What is a Brand?

A blank stack of paper sitting next to a cup of coffee, mobile phone, and pen, on a wooden table.

I was recently at a round table discussion and someone brought up the need to bring in new staff to handle the additional workload. The conversation quickly turned into a lot of discussions about workforce development and how there are more jobs than people in our current economic climate. That then led to the question of how do you stand out, attract more talent, and showcase your true difference from other competitors? The answer is: Brand. Simply put, brand is everything these days and as younger people enter the workforce, they are trying to align their personal brands with your business brand.

Branding meaning, according to us

Let’s start this conversation with a couple of base understandings:

  1. A brand is more than your logo, fonts, and colors
  2. A brand is not what you say it is; it’s what they say it is
  3. A brand is a feeling

Your brand is so much more than the logo, fonts, and colors associated with your company. It’s the feeling that people have when they engage with your company.

Most businesses are started based on a true passion. Hence them going into business in that field, but this passion is rarely identified and showcased. As Simon Sinek discusses in his TedTalk on Leadership, an emotional connection encourages customers and prospects to react. Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle Framework’, emphasizes how a brand’s ‘why’ should utilize emotional appeals in order to drive exposure.

If you start to think of your brand from the perspective of your audience, then you start to focus more on values and the true passion that drives your business.  From there, you can start utilizing social media, your website, personal engagement, and more to make your brand come through on every channel people engage with.

Using your brand

Back at the round table discussion, when the topic was brought up about recruiting additional talents, my solution was brand. The younger and more competitive workforce development gets, the more people are going to start looking at companies’ brands to make sure that their own personal brand aligns with those businesses.

Think of it this way: if a potential new recruit is looking at similar jobs, one is through a large for-profit healthcare provider and another is through a start-up providing healthcare in underserved communities, which one do you think the new recruit would want to align their personal brand with?

Brand Value

We’ve been talking a lot about how to use your brand for recruiting, but you can also use your brand for just about anything from marketing to company culture. It’s the guiding light for when your company grows.

When it comes to using your brand in marketing, establishing a brand voice is key. Identifying specific words your brand is associated with will help create new messaging or content for outreach.

By establishing values and identifying the true brand essence, you give your business a foundation to handle any internal conflicts and a framework to create resolutions for your brand foundation instead of just acting on gut reactions.

Use your brand as a guiding light

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we use the brand for just about everything. It allows us to establish a difference between ourselves and our competitors and create a unique position for hiring talent. If you take the time to establish a brand and continually use it as your business develops, I promise you won’t regret it.

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