Thursday, September 20, 2018

How to Communicate Your Brand to Stand out from the Crowd

As a passionate supporter of entrepreneurial women, I attend many conferences, seminars and read loads of information about how to “make it “in your business. What I’ve observed apart from the juggling roles many women face with home life and work life; there is the common theme of not feeling comfortable promoting yourself.

Okay so you write blogs and post updates on Facebook, but what about implementing a more comprehensive personal branding strategy. By following my Brand Plan not only will you have an easier pathway to self-promotion, you will attract notice to propel you to success.

In this first part of a three-part series let’s take a look at the B R A of your BRAND PLAN.

Brand Situation. This first point is where you take a snapshot of your business and the issue or opportunity you would like to use to create a communication strategy.

Write a few paragraphs or a summary of the opportunity for creating some brand awareness. E.g. Are you celebrating an anniversary? Have you developed a new product line? Is there a new competitor in your market?

As an example; I did a “road trip” for Community College Northern Inland, travelling through the area presenting “Boost Your Brand”. From the college point of view, the “opportunity” was to use this workshop as a showcase to help small business in the community and raise awareness of the work the college does.

A couple of examples of identifying opportunities from the mostly women-led small businesses on the road trip included; being the only female property manager in the area; a hand-made skin care product being sold internationally and a gourmet food and flower shop wanting to rebrand to the name of the well-known female owner.

This can be applied to your own personal brand too. Have you recently launched? Needing to step out and be the “face” of the brand? Opened a new office? What is your brand situation?

Research. This is the next step in your Brand Plan. What do you already know about the situation? What do you need to know? How can you find out more information?

Do you need to do some mystery shopping? Perhaps a survey of current clients or customers? Do you need to conduct more formal research with a focus group? What websites do you need to research – competitors or others in your market? Does someone already have the name you want to use?

Any marketing or public relations plan needs solid research before you begin. To some it might seem like a waste of money, but you are better of investing now and finding out that perhaps your idea is not such a good one than to go ahead blindly and lose your investment. Arm yourself with as much background information as possible before you begin your communication plan.

The A in this part of your Brand Plan is for Audience. Who is your target market?

Write up a detailed summary of who your client or customer is? With an executive personal brand your market may be your boss, colleagues or industry peers. Who do you need to stand out to? You also need to identify the influencers to this audience.

Who are the people who can help you reach your target market?  E.g. you may have a beauty product that you are launching. You have identified your target is women between the ages of 18 - 45 and you have a detailed picture of who that person is. Who is going to influence them? Is it spas, gyms, hair salons? Write down all those people who can influence.

Of course, one of the main influencers is the media. This is also where you detail which media is going to help you reach your target audience. In the case of the regionally based beauty product, her main influential media is Facebook and Instagram. But perhaps she needs to consider magazines and beauty editors who can “influence” buyers? Lot’s more research…

Next time I’ll detail further points to help communicate your brand.

To help you formulate a plan to boost your brand for 2019, I am running a workshop on Friday, November 2. Read more about Boost Your Brand for High Visibility.

Find out more about personal branding with my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.

Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.

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