Listening in to a teleclass sponsored by the Business Catalyst Institute, I learned that branding is about a perception or emotion that a client or prospective client has about a product or service as a result of consuming the product or doing business with the organization. Such a simple, straightforward but nonetheless powerful definition of what branding is.
“You are your brand!”
I would like to take the emotion and perception from the definition and explore it further. Emotion creates or influence perception but perception, in turn, affects and directs emotion. Catch 22 here, but they are tied up so closely together you can work at it both ways. Numerous theories have been put forth but nothing creates the most favourable perception or positive emotion than the authenticity of the intention. The business reflects a mission that is mirrored by the activities the organization engages in. So where does branding start? I believe that the best place to start is by truly knowing one self as an entrepreneur and how the business resonates with one’s life mission.
There was once a 9-year old who would spend her summer creating a mini lesson plan using leftover sheets from the previous school year notebook. She would gather her nephews and nieces aged 5-8 and seat them in a room filled with little chairs, and using a small blackboard and chalk, would start lessons in grammar and math. She would take great joy in doing it even if the younger kids would have an excuse to get out of the room and would never come back. Undoubtedly, her first job after graduating was teaching and eventually corporate training. I am sure it would be much easier for her to translate this passion for learning to a real life business.
Indeed, it is very fascinating to ask successful entrepreneurs why they got into their line of business in the first place. Most of them would be able to tell a whole life story behind their choice of business. It is interesting to note that the degree of their success could be traced back to how they ardently want a specific product or service based on their lifelong interest.
More interestingly, individuals seem to have been designed to do certain and specific things in life as there is always a noticeable match between their interests and their talents. Thus, to effectively define the brand, one might want to go back and review his or her life history and see where his or her genius lies.
What do you do that is in full alignment with your personal values?
What action gives the most positive results to your clients/customers?
What is your business’s contribution to the world going to be?
“Where your talents and the world’s needs cross, there lies your vocation.”