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In the review of this information, it is imperative to remind businesses (and even individual business persons) about the “Power of the Brand.” This is what can make or break a business or individual. This is what you have worked your whole life to build. It’s the value others place in your brand. This is BrandYOU.
BrandYOU! Yes, this is a very important topic. This topic is often covered on blogs, periodicals, books, educational learning centers, and at business seminars. This topic is the most important one that can be covered, because any action made in the name of a brand is building the character in the minds of the audiences of that brand. Still, people ignore the importance of BrandYOU or creating a positive persona for a brand (if a business).
Whether a representative of a brand or in being the actual the brand itself, BRANDYOU can play a major part in your success… “strike that, erase it.” It WILL play THE major role in your lasting success. It will set your brand aside from competition, because BrandYOU isn’t just about Branding. It’s about individualism and unique value propositions between brand and consumer. It’s about quality and integrity. It’s one of the most organic ways of marketing your brand Online and off.
While, it doesn’t even have anything specifically to do with Internet Marketing, it can hold powerful results via Social Interaction (reviews, testimonials, statuses, social conversation, etc.). And, that is the problem. People think that indirect or slight correlations are no correlation at all. It’s a concept that seems to be common sense, but some just don’t understand it. Understanding the truth is the greatest thing that could ever happen! That is why it is so important to understand BrandYOU inside and out.
Have you ever heard that you need to eat, sleep and dream your business in order to see it take form and thrive? Have you ever considered the fact that YOU are a business? After all, don’t you file taxes? Do you file as an individual, independent contractor, sole proprietor or board member? If you said yes, then technically you just proved that you ARE a business, whether you use your own entity, fictitious name or work for someone else’s brand.
The truth is, all of these are brands, And the truth is, you are getting paid to represent that brand… even if you are a “relation” of that brand. Consider yourself extended family, a friend, significant other or whatever. Because you represent that brand (if you aren’t the specific brand), you are an important person in the “life” of that brand as a persona — or fictitious person. As a matter of fact, you are responsible to pay taxes due to your relationship to the brand. The brand’s “corporation” tax is taxed as an individual, because that brand is alive — it acts as an embodiment on its own! Isn’t THAT interesting? So, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to keep THOSE interests at the ultimate peak high point at all times? After all, YOU are investing so much time into the brand and then paying taxes on that time that can never be replaced.
In considering this scenario, one should remember a few things about businesses:
- First impressions are everything.
- Quality customer service needs to be maintained.
- Reviews and Testimonials can sway the opinions of those who seek to know about a POTENTIAL service provider.
- Competitors exist and work against competitor brands.
- What will you do to protect your brand? What will you do to keep the reputation of the brand satisfactory to clients and community?
The obvious first step in BrandYou is always to be on your best behaviour. This doesn’t mean that you can’t show your opinion. But, it means to act upon how you would like to be perceived. If your brand represents THIS, then you can display THIS in your actions. I had a conversation with another business owner recently. The conversation was based around her recent activity on Facebook. She tried to apologize for the “recent racy content.” What she didn’t realize, however, that showing a public interest in a subject based upon her role in the community of her target audience will actually allow her brand to be received as a trustworthy persona and build a lasting brand loyalty that will lead to a long enduring tenure of that brand.
It basically all boils down to this: CATER TO YOUR AUDIENCES. If you want to be perceived as an individual for hire, then portray the ideal characteristics of the ultimate employee. If you are a business, tend to your community of followers and those that you want to target in “giving them what they want” and do not give them a reason to think otherwise. This means to be consistent, persistent and show interest in that particular characteristic.
So, how should you begin to structure your “BrandYOU?” Think of a respectable business person, public figure or entertainer. They all have something about them that stands out, correct? This is something that is overemphasized in creating a character perception of them. This is something that will hold distinct in setting them aside from competition. Now, look at those characteristics that aren’t “front row and center” in their persona. These characteristics do not conflict with the public perception of that brand. Contradictory elements will keep that brand from being accepted, in turn they will more than likely remain unsuccessful.
Next, Think of a recording artist that may be perceived as a “thug” or a “boss.” To find out that they were once on the opposite side of the law and never really this “thug” or “boss,” we change our persona of that artist. It just seems fake. True fans will stay loyal. Those are those who really have learned to love the brand’s product and really could care less. But, others have lost respect for that artist. This leads to lower ROIs and less money in our bank accounts. If a Brand Story had originally been formed to related the two “roles” this brand partook in previous to success in the industry, respect may have been gained and inspiration may have been enstilled in audiences. Positive impact on community and definite respect would be gained, in addition to higher ROIs for that brand. It’s all about planning and integrity along the way.
Keeping realism within the character of a brand or YOU as an individual (BrandYou) and implementing the archetype you have selected for it, you will keep anyone from doubting your mission, vision or even track record. You may even, in such a case as previously stated, created inspiration and influenced positivity in those who look to your brand for value. Which means, more often what you say will be taken at face value, respected and believed. If you go slightly off track, we know something is wrong. If you go “left” in your action, we start speculating, assuming and looking for discrepancy in ALL actions and statements made by your brand. Your brand will see negative reaction in the process.
It all really boils down to the ethics of your brand, professionalism and catering to your audiences. As long as you can be perceived as professional, you are entitled to your opinion. If you feel you will offend someone, start by giving a disclosure and allowing them to understand your point or opinion… how you have gotten to this ideal or interest. If it is a fellow business person, they more than likely will understand already. As a matter of fact, they may reach out to you in liasing to these markets in cross promotion or future campaigns. They may just send you business or point you in the direction of that business, especially since you may not be competition due to the catering of different audience types. Stay true to yourself, your brand, and consistency — Online and off.
In the case of Internet Marketing in relationship to BrandYOU, one can excel tremendously. Niche Markets can be targeted and “owned.” Negative reactions to a brand can be combated without any further questions asked. Positive influence can be “watermarked” into consumers minds and agendas. Conversation can influence campaigns organically. Everyone wants to be “friends” with your brand and will tell friends and family about their “new friend.” BrandYOU on the net will bring a dull presence life… and even the life of the party! That being said, let your ROIs gain immediate impact and implement BrandYOU today!