Your brand is one of the most valuable assets for you, your company or your business.
It is the reputation you have built for yourself. It is what the public and your stakeholders (clients, customers, suppliers, investors, employees, and business partners) think, say and believe about you or your business.
Unfortunately, many times we cannot control what others think or say about us. But we can control the message we project about ourselves by what we produce (quality), how we resolve conflicts, treat our customers/clients, add value to products and services among many other things.
For example, when I mention 98.4 Capital FM – automatically, what comes to mind for most people is the music we play and the posh events we hold. We are perceived to be an affluent brand, despite the fact that attracts a wide array of audience from various parts of the country.
Secondly, Capital is known for being an authoritative news company to the extent that often we have listeners calling in to confirm a breaking news story. On the other hand, our mission is to be a media house that does not only entertain, but also informs you. This is the brand we seek to build. As such, we present ourselves as a progressive voice that does not shy away from tackling weighty societal issues such as the Constitution, HIV & AIDS, welfare of the people, our green campaigns etc.
We have also made every effort to be a leader in the digital media frontier in Kenya.
If you have scoped our website, you will see that we have tried to meet specific needs for all our listeners. Now, the truth is that when a company wants to reach an audience that can be described as young, educated, progressive, informed, trendy etc… automatically we present the best option to them. In this case, the Capital brand is able to create wealth for us from the array of products and services we offer.
This is no different from an individual.
A personal brand represents a uniqueness that cannot be replicated or duplicated. I have always said that you can copy but you cannot duplicate.
It is the individual characteristics that you consistently exhibit to others that stand out. For young people who are trying to get employment or those in business, it is critical that you build the brand that you desire.
Figure out the following: What is it that is distinctive about you? What do the people around you say are your greatest strengths? What makes you stand out?
Building your brand means that you understand your unique features then capitalize on them to show how they can be of benefit to those around you. You can also use those features to bring the best out of the products or services you are providing.
Your unique feature must demonstrate benefit or value.
For example, if you are known for being a loud mouth, couple that with being informed on something of value like market trends – in the end you may become a voice of authority on market trends and the analysis you provide will be consumed by your fellow clients and the market in general.
Your personal or company brand can only create wealth for you, by demonstrating that it is of benefit to others. If people know for example that they can always count on you for advice, in the long run you can monetize that characteristic of dependability plus good advice.
As an entrepreneur, my colleagues know that I have business smarts that will consistently yield high returns. So when I go to them with a proposal or to the bank for a loan, I’m most likely to get what I need.
Your brand must not only demonstrate tangible benefits, it must also be able to allay the fears of those who want to invest in you, that you are not a risky venture.
Let your brand demonstrate that it is safe and worthy of risk.
Obviously, this is not all there is to branding. It means that as a person you cannot be afraid to set yourself apart and dare to be different. As the days draw near to the Global Entrepreneurship Forum that will be held in Nairobi, some of you will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with global business leaders and entrepreneurs.
You need to be able to sell yourself as a budding entrepreneur and businessperson. Capture their attention within the first 30 seconds; Let the person you are talking to take great interest and want to know more about your business venture. Your uniqueness is what draws others to yourself, like moths to a light. Embrace it, rejoice in it, and use it to create value and wealth for yourself and your brand.
You are your best salesperson. Only you can bring out the passion in you for the benefit of yourself and your business.