“Your brand is not your logo. That’s your trademark.” It’s not your tagline, it’s not your graphic corporate identify, it’s not really your product or service. Yes, they all contribute your brand, but “your brand is this and only this: how a target audience feels about you,” says Simone Joyaux, co-author of Keep Your Donors.
While this book focuses on the nonprofit community, it definitely applies to for-profit organizations, individuals who represent them or sole entrepreneurs.
The bottom line is that “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. … In other words, a brand is not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is,” Joyaux says when quoting Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap.
Your brand is what we trust you for: expertise, quality of service or product, character and ethics, customer service and responsiveness.
Our gut feeling and sense of trust is, of course, influenced by the way you communicate with us. As Joyaux says, “If, for instance, on your Web site you anticipate the real “frequently asked questions” of your target audience and supply frank, believable answers, then your organization will seem authentic, open, and trustworthy.
“Consider this statement on a research hospital’s Web site: “Do our methods always work? No, sadly. But failure can be a great teacher. Some of our biggest breakthroughs in treatment began as things didn’t turn out as we hoped.”
Joyaux also reminds us that “every contact between your organization and your target audience has the potential to brand you, either positively or negatively. … One community foundation gave its receptionist a new title, ‘Director of First Impressions’, ” which could become a lasting impression.
For more thoughts on our personal brands, check out previous posts:
What’s Your Personal Brand? http://sallychapralis.com/blog/?p=106
Brand New You and 1st Person PR http://sallychapralis.com/blog/?p=336
Tags: Branding and brands