I've been getting up on a soapbox over at Suddenly Marketing.
You see, I've become something of a geek when it comes to branding, and I'm tired of seeing branding get the short end of the stick.
Far too often, branding gets passed over for shinier, brighter, snazzier fellows like social media, integration, and beautiful new websites. It's not that I have anything against social media (total Twitter addict, here), integration (bring it on, baby!), or beautiful new websites (a picture is worth a thousand words ... when it's the right picture). BUT (and this is a big "but") none of those things work without branding.
Sure, you can skate by for a little while - adding widgets, joining Google+, hosting a webinar or two, and giving your homepage a makeover; but nothing will help you stand out in a crowded market like having something to say. And not just "something," but something important, something different, something that resonates with your intended audience - shines out like a beacon across an ocean of me-too marketing ploys and been-there-done-that pitches.
Your brand is your ace in the hole. It's the one thing no competitor can take away.
So, why do so many companies gloss over the branding exercise or skip it all together?
Because it's hard.
I guide companies and individuals through this process all the time. It's a primary cornerstone of my business. I have a process. I have experience. I have an eye for pulling out the underlying stories and themes that come together to create branding magic. But no matter how many times I go through this experience, it's still hard.
Getting to the core of something is never easy. You have to push through a lot of superficial stuff. You have to ask questions ... and more questions ... and more questions. And then you have to find answers. You have to boil the whole thing down to a few bite-sized nuggets of clarity that cut through the noise and - zing! - hit your audience right between the eyes.
It's hard, but it's SO worth it.
I'm not even close to being done with my rants at Suddenly Marketing, but swing by if you'd like to hear my sermon so far:
And let's talk about branding, shall we? Because it matters.
About the Author: Jamie helps her clients craft standout brands, transform ideas and visions into profitable content, and create rave-worthy brand experiences. Part strategist, part writer, and part cheerleader, she makes marketing fun. Enjoy more of her posts, visit her site at Suddenly Marketing, look her up on Twitter @suddenlyjamie, or drop her an email.
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Image Credit: John H. McCarthy