Branding Yourself and Branding an Organization
We are in an era of exchange of products, services, and branding where our sensitivity and appreciation for quality is on the rise. We want to align with people, brands, and situations that are a reflection of the qualities that we value. Simple as that.
As an individual who offers a service, I want to align with people who want and appreciate value that service adds to their lives, as these are the people who are open to getting the most out of it. As an organization who offers a product, we want to attract not only customers, clients, or an audience that values our offering, but also employees with intrinsic motivation to build, maintain, and refine the offering in a way that is increasingly valuable to the people it serves. In both cases, a keen awareness of who you’re serving and sensitivity to their needs and values is paramount. Likewise, a strong connection to your core values, and sensitivity to your motivations is the essence of your brand that when genuinely expressed creates resonance with your clients, customers or audience.
The essence of quality
Circling back to quality, we can open our view to see it as the personal touch of care, consideration, and other characteristics of the energy put into the creation of products or the offering of a service. This act of intentionality creates the refined effects of the experience that are valued by its recipients. A client or audience’s feeling of connection and sense of identification with a brand is seen in the act of their loyalty or returning for business, and through their natural willingness to share their experience with others. We all know that when others share their genuine experience with us we are more likely to be open and trusting to try the brand they’ve recommended, if it’s in alignment with our needs. When we’re looking at quality, it’s paying attention to these aspects of your individual, or the philosophy behind the business that is creating the product or service, and ultimately brand experience.
An integrated expression
Branding exists throughout all parts of an organization, it is integral to the experience, and becomes the quality of impression it leaves on any individual person. Branding is commonly understood as the visual guidelines, maybe verbal linguistic guidelines of a business, which, in an integrated form, is an expression of your business’s Essence, Vision, Culture, and Strategy. With this approach, the design elements are created when the awareness has been activated, and the clarity about these foundational components of the business have been articulated.
We can view the architecture and scope of branding as it’s applied to individuals or organizations uniquely.
For individuals, you are your brand. The combination of the services you offer, and the style in which you express yourself, and touch and impact the lives of your customers, clients and community is your brand experience.
The benefits of ‘branding yourself’ include:
- Intentionality and focus: Becoming crystal clear about what you’re committed to.
- Self-Awareness: Identifying your ‘brand essence,’ which includes owning your strongest qualities, competencies, and unique value
- Cultural-Awareness: Setting the context of the world your are operating in. Being aware of your market peers and relationships, as well as the overarching climate of change and your core message within the crux.
- Self-Expression: Clarity about your positioning. Creating a palette and library of materials that are a reflection of your essence, core message, and your relationship with your clients. This is an integrated physical or digital alignment with, and expression of your brand’s essence.
- Certainty you’re meeting your client’s needs: Broadened understanding of who you serve and the effects of your service. Finding measures for observing how your brand is being received and the impact you’re current expression is having both internally and externally. Creating feedback processes for clients will give you valuable insight to how your are doing and how you can improve.
- Rhythm of Creation: Discovering your unique formula for creating and sharing content with your network, and continuing to grow your brand on a personal and professional level.
- Self-Accountability: Clarity about your commitments, awareness of yourself, the context of your services, and needs of your audience, combined with your ‘north star’ vision and rhythm of creation give you the right framework for you to stay in check with your intentions, objectives, and growth.
- Self-Actualization: Devotion to the growth and refinement of your service will lead you to the highest expression of yourself.
Branding for Organizations
When we understand branding as the underlying philosophy of a business, when look at a business through the lens of ‘branding’ we are approaching it with holistic awareness, considering the dynamism of the brand’s essence, and how it unfolds through a customer or employee’s experience. Here we get a sense of the brand’s quality and impact of service, of it’s personality, and integrity – integrity, meaning a cohesive expression that’s connected to the brand’s original essence, and experienced throughout all touchpoints of the brand. Branding for businesses can be applied both internally, creating and adapting the employee’s experience of the company, as well as externally, expressing, influencing and attracting the customers who value the quality of what the business is offering.
The benefits of branding for a business include:
- Intentionality and focus: Clarity about the creative focus and practices of a brand.
- Core Awareness: Sensitivity to the mechanics of your operations and their context of growth, identifying intrinsic value, offering, purpose, vision, commitments, and the qualities that bridge and build your relationship with clients, customers, and audience.
- Cultural Context: Developing a clear sense of your marketing environment, potential for relationships and partnerships, addressing cultural tensions, and clarifying your unrivaled positioning.
- Certainty that you’re meeting client’s needs: Broadening understanding of who you serve and the effects of your service. Defining a niche. Finding measures for observing how your brand is being received and the impact your current strategy is having both internally and externally.
- Creative Strategy: Discovering your brand’s core message, determining and individualizing your archetypal qualities, developing a visual language that speaks to the people your service is designed for, tonality for text communication, and frameworks for content creation.
- Effective Communication: Transmitting content and messages that are clear, relevant, and relatable to your people.
- Impact Actualization: Reaping the effects as you grow your offering, team to support it, and client, customer, or audience base.
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