What Does Creating Your “Brand” Actually Mean?

A brand is not a name, trademark, logo, package or product. A brand is a collection of thoughts and feelings that reflects your experience with it. These are intangible factors that you cannot touch or smell. How do brands make you feel?

“The ultimate goal of branding is loyalty. A loyal following seeks more brand experiences and recommends the brand to others.”

Your “brand essence” is the single intangible attribute that differentiates the brand from the competition. There are several criteria for establishing that brand essence:

Unique. The essence of a brand is how it is different from competitors in the same category. People make decisions based on what is unique and not based on what is the same. You will not hear people say “I married him because he was like everyone else I dated.”

Intangible. Tap into what the audience feels. No one is more independent because they ride a Harley Davidson, but it certainly feels that way.

Single Minded. To have the true essence, a brand must be able be described in one word, maybe two. More than two words indicates that the brand does not have enough focus.

Experience. The essence captures what the audience feels during an experience with the brand. For example, driving a Volvo makes you feel that my family is safe.

Meaningful. There is no point in defining in essence that is not significant to the audience.

Consistently Delivered. If the proposed essence is not consistently delivered, it is not essence. If magical is Disney’s essence, then every trip to Disneyland must deliver on the promise. Consistency of experience as basis for brand loyalty.

Authentic. The essence of a brand must be credible or the brand will be rejected.

Sustainable. A brand’s essence does not change over time.

Scalable. The true essence can be applied to multiple products and services.

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