Our final Dinner for the year was held on the 7th of November, and it definitely was once again, worth it!!
We had a combined Training session and “How she does it dinner” this month owing to the nature of the topic : Branding. Something that is quick becoming an important business and marketing tool.
I was particularly interested in this training session because I am looking for ways to develop and promote the “Summit Seekers” brand. And Anne definitely had some amazing pointers to share during the evening.
Anne Miltenburg (1981) is a traveling brand developer on a mission to empower changemakers to create bigger impact through branding. She believes branding and brand thinking are crucial in helping social entrepreneurs, scientists, activists and educators to articulate their mission, and get them the audience and support they deserve.
The Brandling is founded by Anne Miltenburg works with individuals and groups to co-create brand strategies and brand thinking skills. It builds teams of co-trainers, guest authors, strategists or creatives of all kinds to fit the challenge at hand. Brandling develops brands for changemakers across industries and across the world using DIY tools to help build brand thinking skills and develop your brand.
So, What is Branding?
Many people associate branding with Identity. What it actually represents is your CORE. What you have on the “inside” that you want to translate to the outside.
Branding defines: WHO you are
WHAT you do
WHY it matters
WHO needs to KNOW
And HOW they will find out!!!!
If you are not sure about any of the above, you run the risk of letting others define if for you. So, always ensure that you have the Branding Essentials in place from the Inside. These include who you HIRE, your CONTACTS and how you COMMUNICATE with people.
Branding is also a psychological affair. Usually, when shopping for a product or service, a consumer is compelled to ask the following questions:
What do I need?
Who can fulfil the need?
Why that particular choice ? (Was it a referral or personal experience?)
And that is how you build a reputation. When you are the first choice in a world of many to fulfill a particular consumer’s need.
What Makes a Strong Brand?
A “brand” can either be a PERSON or a COMPANY.
Looking at famous people and company brands, what makes them famous?
- They are identifiable (Color, words)
- Some brands are “memorable”
- They spend large budgets to invest in and promote their brands
- The are consistent
- They have a visual identity
- They have a value that they offer (be it a product or service)
What is a Value that Brands Offer?
The value of a brand is the most difficult thing to articulate. How do you make people understand what you do/offer?
The entire organization has to be in unison ad putting in an effort to tell the same story and be on the same page.
QUESTION: Why Does Branding Matter to you?
- If you are VISIBLE, you can attract more clients
- More clients means guaranteed business
- When you are identifiable, and have a good reputation, you attract the best talents to be part of your organization
- You enjoy customer and staff loyalty
- You are able to tap into investments as investors can easily identify to your brand, and you sure will look like you know what you are doing
- You are easily able to promote your product/idea
UNDERSTANDING THE SYSTEM
“always let a clear blind mind drive everything you do”
Let’s look at Oprah Winfrey. She promotes the “brand” of “Live your Best Life Ever”. She has put in 30 years of hard work to promote her brand and she does it through her Network Channels, her Book Club, through Leadership Courses, through her magazine and not forgetting on her Show.
YOUR VISION AND MISSION
Let us look at the Branding Process:
- At the Center we have the Brand Essence: The Why, Values, Promises, Vision and Mission of the Company.
- Next comes the Visual Identity. Here the company promotes how it Speaks (Communicates) what it does.
- Then comes all the methods and ways in which it tries to translate it’s core essense to the outer world:
- Through Products & Services: Summit Seekers offers Hikes, and they are being sponsored by “Hike Shoe Brand” who probably gives a discount to all hikers who come through Summit Seekers
- Places & Events: Where would Summit Seekers go to promote itself. Trade fairs, expos, etc
- Partnerships and Collaborations: Maybe Summit Seekers could pair up with an Insurance company to offer free travel insurance to all hikers, or a free medical checkup to all hikers.
- People, Talent, Behavior: Who we are, who we hire and word of mouth that goes around about us.
- Technology: use of websites, developing apps.
- Communication & Channels: Elephants Speak to Elephants. Which Media channel we chose to use to promote our brands, and which social media platform is best suited for us.
Your Visual Identity could also be a voice, a color or a logo.
HOW DOES BRANDING MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
There are four ways to build your brand.
Know your goals.
- What is it that you want to achieve?
- What sort of Investment do you need?
- What kind of talent do you need to hire?
- What kind of press presence do you need?
- What is at your Core
- What goals are you recognized for?
- What defines you?
- Define your Audience
- Who you need to reach?
- How they feel about you?
- Are you a B2B or B2C?
- What are you Mission and Vision Statements?
HOW TO COME UP WITH YOUR VISION AND MISSION?
Vision: What is the World that you Want to See?
Mission: What do you do to make it Happen?
Defining your Mission and Vision can get confusing. To come up with an appropriate Vision and Mission Statement, start with the Vision, the end result of what you want to see. What is the change that you want to see in the world? Work backwards from your vision towards your mission by defining how you will get to where you want to be. By which means and by offering what type of value.
Visit: www.the-brandling.com/toolshop for a full range of toolkit to help you with your Mission and Vision statements.
The key to building a successful brand lies on the fulfillment of these three requirements:
The closing for this session was a very powerful statement:
SELL THE CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEE.