By: Paul Kent
This blog is the first in a series where I will be going through four distinct steps that will explain how to expand your brand. Before I get started, I would like to share with you our definition of a “brand.” At 212 Media Studios, we see brand as a properly executed equation:
Story + Marketing + Reputation = Brand.
Those three components make up your brand, and throughout this series I will be explaining how you can expand your brand and have a strong brand presence in your industry. It is important to understand your story, your marketing message, and your reputation in your community and in your industry. If you are able to gain an accurate understanding of those things, you will KNOW YOUR BRAND.
Let’s start with understanding your story. Your story is a large part of what makes you and your business unique. It is how you got to where you are from where you started. It isn’t difficult to understand your story, but sometimes we neglect to remember where we came from. It wouldn’t hurt to write out your story and look back on it from time to time to reflect on how your story affects your brand. Another important aspect of your story is to remember that your story isn’t over. Your story keeps on going as your company continues, and it’s important to keep your story an integral part of your brand.
Now let’s talk about your marketing. Your marketing efforts can be very helpful in giving insight about your brand to the community. At the same time, they may not be sharing anything about your brand at all. Take a look at all of your different marketing pieces and your overall marketing strategy. What is your current marketing saying about your brand? Do your marketing efforts convey the positive aspects of your brand that you wish to highlight? If not, you may want to reconsider your marketing strategy and use it to share your brand and your story.
Let’s move on to the last component, reputation. Your reputation is how you are viewed by the people who have previously and who currently interact with you and your business. Reputation can be difficult to change if your brand is viewed very negatively. This is why it is so crucial to find out what people really think about you or your business. If you don’t know your reputation, how can you expect to make changes that will positively affect your brand? Finding out what people think is really as simple as asking. Most people are willing to give their opinion about something when they are asked. For your business, it may even be helpful to incentivize responses for your customers. Who knows, an incentive may even give them a more positive view of your brand!
So, now that we have looked at all of the different components of brand, here is a quick summary of the steps you should take to really know your brand.
1) Write out your story. Remember why you got started and what you and your company value.
2) Analyze your marketing efforts. Are you using them to share your brand?
3) Discover your true reputation. Ask your customers what they think about you and change accordingly.
4) Be continually monitoring all of these aspects of your brand to develop strong brand consistency.
Knowing your brand is the first step in expanding your brand. Next Sunday come back for step number two in expanding your brand!