By Ron Lieback
In a world overrun with thousands of entrepreneurs and wannapreneurs, achieving success is tougher than ever. This goes for any type of business or personal venture.
Regardless if you run a digital marketing agency, sell toiletries, diagnose medical problems, or author books, you must stick out among the noise.
And it all begins with building a strong brand identity – an element that includes not just logos or taglines, but every form of communication or business strategy.
The mission doesn’t stop there. Once you achieve a strong brand identity, you must sustain it.
Think about music for a second – don’t strive to be a one-hit-wonder like Right Said Fred with “I’m Too Sexy.”
Put in discipline and go for the proverbial gold. Let’s discuss The Beatles.
The group achieved success by working harder than most bands during the 1960s.
From 1960 to 1962, before they gained any popularity in the UK or the states, the band played 270 nights in the rowdy town (read – drugs and prostitutes) Hamburg, Germany – a few of those nights as long as eight hours!
This hard work paid off, helping the four achieve a brand identity like no other. But once on top of the charts, The Beatles were also smart enough to transform with the times.
The Beatles went from pop superstars with the release of the debut album “Please Please Me” in 1963, to psychedelic superstars with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” in 1967.
That’s creating and sustaining a brand identity like no other.
Though the Beatles are no longer, its band leader Paul McCartney continues to leave a legacy by releasing more and more music and combining his efforts with current pop stars.
Remember “FourFiveSeconds,” a song that McCartney collaborated on with Rihanna and Kanye West in 2015? Just its YouTube video has over 435 million views…
You can’t create a strong brand identity through a cookie-cutter process. Every business or personal journey will need to be personalized.
With that said, though, a few essential elements are required, which are listed below.
Jeff Bezos says: “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Many have different definitions for branding, brand identity, and brand awareness.
But let’s keep things simple:
When you have created a strong brand identity, it takes care of branding and brand awareness.
Here’s how to make sure all perceptions about you or your business are positive – and, as important, make sure those perceptions remain positive.
1. Find & Focus on Your Target AudienceOne of the most important lessons I learned over the past two decades as a writer is to first understand the intended audience.
Know their passions, goals, decision-making processes – basically whatever is needed to speak directly to them in the most fluent way.
The same goes for building your brand identity. Once you know who you are speaking to, you can adjust your brand-building tactics to reflect that audience’s needs and make a larger impact.
Again – think of when The Beatles began. They were focused on the teenage audience and its needs for young romance and rebellion, to name a few elements.
This focus helped The Beatles shape their music, image, stage show and chosen venues to tour and have the largest impact.
Businesses and personal brands need to achieve the same effort when seeking their brand identity goals.
If your business sells health products for animals, you must first know who your customers are – from their frustrations (my cat doesn’t swallow pills!) to when they’re most actively thinking about their pet health to how they interact with other health products on the market (quick social media search makes this easy).
First, find that target audience by researching competitors and what questions are being asked across social channels like Quora, Medium, Reddit and the typical outlets like Facebook and Twitter.