, write a killer “About Us” page, or delight your customers with extra perks from your company. Maybe you’ve read the articles or spent the money on webinars and books.
Yet you are here.
Let me guess. You are here because, despite libraries of data and tips, brand strategy still feels like a stab in the dark. Like something you want to finish already, so that you can move on to the money-making.
That is the opposite of how I see the branding process. Rather than another obstacle to overcome before reaching the land of milk and honey, where profit flows freely, I see it as an intentional, transformative process that is genuinely fulfilling. And I mean that.
Maybe you’re tired of working on branding. Often it feels like a never-ending cycle of guessing what others want. Imagine the relief of leading a brand that not only aligns with your business product and market, but that also aligns with your personal passions. Your heart. Take a moment to sit with this question…
What do you want?
The truth is you can craft a brand identity that feels authentic when it stems from your own passions and motivations.
When you feel ragged and uncertain of whether you’re even heading the right direction, it’s because you have a business brand that is leeching your energy rather than feeding your passion. The root problem of branding that exhausts you is inauthenticity. Besides the exhaustion, worst still, inauthenticity is expensive.
There is a fix. In short, here’s our magic formula: alignment of who you are, who you want to be in the world, and how the marketplace perceives you + a message that speaks straight to the heart of your tribe (your ideal customers). Only when those first three things work together will you create trust (and profit) within your market. Not only that, but you will suddenly find yourself full of peace and passion about your brand’s place in the world.
Many entrepreneurs struggle to create an authentic brand because it requires vulnerability. Putting yourself out there is scary. Crafting a brand that represents not only who you are, but who you want to be is terrifying. It’s a bit like standing up on stage naked. Baring all requires courage. It also asks us to be grounded in certainty. We can withstand rejection when we are certain of our purpose. Without that, we are subject to the whims of the market. Ask me. I speak from experience.
Imagine yourself personally crafting a marketing campaign that you love. When launch day arrives, you sit at your desk refreshing the website, begging for the stat counter to increase. You decided to go for it. To put something out there that you actually care about. You carefully packaged it, pushed it out into the market and… you got crickets. This time it doesn’t feel like a rejection of your product. This time, it’s more than just your business that wasn’t good enough. It feels personal, like you are not good enough.
Can you feel it? Showing the real you to your market can be terrifying.
That’s why I designed a branding system to help you do just that, and with methodical guidelines to help you present yourself in a way that is attractive to your target market.
You need a system that focuses on more than your business. This time, your branding will encapsulate your heart, your passions, your core beliefs. Most of us spend time and energy hiding the imperfect parts of ourselves (and our businesses); but instead of hiding these things, I want you to either embrace them or heal the inconsistencies. I want to help you be real with your market. You’ll see what I mean as we dive deeper.
Know that my goal is to set you on the path toward personal and business greatness. I want you to be the best you can be because that’s my authentic mission. My focus in my brand. That’s what motivates me.
- If your branding is broken, it doesn’t mean you did something wrong.
- Everything so far, the good and the bad, has added to your growth. Branding is process.
- No matter who you are, you have a unique gift to offer your market.
You need branding to align who you are, who you want to be in the world, and how your marketplace perceives you.The Foundation(s) of Your Brand: Alignment
When one of these three factors is “off,” either you or your business struggles. Using the Identitype System can help you whether you need to create an aligned brand or calibrate your current branding. This system will meet you where you are.
Think of the Identitype System as a journey that takes you through multiple portals. You begin by taking the test and reading the introductory eBook. Once you’ve assembled that information (your tools), you are ready to build the boat to embark on your brand’s voyage.
This is a radical, meaningful journey toward your brand’s destiny. The journey will take time, and because it is propelled by your own personal passions and motivations, you will find joy in the process!
The boat itself is built by enmeshing and aligning your personal and business brands. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a moment. Once you set off toward your destiny, you will be able to invite others— your ideal clients, your market, your staff— into the boat with you! This shared experience in the community boat (brand) is where the magic happens. But as you can see, the boat must be strong.
Remember that this section of the guide is an overview, and that we’ll dive headlong into the specifics later. For now, here are the questions I’ll cover as I introduce you to the scope and philosophy of the Identitype System.
- First, what do I mean by a business brand?
- Second, what do I mean by a personal brand (we all have one!)?
- Third, how do we align them?
- Fourth, how does that empower you?
- And fifth, how do you invite others to join, to “buy in” to your brand’s experience?
1. What is a business brand?
Your business brand is what differentiates you in your marketplace. It is built around your products and services, of course, but it needs to be more than that. Seth Godin said:
A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that when taken together, account for a consumer decision to choose one product or service over another.
By building a business brand, you are creating a culture that people can join. Think about it! How can your business create memories and relationships? Is it doing that already? To build this boat properly, you have to treat your business as more than just a cash cow.
Consider Apple. Consider Disney. Consider Starbucks. Strong brands cultivate their own cultures. After all, this is how a consumer will choose you over the competition! Most people pay with their hearts, not their brains. You need authentic business branding because you need a cohesive culture to welcome your tribe into.
Exploring the Culture of Your Business Brand
- How do you create memories with your business brand?
- How do you tell stories with your business brand?
- How do you build relationships with your business brand?
The above questions are simply the tip of the iceberg with your business brand. (I delve into that much deeper here). For now, we circle back to the second material we use for building this boat.
2. What is a personal brand?
Maybe you think, “I don’t have a personal brand because I have a business, and I’m separate from that.” As an entrepreneur, you are the leader. You lead the company’s brand while leading from your own brand.
Think about it for a moment. Every single person is in a leadership position. Someone looks up to you. Someone listens to what you say. And when you’re in business, this influence is multiplied. You can think of this as a vibe, an aura, or a mini-culture, but know that you carry with you a sort of brand. This applies to more than CEOs! No matter where you are in your company, no matter where you are in your life, you have the chance to ask yourself what you want to do with your influence in this world and who you need to be to your tribe.
The Identitype System is unique because it is based on the fact that you have both a business brand and a personal brand, and that those must work cooperatively to build the sturdy vehicle of your business.
3. How can a personal brand and business brand work together?
I hope at one point your business stemmed from a place of inspiration. You set off to build a living founded on passion. You were fueled by a dream that said you could hustle in a way that fed your soul. When motivated only by money, many business owners burn out. They are disconnected from a greater sense of purpose. Money doesn’t connect to your humanity or the burning fire within.
David Acker says, “Branding adds spirit and a soul to what would otherwise be a robotic, automated, generic price value proposition.”
So, take the time to unearth the common ground between your personal and business selves. Where do they overlap? That’s the alignment. What is so powerful about personal and business alignment is that you are free to be you.
4. How does this branding process empower me?
There is great power in discovering truths about yourself: your motivations, your highest purpose, your strengths and weakness. It allows you to choose.
After you take the Identitype assessment, you will receive a custom blueprint to your unique blend of Identitypes. Your chart will reveal where you are on the personal wheels. You will gain insight into your personal path, as well as how you present yourself to the world. The business wheel will let you see how your business shows up in the world. How does it look to customers, employees, or even globally? What do its strengths and weaknesses suggest it will do in the world?
The Identitype System was created to move you from a place of confusion to a place of inspiration. The blueprint reveals, in detail, who you are, who your business wants to be, how to align these two things and the context through which you are communicating this information.
This is the boat I referred to before. This is the vessel. And once you understand this, you will also see where it can take you and the others you want to join you.
5. How do you invite others to join, to “buy in” to your brand’s experience?
You built your boat. Your brand’s culture— remember those experiences and memories and stories — is housed within. Your personal and business missions are aligned. Now what?
Now you set sail.
If you have built this boat with care, your market will recognize the authenticity you offer. Customers don’t tolerate fake anymore. Real brands equal real experiences. They co-create shared stories for you and your customer.
Your story is the start. Next is the story of how you found your brand’s purpose. Woven together, they can foster a strong emotional connection with your supporters. This is often referred to as the Origin Story.
Once you’ve done the alignment and building, you can step into the boat, which is your brand and its story. You and the boat and the story of how you got here— it all meshes together perfectly. And when your tribe of ideal customers sees this, they will want to join in the experience.
Of course, every boat needs a rudder. You steer your brand using the messaging you send out into the world. How will you extend the invitation for others to join and be a part of guiding your brand? Give people many ways to spread the good news of your brand, your boat: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. The more languages, the better for this shared experience.
What comes of good shared experiences? Trust.
And what fills the sails of this boat? Inspiration. It unifies. Moving everyone forward together in this shared experience.
Of course, all deliberate voyages have a destination. The boat has a destination – land. In this case, land is your product or service. It is a deliverable goal. And because of trust, your tribe will choose your product or service. And because of inspiration, they choose to get in the boat and enjoy the culture of your brand.
Let’s go back to our original question: Why do you need branding?
That’s where we started today, and this is where I’ll end: You need branding so that all the parts of you– your passions, your motivations, your dreams— are working in harmony. You need aligned branding to keep your business self authentic with your personal self. You also need branding to get to land, with everyone in the boat with you, everyone on the journey with you. Branding through the Identitype System is about all of the above.
The Identitype System teaches you how to use the tools to build your boat, which is your brand and its story.
The Identitype System helps you use the best language to summon others aboard the vessel.
The Identitype System helps you build a map to your destination through knowledge of your personal and business Identitypes.