Back to Basics – 3 Tips for Refining Your Brand Identity
Whatever kind of business you may be running, it is absolutely essential that you get your brand identity clearly established both in your own mind, and also in the minds of prospective clients and customers, if you want to be successful.
A brand identity is essentially the “summary version” of what it is you want your business to be and represent, and the role you want it to play in the lives and minds of those who are exposed to your marketing materials.
Failure to clarify your brand identity can lead to you ending up in a position where you fail to hit the major points of interest that appeal to the broad public, and can also mean that you end up pursuing a business concept that is too vaguely defined to be effectively realised.
On the other hand, when your brand identity is laser-focused, and you can condense it into a short slogan and logo, you can often work wonders, generate a lot of interest and awareness, and leverage your own resources more effectively.
So, here are some tips for going back to the drawing board and refining your brand identity, if it’s not yet refined enough.
Do some in-person marketing at trade fairs and other events
When you attend in-person marketing events, such as at trade fairs, and especially when using modern displays by Infinity Exhibits and other attention grabbing visuals, your brand identity can be strengthened in several important ways.
First and foremost – in-person marketing will quickly teach you that it’s impossible to properly pitch an idea to a person standing before you, unless you’ve really clarified, in your own mind, what it is you are trying to sell, and have distilled it down to its core components.
No one who happens to be passing by your stall is going to be inclined to wait for 10 minutes as you ramble through an unintelligible and messy attempt to explain what it is you do. Instead, they’ll be looking for the “elevator pitch.”
An “elevator pitch” is the kind of punchy, condensed, and focused sentence or two you might use to pitch your product or service to someone you met in an elevator, and had only a few seconds to impress.
Of course, another way in which in-person marketing can help you to refine your brand identity, is by virtue of the fact that it makes it much easier for you to gather direct feedback on your product or service, as well as your own performance as a marketer.
Often, you’ll be able to read just via a person’s body language what it is they might find impressive about your offering, and what, on the other hand, might be putting them to sleep.
Strip out all the extras, and ask yourself what your “One Thing” is
The popular book, “The One Thing,” essentially argues that in order to use your time and resources as effectively and efficiently as possible in your professional life, you really need to focus on one core element, to the exclusion of all else.
This is true in a directly practical sense – as in, focusing on which services you will emphasise in the first place – and it’s also true in terms of your fundamental brand identity.
Your business simply cannot remain in a state of undifferentiated potential forever, and it’s no good to try and cast too wide a net. Instead, you have to get very specific. What is the “One Thing” that your brand identity will be built around?
Refine the art of checking in with yourself, and assessing whether your approach and branding seem authentic to you
Many people fall into the trap, from time to time, of playing things a bit too safe when starting up their own businesses, and also of doing things “by the numbers” with regards to their branding and marketing.
The thing is, “by the numbers” is unlikely to be too interesting to very many people at all. Think of the great products or services that have made an impact on your own life, or on broader culture, in general. A sense of innovation and authenticity are always key.
People respond positively to creations like the iPhone, not to the latest knock-off iteration of a generic smart phone that essentially does nothing new.
In order to really refine your brand identity, and make it as effective and potent as possible, you should likewise refine the art of checking in with yourself on a regular basis, and assessing whether or not your approach and branding seem authentic to you.
As a general rule of thumb, a feeling of inauthenticity means you are on the wrong path.