We’d all like to have stronger branding for our businesses – but we don’t necessarily know how we can create it. Branding has a lot of elements interplaying with each other: naming, visuals, production quality, uniqueness, etc. – and that can easily lead to overwhelm.
Today I’m going to show you a simple branding exercise that you can put into practice today (for free!) that can begin strengthening and clarifying your brand immediately. It will also simplify all your branding decisions moving forward, which is a nice plus.
So, let’s make creating a strong brand a whole lot easier, starting now.
The key to branding is creating a specific impression that has tangible value to your target market.
That’s a fancy way of saying, “Be seen as something your people find desirable.” The whole reason we engage in branding in the first place is because we want people to remember who we are and seek us out in the future because they like what we do (or how we make them feel).
When someone has good branding, we remember a selection of snippets about them that get attached like little tags in our mind. These tags help us recall who they are and why we care enough to remember them.
We remember and like the restaurant was had great decor, friendly staff and really good prices.
We remember and like the mechanic who had a great sense of humor and was always happy to answer our questions – and seemed 100% honest.
We remember and like the author who had original thought and looked at things in a way that showed us things we’d never imagined before.
When we refer people to these restaurants, and mechanics, and authors, we have no trouble describing why they add value to our lives. We have these tags, and they imprint in our mind.
The key to being a memorable person or brand is to reinforce key elements like these.
When I do copywriting or content planning for clients, I send them a questionnaire that asks them specific details about their business, their target market, what they are like as a business owner and how they want to be seen in the marketplace.
I ask these questions so I can assemble their key elements – their magic branding words – when I’m writing their copy or creating their list of content ideas.
Here’s one of those questions:
What are 3 words that you think your customers or clients would use to describe your personality and approach to the work you do?
I want to make sure that everything I write reinforces these key elements, so they’re as memorable as that mechanic or restaurant or author. That way every visitor to their website can lock in an impression, connect with the value of that business, and desire to seek them out moving forward.
To create a stronger brand starting now, choose your 3 words today.
Your 3 words are things that are true about you (or your business), and things that your potential clients and customers find truly valuable – so valuable they’re saying “Yay!” inside when they discover you.
When a person encounters 3 things that make them say “Yay!” in a row, then they’re very likely to imprint on you and associate you with being an island of goodness in a sea of mediocrity or “bad fits for them”.
Your particular 3 words can be anything – as long as they’re valuable to your target market. They can be big things or little touches that mean a lot.
Here’s an example:
My 3 words (and honestly, they can be phrases or collections of similar words, too) are these:
- Trustworthy / Safe – I want people to feel safe at IttyBiz and when working with me
- Immediately Useful – I want people to be able to use my advice quickly and see tangible results
- Grounded – I want people to see me as realistic (no hype) about business, and here for the long haul
So those are my 3 words – trustworthy, immediately useful, and grounded.
All those words have value to my target audience, and help me stay memorable in a world of people who don’t necessarily share those same attributes.
Here’s what you do with your 3 words:
Once you have your 3 words (or phrases) that describe how you want to be viewed by your market, you ask yourself how you can demonstrate those qualities in everything you do.
You look at your blog posts, your sales pages, your web content (home page, About page, etc.), and check to see if your 3 words are coming through in everything you communicate.
Here's how I do it:
I want people to see me as Trustworthy / Safe.
When I write copy, I make sure not to overpromise anything, and offer a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee on my products. I show testimonials that focus on how comfortable and safe people feel when working with me.
When I write content, I back up my opinions in my blog posts so people don’t have to take my word for it, and I make it “okay” to not know everything or find certain topics difficult to get your mind wrapped around. I don't make people feel dumb or less-than.
I want people to see me as Immediately Useful.
My content (in general) is geared towards small, actionable steps that someone can take even if they’re just starting out.
My products are called things like Easy-Peasy Sales Pages and Get Testimonials Fast. (And in the Karma Store, we have products like The 1-Hour Content Plan and Product In A Weekend.)
I want people to see me as Grounded.
In my content, email and product development choices, I focus on things that will have meaningful long-term value to a business, and I focus on building and improving, rather than hype and speed.
I speak out against hype when I can to reinforce my stance. I talk about the ups and downs of business and not just the shiny stuff. I’m not afraid to say that business is hard sometimes, and you just have to keep plugging away.
All of these things reinforce these 3 attributes that I want people to associate with me, and it creates a style and approach to everything I do that results in strong, memorable branding.
The best part – you already know how to do this.
Every day, we make decisions on what to do based on our intuition and general knowledge of what fits for a certain vibe or ethos.
When someone says, “We’re going out for dinner with (these people), dress casual”, we can make all of our choices intuitively based on the word casual. Our clothes, our accessories, and even our attitude just fall into line with that ethos.
(If you’re autistic like me, replace the word “intuition” with “collection of rules that we’ve put together based on what neurotypicals have told us meets spec, even when it seems nonsensical or illogical.”)
In our day-to-day life, we have vibes or modes or generalities that guide the way we interact with people – the words we choose, the topics we talk about, the opinions we share.
Take that same framework and apply it to your business communication – from your copy to your content to your offers – and you’ll create a stronger, more memorable brand that will keep your “right people” coming back for more.
And if you have your 3 words but are stuck with what to do with them, you can always hire me to write your About Page and Home Page. I’ll help you clarify how to position your brand and messaging for you. I do it for people all the time.
So, what 3 words do you want people to associate with your brand?
Come up with them and email them to me, and I’ll give you a high-five for taking your first step to a much stronger brand.
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