How To Brand Your Business | Everett Bowes | Skillshare
Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
12 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Promo- How To Personalize Your Brand

      3:07
    • 2. Course Intro

      6:45
    • 3. The 4 Pressures Every Brand Faces

      3:28
    • 4. The Definition Of Branding

      5:56
    • 5. How To Personalize Your Brand

      1:44
    • 6. 1 Define Your Brand Personality

      5:43
    • 7. 2 Define Your Brand Experience

      3:06
    • 8. 3 Define Your Brand Relevance

      3:58
    • 9. 4 Define Your Brand Separation

      2:56
    • 10. 5 Define Your Brand Offer

      3:14
    • 11. 6 Define Your Brand Narrative

      3:07
    • 12. Conclusion

      3:44
12 students are watching this class

About This Class

868ed48e

A personalized brand is vital for helping companies stand out, connect, and increase loyalty!

The problem:

  • The average American receives 30,000 marketing messages per week!
  • Attention spans have never been shorter
  • Consumers are overwhelmed​ with more options than ever
  • The speed of innovation means your features and benefits won’t keep you in the lead for long
  • Target customers are getting harder to reach

What if you could:

  • Harness the power of emotion
  • Increase engagement
  • Develop meaning
  • Generate anticipation

SKILLSHARE TOP INSTRUCTOR

Join Brand Strategist Everett Bowes, of We Talk Branding, for this in-depth course on developing the human properties of your brand and start connecting today!

As always, reach out to me anytime! Post your questions and comments from the class in the Community section!

Additional resources: 

b2d0374d

Transcripts

1. Promo- How To Personalize Your Brand: Business has changed. In the past, the companies that created the greatest brand awareness were always the marketplace winners. If you want in more sales, you simply had to blast your message to more and more people. Today, however, that's not good enough. Huge marketing budgets are not the answer. Instead, in order to succeed, companies need to connect with their target audience. Awareness alone is not enough, connection is vital. Since people connect with people not with objects and products and services and organizations and companies, the key to marketplace success is to personalize your brand. Success is not solely dependent on the size of your marketing budget, but the depth of your branding. Companies big and small are realizing the benefits of a personalized brand. Benefits like higher customer loyalty, lower customer acquisition costs, quicker customer conversion, higher profits, higher return on investment and marketing spend, and so much more. My name is Everret Bowes. I'm a brand strategist. I've been helping companies for more than 20 years to brand boldly, create confidently, and connect deeply with their target audience. If you are a business leader, this course is for you. Creating a personalized brand is vital for business leaders from entrepreneur to enterprise. Whether you work in a small, medium, or large company, a greater understanding of your brand and your role in creating it are crucial. This course is for business professionals who are owners, managers, directors, consultants, or anyone starting a business. You do not need a background in marketing or advertising for this course to be valuable to you, and if you do have a background in marketing, this course might just give you a fresh perspective that will help you get everyone else on board. In this course, we're going to cover a lot of things like, how marketing success has shifted over the past 50 years. The four principles that are forcing all businesses to adapt. I'm going to give you a modern definition of branding that actually makes sense, and I'll explain why a personalized brand is vital. You'll learn the six facets of your brand that need to be defined in order to succeed, and how each of these components are dependent on each other. On top of that, I'll give you a memory tool to make personalizing your brand easy to remember and apply. So if you're tired of spending tons of money on marketing and not seeing the fruits, or if you're confused as to why a marketing effort by your competitor works for them but not for you, or if you're frustrated with creative campaigns and messages that just are not connecting, or if you're unsure why your customer retention is slipping. If you're searching for what it's going to take to get your business to the next level, then this course is for you. Find out what Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Target, other brands that you love already know. Tap into the power of a personalized brand. I'll see you in class. 2. Course Intro: Hi, I'm Everett Bowes and I'm a brand strategist in Creative Consultant. This course is all about personalizing your brand. In this short intro, we'll set the stage for what you will learn in the rest of this course and then we're going to dive in. Now, let's start off by talking about the way it used to be, the good old days. So, the good old days, if you went to the store, we're talking maybe in 1950s and '60s and earlier. So, you'd go to the store and there weren't that many products on the shelf. You'd walk in and there's only so many options of soap and so many options for laundry detergent and so on. Back then, brand awareness was key. So, there's a few options on the shelf, it's easy to tell the difference between the products and between the brands. The speed of imitation or improvement was just really slow. Now, if you wanted to sell more, all you really needed to do was get more brand awareness, maybe run more ads in the newspaper, more billboards, more commercials. Essentially, the companies with the biggest ad budgets went because they can outspend their competition and get more brand awareness. Now, during this time, there was almost no such thing as bad publicity. A bad commercial was still relatively good for business. Today, awareness alone is not enough. Companies waste millions of dollars shouting repeatedly to an audience that's just not listening. On top of that, having the best product or service in the market doesn't guarantee success. In order to succeed, your business must connect. That's the key. Since people connect with people, not with products and services, you must develop the personal properties of your brand. Now, the market place winner is always the company with the most personalized brand. Now, we've seen these trends, so we started years ago like I said '50s and '60s and the trend was all about brand awareness. Then, we moved into this phase of advertising marketing where was really all about features. Then, we moved into a new era of features and benefits. Now, today we're in a new era. This era favors connection and meaning and relevance and emotion. We moved from an era where any attention was great, to today's era where the wrong message can seriously hurt your brand and the lack of a compelling message can do damage as well. A few years ago, good was hard. Now, let me explain that. Good photography, good video, good website, good print, all of this was hard, it was slow, it was expensive. A company with a huge video budget maybe did four videos in a year. Today, good is actually relatively easy and cheap. You can shoot four K video on an iPhone. I mean just a few years ago, that was absolutely unheard of. So, you can shoot incredible video on all sorts of devices. I like to say that the devices and the technology have been democratized. They're in the hands of many people now. So, you can get good, you can get a good video, good photography, good website, good design, all cheap and quickly. But the real question is, is it right? Good is not necessarily good enough. You need right. So, making brand experiences and touch points and messages that are right, that's harder. I like to point out to companies that I work with. I talk about the Super Bowl. So, this last Super Bowl, the ad budgets, the prices for airtime go up every single year. So, this last year was $5 million just for a 30 second spot. That doesn't include production costs or anything else. So, they spent all of this money to get this commercial aired on television, all this money for production and so on. While the game is being played, people are chugging beers and eating buffalo wings and these commercials come on, and universally across living rooms and sports bars, all across the world in America and so on, people are watching these ads and everybody can sit there and watch the same commercials and go, "That was amazing." The same exact people can watch another and go, "That was bad. That was a total waste of money." Now, the problem is, there's executives somewhere across America that are high fiving and belly bumping each other. So, proud of this incredible Super Bowl Ad. So, why is it that this room full of beer chugging, half drunk, sports enthusiasts with no business and marketing background, how is it that they know that that ad was wrong? Yet the business leaders and maybe even marketers that live, eat, sleep, breathe, drink this, how is it that they thought it was so right? The differences in the issue as it comes down to not good, but right. It wasn't right. So, this course, I'm going to give you the skills to make brand experiences that are right for your brand so you can tell the difference between good and right. As a consultant, my job is simple. I give clients the framework that they need to create the right brand experiences, not just good. Your company's long term success depends on your brand's ability to develop and maximize differentiation, connection, experience, and meaning. The best way to do that is by personalizing your brand. Now, there's lots of benefits, just tons of benefits for personalizing your brand. Things like loyalty and recall, relatability, marketplace differentiation, engagement, anticipation, meaning, and so much more. Now, the bean counters that are watching this are sitting there going, "That's great, but what does this translate to in dollars?" It's simple. This has increased revenues, increased margins, increased return on investment on your marketing spend, increased employee retention, increased customer loyalty, increased message reach and again, the list just keeps going on. So, we have a little bit of a foundation that we need to set before we dive into the six steps to personalizing your brand. Now, I know it's tempting to skip introductory lessons but trust me, it's going to be worth your time since I refer back to these few lessons throughout the rest of this course. Now, in the next lesson, we're going to start off with the four Cs, the four pressures impacting business success for everyone. These pressures change the path of success for every business. So, you don't want to miss it and I'm going to see you in the next class. 3. The 4 Pressures Every Brand Faces: Today, there are four pressures every brand is facing that get in the way of marketplace success. Those pressures are choices, confusion, commoditization, and constriction. So let's start off with choices. We are flooded with products. When you walk into any grocery store, department store, sporting goods store, it doesn't matter, we are flooded with options of so many products. Now, on top of that, there's tons of brands per product. What's crazy is, as you investigate some of these, let's talk about soap for instance, one brand might actually have three, four, five, seven different brands underneath it, all competing for the same shelf space and your attention. That's just tough. Then on top of that, it's confusing. Point number two, confusion. What's the difference? What's the difference between brand A and brand B, or what's the difference between brand A's product one and brand B's product one, two, or three? I mean, at the end of the day, you just want to find out either what's the best or which ones is best for me. Now, on top of that, there's this speed of imitation and innovation that I like to talk about. That's the speed at which a company can take whatever you've done as your latest, greatest new and improve and either copy it or one up at. The speed of that is just even faster, which leads to more confusion. Then there's the next pressure, commoditization. Now, this can be a deadly effect for some industries. Commoditization is where you simply cannot tell the difference between one brand and another brand. As far as you're concerned, they all feel equal and you just have no brand preference between them. The last pressure is constriction. We don't have time. We are bombarded. The average American receives over 30,000 marketing messages per week. That's ridiculous. As a result, people's attention spans are a fraction of what they used to be. Some research has shown that social media content is consumed on a desktop computer in just over two seconds, all media, just over two seconds. On a mobile, it's even faster. It's only 1.7 seconds. I love this quote by Sally Hogshead. She said, "Brands give us a shorthand in a distracted and confusing world. These shortcuts help consumers make sense of all the options. If you're trying to stand out, finding shortcuts is critical." It's not enough to have a great product or service. It's not enough just to shout that you exist. In a distracted world, the business that provides the clearest shortcuts, wins. Today, in order to succeed, it takes more than just telling people that you have a great product. The company with the largest marketing budget is no longer the guaranteed winner. Companies need a new roadmap for success. Developing the personal properties of your brand is the key to that success. Now, the rest of this course is going to show you how. In the next lesson, I'm going to share a foundational definition of what a brand is. Even if you think you already know, you really don't want to miss this. This lesson is going to be really helpful to put us all on the same foundation and maybe you might just learn a really cool way to describe branding to some other people. So, I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. The Definition Of Branding: What is a brand? There is so much confusion about branding. In order to get the most out of this course, we all need to have the same basic understanding of how to define a brand. I have an entire class called intro to branding dedicated to defining a brand. If you haven't already seen it, be sure to check it out. In order to make this course more successful and applicable for you, we do need to establish a framework for what branding is. First, branding is more in the mind than in the eye. In America, the majority of business leaders think their brand is their logo and their logo is their brand. Even among marketing specialists, the word logo is used to describe, what I actually call, your visual foundation, your logos, graphic elements, color palette, all that kind of stuff. The pitfall that trips up most people is they think their brand is all about what they see. However, what is seen is only a part of your brand. I love this word Mingji. Mingji is the Chinese word for brand. Now don't hold me to this. This is the exact. The Chinese language is actually really complicated and there's lots of different words and different interpretations, but there's one word, Mingji, that translates into brand. It might not be the most popular word, but it means to etch, or to curve, or to inscribe. I love this, this concept of etching and inscribing. It's kind of like branding is etching or inscribing an experience in our minds. Now, the second foundational point I want to make is about branding is this: that a brand is human. You must define your brand in terms of human qualities and attributes. All too often, companies make the mistake of taking the life and the personality out of their brand. My job is to help identify and then harness the personal properties of brands. I love this quote by Guy Kawasaki. He says, "Strive for humanness. Great brands achieve a high level of humanness." People connect with people, not with products or services. Therefore, humanizing your brand is vital for connection. Lastly, branding is all about, what I call, giving the right pieces. Now, even though I covered this in the intro to branding course, I think it's just too valuable not to include in this course here. So, companies do not make their brand, their audience makes the brand. Companies provide the pieces their audience uses. So, I have this object lesson. Sometimes when I'm doing a branding engagement, I'll walk in and I've got these pieces. Let me get them ready for you. So I take these. I have these pieces here from a Duplo. I have these pieces from a Duplo set. I take them, and I just kind of toss them on the table and I say, "Make something." For the first couple of seconds, people have to look around the room, and is this guy serious? I tell them you've got one minute, and then they kind of get to work. So, they take these pieces, and they start to play around. They go, "Well, let's put this here and maybe we put that there. This can go here. All right. Well, let's just move this around a little bit. Put that there. Cut this here," and they say, "how's that?" I say, "It's perfect. It's exactly what I wanted. It's exactly what I had in mind." I didn't start off by saying, "Hey, make me a Thomas the Train." I didn't say that. I said, "Make something." I gave the pieces, and they made something. Now, everyone knows how someone is going to do something silly, but you can't do that. You have that in every crowd. So, this is what I had in mind. These were the pieces I gave. Well, if this is what I had in mind, I don't need to give pieces like this. Now, what is this? This is your competition. So, this is what your competition looks like, and they're like, "Wow! That's great. That's cool." But this is you. When you look at your competition, you go, "Oh, my gosh! Look at what they're doing. They've got better sales this quarter than we do. What are they doing? Oh! My goodness. Whoa! We can do that too." Then you say, "Oh, my gosh! Look, they're getting more social shares on Facebook. Well, what are they doing? All right. Well, we can do that too." This is going to have to go now, and we've got this. Okay. What else? So, in the face of competitive pressure, brands imitate. So, all of a sudden, you started off looking like a Thomas the Train and next thing you know, this is what you look like. What is this? So, your potential customers are looking at you going, "I have no idea how to make sense of you. I don't know what you are." Your current customers, the ones who have been with you for a while, are looking at you and saying, "I don't know who you are anymore." The key to branding is simply finding out who you are and be more of it. That's it. You are this. You are Thomas the Train. Now that I made this, I think this piece actually moves forward. It's even better. But anyway, you are Thomas the Train Duplo set, and this is what you look like. When you know who you are and you are more of it, that is all about branding. So, like I said, companies do not make their brand, their audience makes the brand. Companies provide the pieces their audience uses to make the brand. Joe Gebbia from Airbnb, he captured this comment when he says, "Building a strong brand comes from paying attention to all those details that make up the whole experience for users." A brand is in the mind, not the eye. A brand is human. A brand is created with the accumulation of pieces of touchpoints your company provides. In the next lesson, I'm going to introduce the six steps to developing the personal properties of your brand. Get your note-taking material ready and let's dive in. 5. How To Personalize Your Brand: In the previous video, we defined how a brand is a device used to convey a lot of valuable information in a very short period of time. In the next set of lessons, we're going to learn how to maximize your effectiveness by developing the human properties of your brand. Human properties are valuable because they offer distinction and connection and emotion and relate ability. Humanized brands provide a sense of complexity and depth, resulting in greater customer loyalty and higher margins, better recall and so much more. Now, I created this framework to personalize brands that I think you're going to find innovative and thorough and really just easy to use and remember. In order to develop the personal properties of your brand, you need to develop and define the following, your brand personality, your brand experience, your brand relevance, your brand separation, your brand offer and your brand narrative. Now, if you didn't pick up on it already that was an acronym for the word PERSON. P, personality, E, experience, R, relevance, S, separation, O, offer and N, narrative. Personalize your brand. If you want to compete in the marketplace, you must develop the personal properties of your brand. Personalizing your brands is the only way to stand out, connect, create a consistent experience and develop a sense of meaning. Okay, our foundation is set and we are ready to dive into the first step of personalizing your brand. 6. 1 Define Your Brand Personality: Step one in developing the human properties of your brand is, define your brand personality, define who you are, not just what you do. I'm going to share the five dimensions I like to define when developing a brand's personality. The first, define your overall personality type. You can do this a number of ways. But one tool that I do like to use is called archetypes in branding. This is a great starting point. I'm going to make an entire course on archetypes in branding because I think it's just such a great starting point and it's so incredibly valuable. Archetypes can be the fastest shortcuts your team can use to identify and articulate your brand's personality quickly. Remember what I said earlier, in a distracted world businesses that provide the clearest shortcuts win. So, knowing your brand's archetype really helps. Next, define your brand look. Define your brand's style, your design, your look, your feel, the materials, your statics, and so on. Your brand look impacts all your touch points. I mean in-store, web, social media, signage, UI and UX and so much more. Also, it's probably the number one way your audience recognizes you and remembers you. So, define your brand look as thoroughly as you can. At a minimum, be sure to specify your brands photography, graphics, text and colors. It's important to note that, at this stage of the game I'm saying you need to define the spirit of your look. So, the spirit of your graphics and photography fonts and colors, not the specific fonts and specific colors but at least the spirit behind them. You need to describe the attributes of your look. A style guide is often used to define the specific images and graphics and fonts and logo elements and so on. We're not creating a style guide here, we are creating the framework that outlines the spirit of all those elements that help define the brand. Next, define your brand voice. Specifically, define your brand's overall messaging, tone and volume. Your personality dictates what you say, how you say it, where you say it and so much more. Your brand voice is presented through your web site, social media, videos, blog, print, emails, signage, in-store, on the phone, your packaging and more. So, make sure you focus a lot of your attention here because your brand's personality is revealed the most through what you look like and what you sound like. Next, define your brand values. Identify what brand believes, what you believe drives what you do and how you do it. Simon Cynic's TED talk, "Start with why," it's amazing. In it he said, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." Defining your brand values is key. I like to call it, we believe statements. These are the statements and the beliefs that are at the core of your brand. Your brand beliefs are the why, that drives the what of what you do. Your we believe statements can remain internal and behind the scenes at your brand, but companies like Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Volvo, Volkswagen and more, they put them front and center in their advertising. Your values and beliefs make your organization deeper, more complex and more human, and people connect with people not companies and products and services. Lastly, meaning. Developing your brand personality means defining your brand's meaning. Here's the key. Customers want their purchases to say something about them. Seth Godin said, "More than ever, we express ourselves with what we buy." Our purchases define us. People crave meaning. We crave meaning so much that we'll align our purchase choices with anything that echoes the purpose of our lives. Jim Signorelli said, "A product provides a function, a brand provides a meaning." Here's the danger. If you don't define your brands meaning, the public will do it for you. Choosing you, means I align my life with your brand's reputation, and values, and beliefs, and personality. So if your brand meaning is unclear or inconsistent or undefined, your brand will not help me tell the story of me and you will likely be ignored. You may not be fully ignored, but you won't have the kind of customer loyalty needed to compete in the long term. Great marketers don't sell stuff, they make meaning. People connect with brands when companies apply their brand personality to their look, style, design, photography and more. The first step in developing your overall brand personality is developing your brand's identity. You can articulate and define your brand's identity any way you want but it must be deep and it must be complex, just like people. Develop your brand's personality by defining your overall identity, your look, your voice, your values and the meaning of your brand. In the following lessons, we're going to look into the next steps for personalizing your brand. Now, I don't want you to forget this, if you have any questions at any time, ask them. Ask them here on this platform or message me directly, and whether it's about the the material itself or how to apply it to your company your or brand, I'm happy to help. For more in-depth resources and examples, check out the website. I'm going to see you in the next lesson. 7. 2 Define Your Brand Experience: Defining your desired brand experience is key for personalizing your brand. There are two major principles for a well-branded experience, predictability and humanity. A well-branded company is predictable. People love predictability. No one wants to go to a restaurant that's unpredictable. No one wants to buy technology or a car that's unpredictable. Whatever the touch point, products in-store, customer service, phone, web, social media, anything, people, consumers, customers, your audience, they're looking for a predictable environment. Predictability is key. Now there's two things that come together to help you form a predictable brand. It's consistency and alignment. Now consistency, this is simple, every time I go to your website, it's consistent. So I went to your website today, I went to your blog last week, and weeks before, and months before. Every time I go to your website, it's the same. Consistency is also, every time I come to the store it kind of feels the same, looks the same, sounds the same, I'm treated the same. Or maybe it's your customer service or your social media, every single time I come it's consistent. Every time I'm in contact with your brand per channel, it's consistent. Alignment means that the website experience looks and feels and sounds like your in-store experience, which looks and feels and sounds like your phone experience, looks and feels and sounds like your social media experience. That's alignment. Now, consistency is per channel, alignment is across channel. The key to building a strong brand is consistency and alignment, and that consistency across channel is what's so valuable, alignment across channels I should say. Again, a well-branded company is predictable. In order to develop a consistent brand experience, you must define your desired brand experience, and then communicate it to your entire team. It's not enough just for your senior leadership alone to know your desired brand experience. Companies that do not articulate their brand experience, leave it up for interpretation by every single employee. Next, define your desired brand experience in terms of human attributes. Focus on defining your brand experience in terms of emotion and how you want people to think or feel. As your company grows, you're going to have more employees, more touch points, more locations, more channels. So, a clearly defined desired brand experience and how each person in each channel fulfills that, it's going to be vital. So, make your brand experience predictable by focusing on consistency and alignment. Define your brand experience in terms of feelings and emotions. So far, we've identified the first two steps in developing your personal properties of your brand, your brand personality and your brand experience. In the next lesson, we're going to look at defining your target audience. 8. 3 Define Your Brand Relevance: Brand relevance is all about defining your target audience. When defining your brands target audience, focus on two major areas. The target audience is personality and their problems. Now, I use the term brand relevance because relevance is defined by how practical and applicable something is to someone. Your brand needs to matter to a large segment of people. Now, notice I didn't say your target customer, but I said target audience, and the reason is because your audience makes your brand. Not just that people who have shopped or purchased from your company. So, for more information about that, check out my intro to branding course. Another key that I want to point out is I am not talking persona's. Personas and marketing are really popular, and its a great tool in term, but I just absolutely avoid it. The word persona actually comes from the Latin word for mask and that's my problem with persona's, they're superficial. Focus on a bond that is more relevant, more connect-worthy, more universal, and more powerful than just something superficial. When developing your company's brand relevance, the first thing to focus on is your target audience's personality. Now, this is psychographics not demographics. So, we're not talking age and gender, and income level, education level, geographic region, and stuff like that. All of that is just superficial. It's not universal. It's not always that accurate. It's not a collective representation of who you're aiming at. Your target audience is comprised of a very diverse set of people. Even though they are diverse, they have personality traits that are in common. Your job is to find the common threads. The other key to defining your target audience is identifying their problems, emotions and need, I call them PEN analysis, P-E-N, problems, emotions and needs. When you identify your customers problems, they recognize you as a brand that understands them. Emotions make your brand relatable because emotions are universal, experiences are unique. I often say, what you did today is likely different than what I did today. But how you felt today is probably similar to how I felt. Focusing on emotions makes you more relatable and more universal. Next, another reason you need to define your target audience's emotions is because customer emotions drive purchase decisions. We make purchase decisions to the emotional processing side of our brains, not the linear processing side of our brains. Next, our desire to solve our emotions is a greater motivator than the desire to solve functional problems. A functional problems are things like I need a car or transportation, I need insurance. While those are real and we feel them and we understand them and we recognize them, and that's at the forefront of our mind, the underlying emotions behind those, things like I don't want to go through the time, the hassle, the worry of getting insurance, that's in the way. Insurance is a great example of this because their marketing, their commercials just flat out say that. Save time, worry and hassle, and then parathenticaly they say, "Oh, in money, super cute, cool. But what they're doing is they are focusing on that emotion and that desire that we have to resolve that emotion more than just the actual functional need of getting insurance. So, to recap, to develop your personal properties of your brand, you have to develop your brand relevance. Identify your target audience in terms of problems, emotions, needs and personality, and you're going to see even more reason for this in one of the following lessons on brand offer. If you have a question, be sure to ask, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. 4 Define Your Brand Separation: In order to develop the personal properties of your brand, you need to define your brand separation. What makes you different, what makes you stand out from the competition? This focus goes beyond a difference in functions and features, and even beyond benefits. Now, it's easy to define what makes you different from your competition in terms of functional differences or product offerin but those differences are superficial. They are temporary and they don't serve as an adequate source of distinction. Earlier, we learned the first step in personalizing your brand is to define your brand personality. This step, it's similar to that. To personalize your brand, define your competitive landscape based on their collective personality, not functions and features and demographic differences or other sort of metrics. Your brand personality is what makes you different, unique, authentic and unable to be copied. In order to stand out, your brand's personality must be different from your competitors'. But remember what I said earlier, in the face of competitive pressure, brands imitate. Functions and features are so easy to copy but personality is not. When competitors try to copy each other's personality, they come across as inauthentic and fake and not real. It's vital to understand your brand personality in light of your competitive landscape's personality. Knowing who you are protects you from falling into that trap of imitating your competition. To personalize your brand, define the collective personality of your competition. If there's been a lot of imitation in your competitive set, then you might look around at your competitors and see everyone's kind of the same. They look the same, act the same and so you really only needed to find one kind of personality. However, in a more well branded landscape, your competition has differentiated. In that case, you're going to want to look at the personalities of multiple competitors. At the very least, be sure to define the personality of your most dominant competitor. There's a lot of freedom in what you can do. There's a lot of freedom of what your brand can do and who you are as a brand, but the one thing you just cannot do is be just like the market leader. Define what makes you different based on brand personality and give your audience a distinct brand they can connect with. So far, we learned that developing the personal properties of your brand includes developing and defining your brand personality, your desired brand experience, your brand relevance and now, your brand separation. In the next lesson, we are going to look at how your products and services contribute to humanizing your brand. 10. 5 Define Your Brand Offer: Your brand offers what you sell. Now, most business leaders think your offer is the actual product or your service. You must define your product or service in terms of a solution to a problem, or you run the risk of being ignored. Most businesses focus on the product and not the problem. You must define your brand in terms of a solution to a problem. In fact, a lot of times I like to say a solution to a known problem. In order to personalize your brand, tell people how your brand can improve their life. People buy products and services to improve their life in some way. People won't buy your products or service unless they feel your offer justifies the cost and trouble of making the purchase in the first place. Next, focus your solution on emotions. Emotions make your brand relatable, because emotions are universal. I said this earlier, our desire to resolve emotions is a greater motivator than the desire to solve functional problems. Focusing on the emotional aspects of what you offer is not only more human, but it's also more effective. Next, when you position your offer as a solution to a problem and it's anchored in emotion, you increase the perceived value for your product. There's lots of examples we can give, but the point is you want to find not just the functional benefit of your product, but you want to find what are the emotions. Maybe you sell convenience or speed, you help with time and hassle, awkwardness, Carmax, I love the Carmax ads. They anchor in the sense of understanding that awkward feeling that a lot of people have when they think about going to buy a used car or sell their car, and so they couch all of their ads in this constant sense of understanding the emotional state that their shopper is typically in. Focusing on the emotions increases the value of your brand offer. Lastly, you need to define your brand offer in terms of emotions because customer emotions drive purchase decisions. We talked about this earlier. People don't make purchase decisions out of the analytical processing side of their brains, but in the emotional processing side of their brains. Therefore, you must clarify the emotional benefits of your offer. Create that shortcut for the customer. Most companies waste time and money focusing on the functions and features and details of what they offer. However, personalizing your brand means focusing on the human attributes of your offer not just the details. When you position your offering as a solution to your target's problem and anchor it in a motion, you gain trust, connection, loyalty, value and more. In the next lesson, we're going to look at the final step in personalizing your brand. Don't forget, reach out if you have any questions, check out the website for more resources. I'll see you in the next lesson. 11. 6 Define Your Brand Narrative: The last step in personalizing your brand is to develop or define your brand narrative or your brand story. The goal of your brand narrative is to focus on developing a verbal foundation and ensuring message clarity. Your verbal foundation starts with developing a communications framework. This framework serves as your source of inspiration and guidance for all of your branded messaging. The most important components you will want to define include your modifiers, your verbs, emotions, and we believe statements. A brand's personality is most clearly displayed through their attributes and their actions. So, modifiers and verbs are vital, you'd always want to make sure you spend some time developing a strong list of your modifiers and your verbs. Let's take a quick second and unpack what I mean by modifiers and verbs. Modifiers, they're the attributes of your brand. So, when you go to step one in defining your brand personality was BP or brand personality as your brand identity, your personality. So, list the attributes. What are you? You're trustworthy, authentic, real, humble, kind, generous, giving? Whatever those attributes are, those are the attributes, those are your modifiers. All of these great words that describe who you are on a personality level. Now your verbs, so what do you do? Do you give, serve, help, know, grow? Whatever your words are. So, look at the actions that your brand does and make a list of all of your actions. Again, I've said it before, your attributes, your modifiers, and your verbs or actions, these are the ways that your brand is revealed the most. The importance of defining the emotions your brand fulfills was already covered in the lesson on brand offer. So go back and check that out if you forgot it or if you skipped it. We believe statements frame your company's internal mindset. It can also be used front and center in your advertising. We believe statements are magnetic and they serve as the "why" to the "what" that you do. They are a driver for brand loyalty, they reveal your brand personality, they galvanize your customer loyalty, and more. Developing your brand narrative is vital at any stage of your company's growth. But as you grow with more employees, more locations, more touch points, more channels, it becomes imperative to develop the verbal foundation for your company. Like I said before, people connect with people, not with products and services and not with entities or organizations. So, developing your communication framework is vital for consistency, alignment, and making your brand feel like a person. With that, we've completed the six steps to personalizing a brand. Don't forget to check out the next set of lessons and, like I've said, if you have a question on the material or how to apply it to your brand, don't hesitate to let me know. 12. Conclusion: All right. So, now you're sitting there and you're asking yourself so now what? At this point you want to create a brand guide. Now, that's a document that can be shared by everyone in your organization. This is an internal and an external document, and I like to call it your stakeholders. So, maybe your C suite employees or founders or whatever it might be, but all the way to the front lines, the people who are on the phone, the clerks, you name it. Whoever's on the front lines, whoever's interacting more face-to-face or directly with your customers. Now, you can call this guide anything you want, you can call it brand guide or brand Bible, brand report. It doesn't matter. You just need a document that serves as a guide for testing current touch points and creating new ones. Now, here's what I mean. If you're going to create a brand new website or a new logo or new graphics, new photography, videos, it doesn't matter. You want to consult your brand guide, you want everybody who's going to take part in that to consult your brand guide because you want it to reflect your brand personality. In addition, you can use your brand guide to look at your current brand experiences and you say, "All right so this says that we are loving, giving, friendly kind and so on." Is this language friendly? Are these graphics approachable. It says that we are clear, we are concise, whatever it might be. You go back and you look at your current brand experiences, your web, your social media, and so on. You ask yourself, "Is it in alignment?" Now, if you're bringing on a new employee or you're bringing on a new agency partner, again, you want to use your brand guide, you want to give it to them. So, this is setting the expectation of what you want out of your employee, and it's also setting the expectation of what needs to be delivered through this agency partner. In addition with an employee, I love this line from, I think it's the Four Seasons. The Four Seasons says, "Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen." So, your brand personality can also serve as a piece of your employee review process. You can say, "Hey, you're knocking it out of the park. You are acting like a lady or a gentleman as you are serving and so on." But it's also a point for performance evaluation where you can say "Listen, you're not holding up to our standard." If you don't have a brand guide, it's hard to use this in that kind of a context. If this is done correctly, if you do your brand report or brand guide correctly, it's going to be kind of like the Constitution. Do it thoroughly and it just doesn't change over time. Now, in time, you can change how you interpret it or how you apply it, but you're only going to make small tweaks to it over time, again, if you do it thoroughly, correctly, and accurately. This course was intended to give you the framework for personalizing your brand. To recap, human properties bring a sense of complexity, connection, relatability and loyalty. In order to succeed in business these days, you have to stand out and you have to connect. We get over 30,000 marketing messages a week. We are bombarded. So, it's essential for you to develop a clear brand. Humanizing your brand by developing the personal properties of your brand, it's just key. I hope you enjoyed the class. Remember, ask questions, reach out, message me directly. Stay in touch either through the platform or social media, the website, I offer a newsletter, I've got blog post, other resources. It just be great to stay connected. If you are interested in leaving reviews- Reviews are vital to the success of a class so I just want to thank you now for considering doing that and I'm just looking forward to connecting with you or seeing you in another class. Reach out anytime. Best wishes to you.