Action Catalyst Blog

What is branding and why does it matter?

Branding is becoming more and more of a mainstream term.

You hear more about personal and company branding.

As more and more businesses break into the digital space and use online media, there’s even more people getting into talking and thinking about branding.

But what is a brand? What does branding mean?

We’ve noticed that many people think about branding the wrong way.

They think about branding as a business card or a logo or a color scheme or a set of fonts.

Those things are part of it, but your brand is much bigger than your company name or product descriptions.

Your brand is more like your reputation. There’s a strong correlation and connection between branding and reputation.

For successful branders, the people and companies who influence and create tribes know and care about that connection.

Branding is more about reputation.

So how do you shape that?

When you think of building a brand or doing a rebrand, it’s easier to think about a new logo or colors or changing your company name, but these aren’t the real things that make a substantial difference when it comes to repositioning your company in the marketplace.

You likely have lots of competitors who sell products and services that are similar, if not identical to yours.

However, your reputation and track record of great performance is often what separates your firm from the competitors.

When I think of the word brand, there’s two parts to it. First of all, a brand is what people think of when they think of you.

Because of social media, we’re all basically media channels. We have the instant ability to post out to the world what we’re thinking, what we care about and what we don’t like.

We’re like little individual media companies. With every tweet, post, like, share or comment or question, or every website we visit, we’re shaping our personal brand.

We have that power to shape our digital reputation. That’s something worth being mindful about: Be disciplined and intentional about what you do and what other people think of you in cyber space.

The inverse is also true, which is the second part of branding. What triggers someone to think about you?

The first part is, if somebody says your name or your company’s name, what are all the words and concepts they associate with you?

Even more important, what’s the trigger that causes them to think about your company? For example, if they think of insurance, real estate, leader, speaker, entrepreneur or author, should your company name come to mind?

However, remember that you don’t really control your brand. The world controls your brand –what you really do is influence your brand when people think of you.

Again, what do people think of when they think of you? You can influence the triggers.

If you can create a powerful brand and can create clarity around a message, that’s going to make a difference in your business and in your life.

For years, when people thought of Rory Vaden, they thought of discipline and taking action, and taking the stairs, because that’s what we talked about.

At Southwestern Consulting, we just went through a whole rebrand: It’s about sales, elevating sales, both the practice and the perception of sales.

When people think of the word sales, we want them to think of Southwestern Consulting: “If we need to grow our sales, we need Southwestern Consulting. If we want to sell in a more service-minded fashion, we need to call Southwestern Consulting.”

So what do people think of when they think of you and what triggers do you want people to think when they think of your company?

That’s the power and importance and the strategy of personal branding.

If you’d like some help thinking about your brand, you can schedule a free call with one of our consultants today.

One Response

  1. Matthew Summers says:

    Rory, this is a really solid article— thank you! I like your way of summarizing a the first half of a brand as what people think when they think of you. Actually I was reading a great/creative article about this end of branding the other day, thought you might be interested:

    I hadn’t thought before of your second half of branding in precisely that way though. Thanks for the insight!

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