People Spend hundreds and thousands of dollars paying an organization or a “Branding” Expert to find out what their brand is or to Orchestrate one. And while I would agree everyone definitely needs organization and brand strategies in place to effectively work and reach the people however, You do NOT need to go broke trying to figure out what your brand is. I know you are thinking, B.Michavery Don’t you help people with branding? Don’t you have business partners who do branding? Well the answer is Yes and NO. Yes I help make sense of other’s brands and yes I have acquaintances who put together strategies for brands BUT we do not create the brand for you. Truth is NO one does. I know that with all the Branding Experts trending around the world, it can be confusing and often over whelming understanding what a brand is but I’ll make it a simple as I can. Ok…Here is Goes...What is a Brand? Wait for it…The answer is ….YOU. What? Yes !! YOU are your brand. Truth is Your brand is developing WAY before you ever get a company, or a following, Your brand consists of your character, relationships and reputation, and this all begins with you. That is why Branding is So important because when you brand yourself that is one thing that never changes. Well its foundation never changes. But it should always evolve. There is a thing I like to Call “Pre-Branding” Which I say is the development of your brand before it’s actually a Brand attached to something. These are Key factors that create the energy around your business/company/or life in general. People recognize a brand and then immediately associate it with a feeling. For example: When you see the wordsThe color Pink and the logo attached w/Victoria’s Secret you immediately think “Women” Sexy” Fragrance” right? Exactly , and that’s without looking at the site, the store or any of its products. So even if Victoria’s Secret has no latest products out or new commercials you still associate that mental picture of what and who they are. That’s called Branding. It’s basically leaving a Stamp of who you are mentally on a person, place or thing that represents your beliefs, character likes etc.
You can tell alot about who a person is and their brand by these below things:
- Who they associate with for no reason at all.( people they spend majority of their time with, by phone, in person, etc)
- What they prioritize( What they spend their money on, who they spend their money on, their investments or lack of)
- Conversation’s they engage in( Whether knowingly or unknowing, gossip, drama, etc)
- How they carry themselves( Are they respectful of other’s, themselves, how they speak, body language , how they dress etc)
- How knowledgeable they are( Education is not only in a class room or with a degree, so how intelligent they are, how diverse they are etc)
- Their ability to lead( Not everyone is a leader, let’s be honest and everyone is not made to be one, hence the reason we have president/vice president everyone needs a counterpoint right? So Is your ability to lead or your desire to lead respected among other’s. Do people value you as a person, take you seriously, come to you for advice etc.)
These are all things you control, you don’t hire a person to create that for you, otherwise, they are creating a gimmick. It’s ok to hire someone to make sense of it all, but it all starts with you. You must know your “WHO are you? , WHAT is your purpose? , WHY should anyone care/believe in you?, WHEN will you start? AND WHERE are you on your path to getting there?” of YOURSELF. Before any one can believe in your brand.
Can not Give away for free, what people will pay for.
I learned a long time ago w/Branding and my company that People pay for whatever they want to pay for. Whether it is high-priced makeup, barely there fabric clothing, expensive handbags, books, cars, etc. So NEVER feel guilty for charging for your work. As long as you are a “quality over quantity” type of brand. Give people what they pay for. Great Products. Whether it is music, art, clothing, makeup, you are a hair stylist, speaker, consultant, author what ever! Feed into the people. Different people, all ethnicities & create a need for what you have to offer, That’s where the supporters come. With your brand do NOT sale yourself short, but don’t make other’s feel cheated either. Quality Balance is Key. I have In the past given away everything because I’m so passionate about people and what I do, I never wanted to feel guilty about putting a price on my brand/Products etc. However, this is no longer the case. I am still very much or even more passionate about what I do, however I am a brand. I have free things I offer. BUT NOT everything. I’ve invested in myself, others have invested in my brand and Most of all I know my value. And whether I’m giving something for free, or whether It’s a product for purchase it is the same quality. Because It all represents me!…….And I AM MY BRAND.
Remember YOU are your brand….The foundation starts with you….And no amount of money will be able to authentically represent who you are until you know who you are first. Keep in mind you do not control how other’s perceive your brand, people have tons of perceptions, opinions, and views about everything. Don’t allow that to distract you. Stay focused. Nothing is worst than a brand that is yours but represents everyone else and non of you.