To build a brand you need to build the “brand experience”.  Your brand is the ‘tangible and intangible’ aspects of your business.  However, to build a brand you first have to decide what your brand is going to be.  What are those tangible and intangible aspects or your business that makes your business unique and authentic?  So you need to ‘deep dive’ into the true “essence” of your brand.

You have to go back to the basics of “why” you are in business. Ask yourself what do you offer your customers, what value is that to the customer and “why” they buy from you.  Often people think that if you tell your story people will buy from you – sure there is a element of that, some people have the same feeling or experience and can empathize to your story, but ultimately customers want to know “what it is it for them”.  The marketing term for this is WITFM (what’s in it for me).  They buy value.  Your story will only get you so far.  Sure, your story is part of who you are and often why you started your business, but it is not the real reason why people buy from you.  It might be the reason they buy from you at the beginning, but is that a good enough reason to buy again and again?  They buy the product or service because it serves them – not you!

So in creating a marketing strategy you have to understand “whom” you are selling to and what “value” are you offering to that customer.  Then your marketing plan needs to speak to those elements. Do a check before you create that marketing piece – is it on brand, is it what my customer will want to see, will they care, does it serve them, does it value-add to my customer?   If you put out marketing that does not talk to your customer, it will get ignored and on social media it ‘jars” the customers resulting in customers to “unfollow”, which is the opposite of what you want for your marketing.  This type of content confuses and it is not authentic is why customers like your brand. Your goal is to “build” your brand.

Do not just randomly do something because it is “different” or “funny” or because “someone else does it” – it might not fit your brand!  If you brand is about being different and funny then sure.  “Being” different (authentic) and “acting” different (fake) are two different things and your customer can “see/feel” the difference.  Your marketing message needs to show “why” you are different as that is “your value”, however marketing content has to be based on brand and relevancy to the customer – not you.

Adding random and irrelevant content moves the brand backwards not forward.  “Control” your brand story with relevant content, it is the one thing you can control – and being “on brand” will “add” your brand story and not detract from it.  So before you put something out into the world, ask yourself does it fit my brand?  Does this fulfill what I want to say about my business?  Will my customers “like” this?  One of the best ways to do this is to analyze the results.  Are you getting followers, likes and shares, and comments that are good or are you getting bad comments and are people turning away from your brand.  Always show the quality of your brand, what does it stand for and uphold the values of the brand.  Successful branding is a series of building blocks – from the foundation up.  I suggest you take the time to understand the foundation of the brand and understand your true brand “essence” and you will then have a strong base on which to build success a brand.

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