The company name. The Corporate Font. Matching CI colors. And the branding is ready.
When we start a business, we think mainly about visual elements.
Only a few entrepreneurs go one step further and also define values and corporate principles. No one can see!
But building a strong brand doesn’t stop with the logo! On the contrary! The visible fire elements are only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg. Others may not be quite as obvious, but are still very important in establishing an appealing, curious brand.
After all, customers don’t choose a company because of its logo. Young talents don’t fight for a job because of the CI colors. It’s other, more subtle things that make strong brands.
After all, a brand is not created in the mind of its inventor, but of the observer.Karen Heumann (Thjnk)
The Emotional Impact
Every business and entrepreneur is active on social media in some way. Some consume, others create.
However, if we want to build a successful business, we will not be able to avoid evolving into the second category: creators. Active posting and tweeting is the order of the day, but not all content has the same impact or is equally good.
It’s no longer enough to throw out a few quick posts, images or texts and put a few hashtags underneath. Intentional posting is the order of the day, because it makes a big difference what feelings we trigger in our counterparts.
The eternally perfect pictures of hustling on the beach, sharing successes in pure ego posts – all of that doesn’t work anymore, because readers are tired of feeling, unsuccessful and lazy. Positive feelings are needed, and they can be achieved through the following four categories:
- Education, and
Which category we use as a guide for ourselves and our company depends on how we want to be perceived. Not everyone finds it easy to create humorous texts or memes, and not every woman can think of inspirational quotes on an ongoing basis. Here we have to try out and find the right combination with which we feel comfortable.
Does that mean we can’t share successes anymore? Not necessarily! But any success can be designed in an inspirational or educational format. Instead of simply “Today I was a guest at XY … We look forward to working with you!” we could also write, for example, “In our meeting with XY, we talked about the key features of successful brand communication, including the following 5 points and how to implement them…. “
In short, we need to do some soul-searching and determine how we want to be perceived as a brand and build our content around one of the four categories.
How We Interact With Others
An often overlooked aspect of branding is how we interact with those around us, online and offline.
Do we respond quickly or do we need a week for each email? Are we polite or direct in our communication? Do we call or write via WhatsApp?
These are all aspects that influence the positioning of our company and should be considered in advance.
It’s not uncommon for me to meet CEOs who no longer have an overview of their inbox and, by default, take seven days to respond – if they make it to an email at all. But it doesn’t have to be, even if we are busy women entrepreneurs. What are (virtual) assistants or intelligent e-mail providers for?
A respectful approach in online communication with partners, customers and employees is essential in order to be perceived professionally and positively.
The composition of the team
No one embodies a brand more strongly than its own team.
The assistant who maintains the initial contact with new customers or the IT managers who keep the company running in the background. By this I mean not only in terms of diversity, which is becoming increasingly important, especially if we want to appeal to young target groups, but above all in terms of manners and the values we live by.
In the application process of new employees, most entrepreneurs mainly look at their professional experience and salary requirements. Personality also still plays a certain role. Intrinsic motivation, however, does not. But it is much more important if we want to drive our company forward.
In his book The Big Five For Life, John Strelecky explained why we should always select employees based on how closely their purpose for existence (ZDE) aligns with our company’s ZDE. Why?
At the same time, when we hire team members who can get closer to their own goals in their daily work in the company and realize themselves, we have growth engines with inexhaustible energy.
Because these employees enjoy their work and also carry this into external communication with customers, friends and partners. And – quite honestly – is there anything more attractive about a brand than people who are enthusiastic about it and show that publicly? Keyword: Apple, Nike and Co.
The choice of partners
Yes, the companies we work with also have an impact on our brand.
This starts with the media publishing our guest articles or interviews and ends with the events hosting our workshops. The choice of PR agency can play as much a role as the clients/customers we work with.
In the beginning, this may not seem so important, because especially when we are building our company from scratch, we are grateful for every support and every new customer. Nevertheless, we should be clear in advance about how we want to be perceived in the future and to what extent our partners contribute to this strategy.
If I want to be perceived as a young, dynamic company and also address like-minded customers/clients, online startup media are probably better suited than PRINT district newspapers. Of course, young design agencies or freelancers are also better suited as cooperation partners than established corporations.
A brand is a living organism that needs to be cultivated and nurtured. As founders, we are the main representation and social platforms and media are our tool. We just mustn’t lose sight of the other areas, because they also play an important role in how our company is perceived.
About the author
Communication as a lead generator. I help solopreneurs, founders and self-employed people to gain more visibility and leads through value-added content via social media and PR. Website: www.solobrandeurclub.com Do you already know which 5 branding myths are holding you back from building your effective personal brand? Find out: www.solobrandeurclub.com/5brandingmyths
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