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Why some brands nail it (and others fail.)

Today, it’s just not enough to be brilliant. People must know and remember that you are.

Imagine this scenario: You’re looking to set up and run your own business, and you desperately want to be known, remembered and recognized. OK. Focus on creating a compelling brand right from the start. After all, your brand is one of your most valuable assets. Get it right, and it will position you and your business long term as totally irresistible, powerful and engaging.

Then, consider that today’s most successful brands are more conscious than ever about how they communicate with their audiences. If you carefully craft your brand’s voice, language, tone and behavior, you’ll have a much better chance of capturing your audience in a world with a low-attention span.

1º Set the Right Tone for your Brand.

Assume your brand is going to have an ongoing two-way conversation with your world 24/7. You want to be engaging with people, and interact with them across multiple platforms. Please note: Your tone is almost more important than what you say.

Takeaway 1: Realize that your brand has its own voice, and it’s your job to set the tone in all the language around your business. Notice how you are talking to people whether it’s face to face, written communications or online. If you speak with clarity and sincere intention, it’s going to resonate, hit home – and people will be able to hear you, understand what you’re doing, and then, want to climb onboard. (That’s a very good sign.)

Takeaway 2: Be consistent about communicating you are who you say you are. If your brand’s voice is authentic and aligned with your values –i.e. what you stand for – you will come across as trustworthy and genuine. If you come across as withholding or secretive, people will disappear (quickly!)

2º Mind your Brand’s Behavior.

Brands are like puppies (seriously.) They need a lot of attention and a firm hand.

Takeaway 1 Think about how you’d like your brand to be perceived by your audience. Communicate that to your team, make sure everyone is on the same page so there’s the promise to do whatever it takes to deliver exactly what you’re promising. (Under delivering is not a smart business strategy.)

Takeaway 2 Every brand has an attitude. It will either work in your favor or not. Be aware that the world is going to have a particular set of feelings around you, your brand and your business. Double check that your brand is welcoming and engaging from the start. Your business will land a high score when it comes to empathy if people feel your brand cares about creating strong emotional connections with them 24/7. (Keeping people at arm’s length is not an option. At least not on the 21C new brand landscape!)

3º Inspire Others. Share your Purpose.

When you tell people what you do and how you do it, it’s interesting (of course) but it’s not always that inspiring or helpful. But when you talk about why you do what you do, a different dynamic starts to happen.

You’ll notice people lean in, listen closer and an emotional connection start to kick in. People are craving to hear your why. What’s more, it takes courage to live your why– it’s your purpose, after all, says Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why.

Takeaway 1: Look at making your why part of your brand story, dialog and communication in all things, online and offline. In full disclosure, it’s going to take a little more effort than just talking about the nuts and bolts of your business. This is about looking at why you’re starting the business in the first place. What are the defining moments that led you to this very point in time? Why are they meaningful to you? And, just as importantly, why should anyone else give a damn!?

Working out Your Why is a highly-charged process and hugely rewarding. It’s one of the most powerful exercises you can do. PS Try it: it will transform the way you think about your life and business!

My life can be divided into two phases: before and after meeting Van at  The NY Brand Lab. Van helped me gain clarity around my business and my brand that I hadn’t dreamed possible.

Megan Kent, Founder

Megan Kent Branding Group

New York City

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