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What is a Brand?

This is the million-dollar question for burgeoning business owners and dreamers who are raring to kick-start a business and don’t know where to begin. The word ‘brand’ has long been misunderstood. Sometimes that’s because the conversation surrounding what a brand is, has been misquoted and sometimes misrepresented. I’ve unfortunately seen certain companies and individuals peddling brand development or brand management in such a way where the client thinks it is simply pretty graphics, and a great logo and then you’re off to the races to make your first million. Incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong, your brand does require visual stimulation and excellence in order to truly connect with your customer, but what a brand actually does, goes deeper than those surface points. A brand is far more than pretty graphics and clever quotes. It’s not a gimmick, it’s your foundation.

A brand is what your audience says about you when you’re not in the room. It’s the public perception and opinion that your current and prospective customers feel about your brand when they come across it or hear about it in conversation. It’s everything your company represents. This essence is thrust out to your network through social messaging, multilayered visuals, product development, perception, and overall presence on the world wide web and across the globe. The goal is for your brand to connect with people in a positive light to convert their interest into income, as well as a solidify a loyal relationship that can stand the test of time.

When you think about yourself as personal brand, understanding branding in the business sense should bring more clarity. You have a certain way you dress or communicate, a certain set of friends you hang with, places you frequent, schools you’ve attended, places of employment you’re proud to be associated with and values you possess which are all intentional in giving off a perception of who you are and what you represent as 1 in 7 billion people on the planet. Your brand and business must be presented in the same light and through the same filtering process to give off the proper perception intended for your target audience.

You don’t come by this level of loyalty just by creating a logo or a pretty flyer. This is the byproduct of creating a customer experience, which should be your goal when building a brand.

– Alaina Pinkney

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