One of my biggest lessons when I was creating my business and formulating my niche and clients was not having a brand that stood out. In fact, I had little idea what branding really meant until I hired a brand mentor who helped me with my brand as well my messaging, website, and overall feel of what I was trying to show in a way that suited me as an individual business owner.
I have seen how having a brand that is memorable yet noticeable helps you stand out from the crowd.
So, I am sharing 3 things for you to think about when you are thinking about your branding.
1. Brand Personality – So your Brand personality is all about what you want your business to signify. If you are the face of your business you want to make sure the brand you choose shows who you are as a person. Also, concentrate on what makes you unique and different to other businesses out there. For example, with my business, I didn’t want to look like the other career coaches out there. As a careers adviser just using this term I would essentially be the same as every other career coaching or careers advice business out there. Your brand name can play a huge part in factoring into your brand personality. My previous business name was “SGcareers and job coach”.
Many people gave me feedback to say are you a recruiter or do you help people just find jobs. My personality and what I wanted to offer to the niche I help which is women aged between 25-35+ was not showing this. Also, a lot of people said my personality didn’t fit my previous brand at the time. So, I had to really look at what would make my business unique and different. I mentor and help people with their careers and give advice too. So, after some feedback from people in my tribe and elsewhere, “The career happiness mentor” emerged. The name you pick for your business and brand is important because you want people to remember you. So, the more unique you are the better.
2. Brand Message – Your messaging needs to be clear to the niche or customers you are trying to attract. Think about what your business stands for and if your brand represents this. For example, if we look at John Lewis as an example for a minute what comes to your mind. One of the reasons people go back to John Lewis is their high quality of customer service. Look at this from the John Lewis brand values:
“The Partnership aims to deal honestly with its customers and secure their loyalty and trust by providing outstanding choice, value and service.”
What do you want your brand values to represent and show so you stand out from the crowd? For me as a coach, my unique message is about delivering “Career happiness” to all the women I work with including job seekers and women who need career counselling and career mentoring. Keep this simple and to the point but your brand message should also be in alignment with your brand personality. For example, if you want to make a difference in the world as I do with my brand, how can you show this? Why are the values you have so important? Sharing this in your unique story can be a great place to start. So, your ideal customer or client will resonate with you more.
3. Visuals and overall feel – Your visuals play a key part in your branding as they represent colours, fonts, logos, iconography, photography etc. If you are the brand yourself like I am it’s important to have photos that really show who you are. Then think about doing these photos and imagery fit with your Brand personality and overall brand message. For example, with my imagery, I have stuck to warm colours and had photos taken which show me as happy, hopeful etc.
Your visuals can create an overall picture of what your client or customer wants. For example, when you think of certain brands their logos are very memorable like Coca cola, Apple etc. The visuals you use can also help you be memorable and create a brand that is not only unique to everyone else but showcases you as a true individual.
Overall remember that your brand needs to showcase you as individual. If your business is something that sells a product make the product the centre of the show. To get some more inspiration around branding and creating a brand that fits your look on Pinterest to inspire you a bit. Also look at some brands you really love and maybe check out what their Instagram or Facebook feeds are like. What do you like about these brands and why?
For me, I have noticed a shift in my business since branding. Just remember as your business grows it’s important to keep on brand and possibly rebrand in the future if you feel called to do this.
About the author
Soma Ghosh is the founder of the London-based blog The Career Happiness Mentor. She previously worked in education helping young people with career advice and job hunting. She now runs her own career mentoring business where she helps ambitious women find their dream job and career and helps them understand what their idea of career happiness is.