Brand Building – Keep it Simple

When it comes to brand building, your number one consideration is your audience… your customers. Many creatives miss this essential success ingredient: branding, because we just want to create our art and engage in our craft, and are even inclined toward disdain or at least a distaste for the business side of things.

Audio Article – Brand Building – Keep it Simple:

 

It’s time to reframe that. Branding is not a component of a dry business process. This is an age where we all have the luxury of integrating our purpose into our work.

Branding is about connecting and serving, and it’s about purpose.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Artists love to connect, share and serve… to bring beauty, intrigue, entertainment, enjoyment, delight and inspiration. To do that we need an audience… a fan base. And to build that, we need to define our “why”.  Our “why” becomes our “brand”… the reason we do what we do. In other words… your ‘why’ is your purpose.

When it comes to brand building, this is your art, your company and your chance to give it a voice in the world.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Business artists, aka, entrepreneurs, love to create industry, products and services that serve, that solve problems and that delight. Sometimes they connect and serve through their chosen industry. Other times it is through the art itself that people are served.

When a singer delights her audience, they are transported in her performance of her art. And yet the more that artist engages her fans, the more fans she will have because people want to connect with people they admire and who touch their hearts. Your brand is your purpose.

Your brand is an expression of your purpose in the world.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

We’re very much aligned with a super simplistic approach to branding recommended by Tim Ferris in an article on Fortune.com as well as in one of Tim’s podcasts.

When we remove the feigned stuffiness around systems and processes and strip it down to the core—the essential reason for the existence of our business—branding is simplified and no longer a business task. Rather…

“Personal branding is a side effect of doing the right things.”
~Tim Ferriss, American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker

Brand Building Simplified

Tim Ferriss’s 3 Brand Building Rules

  1. Identify your 1,000 true fans – who they are and what they want and need; what’s important to them.
  2. Own a category (or create one) for your 1k true fans. I.e., don’t try to sell to or please everyone.
  3. Forget branding – focus on the customer, on delivering one or two benefits really well.

Keep it simple! Your slogan is your message, the one thing you want to be known for. So keep it simple and poignant to you, your brand, your company and the customers you serve.

“Forget about branding. Focus on what matters and the rest will take care of itself.”
~Tim Ferriss, American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker

Brand Positioning – My First Online Company…

When it comes to brand positioning, Tim Ferriss advises to own your category or create a new one. You want to come up first or second in searches for your niche category, and if you can’t, then consider creating a new one.

I did this for my first brand, but then I blew it. The first product I brought to market from inception to selling online, was the My Trainer Fitness line of sturdy, removable laminated workouts in books of 24 and packs of six complete workouts. When the My Trainer Fitness product line was first published in 2010, I knew enough about PR and marketing to gain good local and national media exposure, but little about product branding and nothing about ecommerce and the new world of social media.

Own your category, or create a new one.
~Tim Ferriss, American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker

… and How I Blew it with My First Brand (for starters)

The first product line we created: complete workouts on laminated cards, were a category of their own. (I’m not much into mainstream; a.k.a. “ever the “outlier”). As such, no one was searching for it. Where I missed the boat (there were many places, actually) was in not knowing how to create a market for that category. I knew nothing of SEO and how to position it in the Google stratosphere. Nothing of the “new marketing” called Social Media, still in it’s infancy back then, and nothing about growing traffic to our website.

I wasn’t focused on the business of the brand. I was the creator and didn’t want to manage the business.

We created a cool product that was likely the first of its kind to market. We got rave reviews, served our customers well, BUT I didn’t know enough about how to grow our base beyond the initial traditional media coverage and exposure.

I didn’t know about how to “play the Amazon game” of getting more people to publish more reviews on Amazon, or the essentiality of how such reviews are the lifeblood of any product on Amazon. And I wasn’t at all into social media. And the worse part for that business at that time is that I outsourced most of the work to others way too soon; before I knew and understood it myself.

Like most creatives, I thought my job was done once the product was created. I didn’t realize that was just the beginning.
~LeAura  Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

My Ignorance Cost Millions

In fairness, I was a mostly full time homeschooling mom at the time, so building a brand and a business around the product I created was not my focus. Subsequently, that brand suffered from neglect and missed the gaping entrance available during the heyday—just before the fitness industry exploded—by not understanding this new era of branding and marketing. And also by not focusing on it. (They go hand-in-hand… focus and understanding).

The consequences were huge.  If we’d known then what we know now, we could’ve owned the category of fitness cards. Now there are more competitors as well as digital versions who have shouldered in and claimed their stake in the market of big boys in the very crowded fitness industry.

I left millions on the table of my ignorance.

The My Trainer Fitness line still exists. We have a successful authority website that’s now more than just a product site, and we still sell great workouts that serve people well.

However there are many more players in the same genre, plus the added competition of many digital workouts that weren’t even around when we first launched, and which are infinitely cheaper to create. So we missed the opportunity to own our niche and to have taken that brand into a huge market share.

I missed the opportunity to own our niche, and take that brand into a huge market share.

Like most entrepreneurs, artists and authors, I thought my job was done once the product was created. I didn’t want to do sales and marketing. Can you relate? But… without marketing, your ideal customers can’t find you and without that, there aren’t enough sales.

Nothing is served by mourning what isn’t.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

However… it’s all a lesson and learning toward better. Nothing is served by mourning what isn’t. Best to use that time to make what is, better. Your ideal life as you want it to be cannot happen without you. When it comes to brand building, this is your art, your company and your chance to give it a voice in the world.

When it comes to branding, keep it simple! Your slogan is your message. Your message is what you do. What you do is because of who you are.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

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