In many respects, there is nothing more important to your success than your brand. If you have been in business for a very long time (or even for quite a while), you have moved away from the basic principles. The chances are very good that you remember those principles but there may be some that have slipped your mind.
Why is your brand so important?
There are several reasons why your brand is so important and why ensuring that your brand is everything that it needs to be is critical to your continued success.
First of all, your brand will (and must) distinguish you from your competitors. Your brand will also carve you a spot and give you a reason for existing in that particular niche. If your brand is in tact and effective, other people will connect with you, understand the their need for what you are offering, and become loyal to both you and to your brand. Those are all critical elements of your professional success.
Of course, when you think about your competitors, it is safe to say that not every business that exists is one of those competitors. Only the businesses that do exactly what you do and offer exactly what you offer are your competitors. Of course, it goes without saying that you want your brand to be an enduring one. A brand that stands the test of time and will last for a very long time and one that will be remembered throughout the years and generations.
Now, it is time to develop the uniqueness of your brand. Those qualities that you make a part of your unique brand will cause people to remember you and what you are trying to do. They will also compel people to want to be a part of your brand.
It says something profound about who you are and what you believe in. What you want is for people to associate your brand with you and want to be a part of it with you (on some level). That is exactly why your brand’s story is so important. It is all about association and being able to identify with the brand. It is also about believing in the brand.
The initial stage of establishing (or reinventing) your brand
It is reasonable to assume that you have an established brand that has been developed significantly and has a certain amount of sophistication already. However, as you are considering how you want to present your brand in this particular iteration, you will probably find it helpful to think about it in rather simplistic terms.
Your brand concept should be direct and uncomplicated.
Everyone who works with you on your brand (or is associated with your brand) should understand what you are trying to accomplish and to buy into what you are doing.
Your clients need to believe in what you are doing as well and you want them to be willing to spread the word about how amazing your brand is and how much better it will make their lives.
It is important for you to understand that although having a brand that really accomplishes what it needs to accomplish doesn’t mean that it won’t require any effort on your part to make that happen. It certainly will require a certain amount of work; however, it will be well worth it in the end. Of course, it is critical that you believe absolutely everything that you are communicating to other people.
An important aspect of your brand’s success
Another very important aspect of your brand is the interaction that you will experience with your online connections. You will want to interact online and in person but you should not in any way dismiss the importance of your online interactions. The most amazing, powerful, productive discussions can take place online and you need to understand how important those interactions are and how they fit in with your over all brand strategy. Your online interactions will be a critical piece and a very strong contributing factor to your brand’s success.
There are many different elements that work together to make your brand a success. Remember that you need an effective story with an emotional connection to the other person, your brand needs to have your personality (at least, the positive parts of your personality), and your brand needs to be associated with a design that is aesthetically pleasing to other people but that is unique and memorable at the same time. However, it is important to remember that your brand is also the commitment that you make to the people who interact with you. Your brand is everything to you. So, guard it and nurture it carefully. If you do it right, other people will be totally enamored with what you offer and what you stand for. Before you know it, you will be the one they come to when they need what you have.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.