“Oddly enough, a dead philosopher knew the secret. Socrates gave us the first step in creating a successful brand identity.”
As we established in our last post, “Sergeant Dan and Social Media” in order to command a strong following on social media, we first need a strong brand identity. People follow people they love. As small business owners, it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that people need a reason to follow our business – let alone engage with us. People are inundated with e-mail, texts, calls and notifications every day. They face a constant barrage of people vying for their attention. So what’s the trick? How do we educate people about who we are and what our business is all about? How do people organically come to know and love us? Oddly enough, a dead philosopher knew the secret. Socrates gave us the first step in creating a successful brand identity. That first step is: “Know thyself.”
There’s lots of reasons why that makes sense for a small business. After all, the question: “what do I want my business to be” is the first thing we ask ourselves when we write a business plan. Clearly, identity is key to answering that question. Omitting our identity from the equation is a formula for disaster. In fact, when we don’t know ourselves we have no foundation, direction or purpose. Absent conviction, our business, from its inception, is a bad joke no one is interested in hearing.
“I am who?”
“You don’t know who you are?”
Needless to say, you’d never want your business compared to a children’s “knock-knock” joke.
To review our last post, “Sergeant Dan and Social Media,” people want to know:
- are your values aligned with theirs?
- are you ethical?
- are your services valuable to them?
- are you an authority in your field?
- is it fun to do business with you?
- are you involved in the community?
- do you associate with people or organizations they like or know?
All of the above are attributes of our brand identity. When we take that first step towards knowing ourselves, we’re on the road to creating our brand identity.
What is Brand Identity?
Brand Identity, in one word is:
Stories are incredibly powerful things. They are full of unlikely heroes, hard-fought victories and dreams becoming real – and they are particularly compelling when they resonate with us. Some companies – like Apple, Coke and Budweiser – know the value and power of storytelling, and they tell their stories very well. Other companies – like Microsoft – are so powerful that they’ve dismissed the value of storytelling, choosing instead money (and a 90% market-share) as the narrative and arbiter of value. Consequently, the love/hate relationship people have with Apple and Microsoft is palpable. People love Apple. People begrudgingly feel they need the utility of Microsoft. Needless to say, love is more compelling than utility.
“…love is more compelling than utility.”
And that brings us to the Holy Grail of storytelling – Harley Davidson.
Harley Davidson is that Devout Place where customers venerate your brand. They emblazon your logo on their bodies, clothe themselves with your gear, embrace your culture as their dream, and ride your name across the country at 90 mph with the wind in their hair.
That’s the stuff of legends.
So, Brand Identity is the story behind a company. It’s the vibe, that “persona” that’s lovable and identifiable. It’s your attitude in front of the world. It’s your outlook. It’s your sass, flair and edginess. It’s your cuddly-wuddlyness. Story is how authentic identity is created and conveyed. Story becomes the history of great organizations.
Three Key Factors To Creating a Great Brand Identity
The genesis of creating a great brand identity is the exploration of three key factors:
- What you value
- What your audience values
- What value your service brings to the market
Where those values intersect is your your Sweet Spot – your Brand Voice. Your Brand Voice is the place the choir sings from. Finding that intersection is key to creating your brand identity. It identifies exactly how you resonate with your clients. Your Sweet Spot is where the narrative of your story is born and grows.
© 2016 | The Carewright, LLC. This blog post is the intellectual property of The Carewright, LLC and cannot be shared or used for derivative works without the express written permission of The Carewright, LLC.
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