Recently, I sat down with a new client for a branding consult. She came to me because her business coach said she needed it. But she said, “What the hell is a branding person?” Good Question. Let’s break it down.
What is branding?
You’re now entering the subjective zone. You’ll find as many answers to this question as you find branding consultants.
Although the etymology of branding is varied, we can all imagine a rancher using a hot iron to brand his livestock. Each ranch had a distinct logo that made a permanent impression. Though originally intended to distinguish ownership, the logo reflected on the rancher, whether good or bad.
In many ways, branding is the connection of your sensual experiences to your company. People remember how they feel about you (affinity) and that is reflected back on the brand in the form of loyalty — and buying power.Branding is the persona your business has consisting of logo, colors, and reputation which all affect and reflect consumer affinity and loyalty. Click To Tweet
My good friend Robert Nissenbaum says,
“Branding is the practice of creating the look and ‘feel’ of your brand. Brand marketing is the practice of establishing your image, voice, and persona which identifies and differentiates you from your competitors.”
What is a branding person?
A branding person can be anything from a graphic designer who creates a brand standards document that has your logo, color palette, fonts, and usage, to a person or company who protects your reputation online. And that can range from brandyourself.com to identity protection.
While venting on Facebook about needing to work on my elevator pitch I got a few suggestions. One of them was from Chris Lema.
“Hi I’m Bridget Willard and I help companies with their online brand and reputation management by taking care of both social media monitoring and posting. I help your online brand by reinforcing your differentiated value on the social channels that are right for your business and your prospects.”
Sarah Pressler wrote: “Listen, I create magic. There’s no other way to put it.”
To me, a branding person is someone who understands the voice and tonality that you would like to project to the public. A branding person emulates that voice, replicates that voice, and protects it.
A branding person may even be a guide to your own self-awareness, helping you figure out what really is important to you and what values you’d like to elevate.A branding person helps your business find its voice to harness your power, to elevate your brand. It's that simple. Click To Tweet
Why do you need a branding consultant?
A branding person is more like a counselor in my view. Their job is to help you dig out of your person the essence of your passion. You’re too close. You’ve talked to too many of your friends. You have lost objectivity. You may have lost focus.
This is why many business coaches suggest meeting with a branding person. A brand is a persona — an organic, living thing. It needs life. A branding person gives your persona life. And life needs to be protected.A branding person helps you find yourself in the brand. It's very similar to a counselor. Click To Tweet
Can’t you just wing it?
You can. But you’ll fail and in a hard way.
People who wing it, without boundaries, are likely to fall prey to trending hashtags. They are easily distracted by the lure of humor. Not to mention starting endless projects that are so scattered that the company lacks focus — inwardly and outwardly.