What exactly is personal branding and why do you need it?

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When it comes to recognition, we know that a strong logo can do wonders for a company’s image.

That apple on your MacBook and those golden arches at McDonald’s are both iconic examples of inspired brand collateral that has stood the test of time. However, there’s more to branding than a great logo. Branding also represents the public’s perception of your brand or product. If you’re an entrepreneur, then personal branding is also a crucial aspect of your development as a business builder.

That apple on your MacBook and those golden arches at McDonald’s are both iconic examples of inspired brand collateral that has stood the test of time. However, there’s more to branding than a great logo. Branding also represents the public’s perception of your brand or product. If you’re an entrepreneur, then personal branding is also a crucial aspect of your development as a business builder.

Imagine: the unthinkable has happened and your start-up or small business has failed.  If you’ve spent time building your personal brand alongside your business brand, you’ll still be able to leverage your personal brand to move onwards and upwards should a new venture or opportunity beckon.

We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.

Almost twenty years ago, author Tom Peters wrote a piece for Fast Company entitled The Brand Called You. In the article, Peters suggested there was a new brand order sweeping the world and that we all had our part to play. Everyone, Peters suggested had the chance to stand out.

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You”, he wrote.

For small business owners, this is a particularly salient point. Branding is not just about logos, taglines and brand colours. It’s also about our customers’ experiences, connections and perceptions of us as small business owners.

Every interaction with a customer, whether in person or online provides another opportunity for you to extend the positive power of your brand.  In today’s world of quick fixes and digital communications, delivering a positive brand position is critical to success. Emotionally connect with your customer and you are onto a winner.

 Our most important job is to be head marketer for brand  ‘You’

So how can you get your customer to make an emotional connection with your brand?

Start with the details.

Whether it’s a piece of jewellery, trainers or a burger and fries, an emotionally connected customer will buy more of your product, every time. According to a recent white paper by Harvard Business Review on the science of customer emotions, those who are ‘fully connected’ emotionally are 52% more valuable customers than those who are ‘highly satisfied. If we follow this thought through, it stands to reason that those brands which create a genuine connection with customers can experience increased growth and long-term success.

Developing a relationship of trust and finding the key motivators for someone to engage with your brand is key. Whether that’s something as simple as protecting the environment or succeeding in life. Make sure your brand assets for your small business reflect your position and the connection you’re are trying to make. Being authentic is important.

Delivering a positive brand position is critical to success

The psychology of colour has also long been used in marketing to make an impression on a consumer. Choosing your brand colours shouldn’t be left to chance. If you want to really ensure your brand’s logo, website, and marketing collateral is a hit with customers then make sure you choose a suitable colour palette.

The Interactive Effects of Colours report shows that the relationship between brands and colour hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being used for the particular brand. That is:  does the colour fit what’s being sold? If you’re a doctor you probably don’t want to use an ‘excited’ colour palette such as shockingly bright colours. By the same token, if the market is already saturated in calming blues, you may want to pick a different hue to stand out from the crowd.

Remember branding, much like its traditional namesake, wants to make an impression. If you get your branding right you’re already on your way to creating a memorable customer transaction.

To learn more about how you can effectively use branding to maximise business results, contact your local Snap Centre now.

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Cec is the editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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