What is Branding?
“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).
So, what does it mean? It’s how you set yourself apart from the crowd and how people see you. Target Bulls-eye and you think of an economical retail store. Suze Orman and you think Financial Guru. The Golden Arches and you think McDonald’s. These are just a few examples of branding.
Branding yourself starts the first time someone sees you, the first impression (add dramatic music here). In psychology, a first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. Impression accuracy varies depending on the observer and the target (person, object, scene, etc.) being observed.
How I dress for a job interview is different than how I would dress to go to the grocery store. In both events, I am making a first impression on the people around me.
Branding also includes facial expressions ~ smiling or frowning. How we carry ourselves ~ shoulders back or forward. How we walk ~ quick or slow. All of this makes an impression on people and starts to create our brand.
I have been in sales so long that when I open my mouth most people think I’m selling something. Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. This is part of my brand. To grow my business, I don’t need to “change” my brand, I need to expand my network and make sure I don’t come across as selling when I’m trying to get to know them.
Creating your own brand can be fun and exciting but also a lot of work. You want to put time into creating your brand and how others will see you. No matter what you are doing from starting your own business to how you want your co-workers to view you or your presence on social media. Make sure it’s all consistent and reflects the image that is positive and sets you apart from others.