Are You Brand
by Kim Castle
Four Simple Questions to Assess Your Brand-ability
Branding is one hot topic, although it is wildly misunderstood. To make
things even more confusing, branding is often tossed in the same basket
as marketing which makes its application to an entrepreneur or
sole-practitioner even more unclear.
While speaking on branding, the question that I hear most is "How do I
know if my business or service is brand material?" With businesses
opening left and right, and more and more of them closing each year,
I'm glad there are smart business owners who are open to understanding
If you've found yourself asking the same thing, don't worry, you're not
alone. Perhaps this can shed some light.
At a recent luncheon, the same question came up again in a different
way. I was seated next to an attorney whose sole practice focuses on
elder abuse cases. He asked me in rapid succession (a manner that
showed me he'd be great in court):
"Isn't branding for businesses that make a lot of stuff?"
"Doesn't branding apply only if you want to sell a lot of stuff?"
"Isn't branding pointless for my kind of business?"
Smiling, I fired back, "Yes, yes, and...no."
Yes, branding is most often associated with businesses that make a lot
of stuff. Yes, branding is advantageous if you want to sell a lot of
stuff. No, branding is not pointless because every business makes
something (or offers a service) and wants to sell it.
Branding is about making your product or service known to as many
potential customers as possible, consistently, with the most effective
use of your time and money. Branding is about repeat business. Branding
is about effortless referrals. Wouldn't that be a benefit to ANY
business, especially yours?
To help you gain more brand-worthy clarity, ask yourself the following
1. Am I really passionate about what I am doing with my business,
service or product?
And I mean REALLY passionate! If not, is there something more you can
be doing to turn your passion switch on? It takes an amazing amount of
energy and persistence to make a business take hold in the customer's
With more and more businesses
competing for headspace, it's imperative that you set yourself apart.
If you are not cooking with the fuel that passion gives you, you're
missing out on a very crucial element that could mean the difference
between thriving and closing.
2. Do I have a big vision of my business, service or product?
Do you dream of reaching lots of customers in different ways with your
product or service? Do you see a way to deliver your product or service
to an increasing amount of people with less and less effort?
Did you create a mindset or
special approach in your field that can be delivered in a variety of
mediums, i.e., speaking, books, audio CDs, consulting, etc?
Do you envision moving beyond an
hour-for-hour method of providing your service? All of these support a
big vision. When approaching your brand, not only do we begin
from the inside out, we create it from the perspective of where you
will be in five years as if it is now.
Small vision does just that,
keeps you small. The choice is always yours.
3. Is my product or service a real benefit to lots of customers?
It's important that you answer this one as honestly and openly as
possible. I was very passionate and had a huge vision for a career as a
mime! (Yes, you read that correctly... a mime.)
However, no amount of passion
and vision would make people buy it on a large scale. Thanks to Marcel
Marceau, the mime card had been played out.
You may find that being truthful
with your answers will lead to branding even better products and
4. Am I prepared to acquire the knowledge or surround myself with a
team to accomplish the business success that developing my business as
a brand delivers?
The plus side of being an entrepreneur is that you may wear many hats
in your business. The negative side is that you feel like you must!
The truth is, you don't! You're
an expert in your field and you need to honor that expertise by
supporting it with a variety of other skill sets to make your indelible
mark– logo design, copywriting, website design, your marketing plan
creation and execution, as well as others.
The important thing is that you
realize...you're in command because it's your ship! And being a
commander takes knowing where you want to go, gathering the maps to
make the journey, and assembling the crew to make it happen.
If your answers to these questions are yes, then you have the makings
to develop your business as a brand. You just need the knowledge and
practice to do so.
If you're shaky on some of the
questions, find out why. Even if you never develop your business as a
brand, solid yeses to these simple questions will only make your
business more successful and more enjoyable. After all, isn't that we
So are you brand worthy?
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Castle Montone, Limited All Rights Reserved.
and Brand Visioneer, Kim Castle teaches entrepreneurs and small
business owners how to tap into the full power of their business – the
power behind the brand. Kim is the co-author of Why BrandU, the BrandU
Bible and It's a BrandU Day, the fear transformation process and
To learn more
step-by-step programs, receive her
FREE report 15 Mistakes That Kill Business Success, or sign up for her
e-zine Why You?!, visit her site : BrandU
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