Are You Brand Worthy? Are You Brand Worthy?

Branding is a one hot topic, although it is wildly misunderstood. To make things

even more confusing, branding is often tossed in the same basket as marketing

which makes its application to an entrepreneur or sole-practitioner even more


While out speaking on branding, the question that I hear most is “How do I know if

my business or service is brand material?” With businesses opening left and right,

and more and more closing each year, I’m glad there are smart business owners

open to understanding the issue.

If you’ve found yourself asking the same thing, don’t worry you’re not alone.

Perhaps, this can shed some light.

At a recent luncheon, the same question came up again in a different way. I was

seated next to an attorney whose sole practice focuses on elder abuse cases, he

asked me in rapid succession (a manner that showed me he’d be great in court):

“Isn’t branding for businesses that make a lot of stuff?”

“Doesn’t branding apply only if you want to sell a lot of stuff?”

“Isn’t branding pointless for my kind of business?”

Smiling, I fired back, “yes, yes, and… no”.

Yes, branding is most often associated with businesses that make a lot of stuff. Yes,

branding is advantageous if you want to sell a lot of stuff. No, branding is not

pointless because every business makes something (or offers a service) and wants

to sell it. Branding is about making your product or service known to as many

potential customers as possible, consistently, with the most effective use of your

time and money. Branding is about repeat business. Branding is about effortless

referrals. Wouldn’t that be a benefit to ANY business, especially yours?

To help you gain more brand-worthy clarity, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I really passionate about what I am doing with my business, service or

product? And I mean REALLY! If not, is there something more you can be doing in it

to turn your passion switch on? It takes an amazing amount of energy and

persistence to make a business take hold in the customer’s mind. With more and

more businesses competing for headspace, it’s imperative that you set yourself

apart. If you are not cooking with the fuel that passion gives you, you’re missing out

on a very crucial element that could mean the difference between thriving and


2. Do I have a big vision of my business, service or product? Do you dream of

reaching lots of customers in different ways with your product or service? Do you

see a way to deliver your product or service to an increasing amount of people with

less and less effort? Did you create a mindset or special approach in your field that

can be delivered in a variety of mediums, i.e.- speaking, books, audio CDs,

consulting, etc. Do you envision moving beyond an hour-for-hour way of providing

your service? All of these support a big vision. , Not only do we begin from the

inside out, when approaching your brand, we create from where you will be in five

years as if it is now. Small vision does just that, keeps you small. The choice is

always yours.

3. Is my product or service a real benefit to lots of customers? It’s important that

you answer this one as honestly and openly as possible. I was very passionate and

had a huge vision for a career as a mime! (Yes, you read that correctly… a mime.)

However, no amount of passion and vision would make people buy it on a large

scale. Thanks to Marceau Marceau, the mime card had been played out. You may

find that by being truthful with your answers will lead to branding even better

products and services.

4. Am I prepared to surround myself with a team or the knowledge to accomplish

the business success that developing my business as a brand delivers? The plus side

of being an entrepreneur is that you may wear many hats in your business. The

negative side is that you feel like you have to! The truth is, you don’t! You’re an

expert in your field and you need to honor that expertise by supporting it with a

variety of other skill sets to make your indelible mark; logo design, copywriting,

website design, your marketing plan creation and execution, and others. The

important thing is that you realize…you’re in command…because it’s your ship! And

being a commander takes knowing where you want to go, gathering the maps to

make the journey, and the crew to make it happen.

If your answers to these questions are yes, then you have the makings to develop

your business as a brand. You just need the knowledge and practice to do so. If

you’re shaky on some of the questions, find out why. Even if you never develop your

business as a brand, solid yeses to these simple questions will only make your

business more successful and more enjoyable. After all, isn’t that we all want?

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