Social Media platforms added a new dimension to our worlds – a kind of 5th dimension where people can now read your thoughts.
If ever you have dreamt of becoming a celebrity it has just become 100% easier. You do not have to book a theatre, commit to a new career or be an entrepreneur. All you need is a Twitter / Facebook account and great ideas.
What is a brand?
A brand is essentially a promise. A promise of value you will receive when visiting or buying or embracing that brand. Woolworths promises you quality, BMW promises excellence, Levi’s promises individuality and quality and Reach for a Dream that you can help people make their dreams come true.
So how can people be brands if they’re not selling anything?
But they ARE! Everyone stands for something.
Let’s take a well-known example from our bosom. Nelson Mandela was selling South Africans the concept of a better world, a rainbow nation. Because he was seen to be consistent in his promise and how he acted on it, his personal brand has remained strong and is likely to stand the test of history.
If you think that you are not a brand, reconsider. You might be an obscure brand or one who hasn’t realised its potential, but that’s a different matter.
We all want to be perceived in a certain way, be it as a professional, a good parent, an outdoorsy person or whichever way you would like to portray yourself.
Of course, you don’t HAVE to bother about your personal brand. It is mostly invented for you in the minds of others, anyway. But why not seize the opportunity and the tools that are now widely available to make your brand work for you?
What do you look for in a brand?
A promise kept, consistency and trust.
Trust doesn’t mean that you want to put your life in this ‘persona’s’ hands. It means that you can trust that they will deliver what they promise, whether it is to make you cool, laugh or feel nostalgic. And that they will do so consistently.
Look at Stephen Fry (@stephenfry). He is consistently funny, but also consistently intelligent and entertaining. Can you imagine what would happen if he suddenly turns into a bore, spouting uninformed opinions? Who would follow him? Who would believe his ‘brand’. Without an audience your brand is powerless.
So, whether you are a person or a product, here are five questions to help you get to grips with the essence of your brand and how you present it.
YOUR BRAND ESSENCE
- What does your brand promise?
- What do you need to do to always be delivering on that promise?
- What visual representation would best help others understand my promise?
- How should I communicate to ensure others really understand my brand promise.
- Who else has a similar promise, and what makes my promise different to theirs?