It’s no surprise that ten different people have ten different definitions of what a brand is. As I work with people who are trying to create brands associated with products or their personal brand tied their life’s work, I ask them to consider a definition I really like: A brand is the emotional connection you form with your constituents – that often defies logic.
These are the ties to products, services and people that are created through emotional connection – the choice of your favorite talk radio host, the cup of Starbucks you pay premium for, the physician you see for your medical care, the reason you might choose Jimmy Johns vs McDonalds for lunch or the HVAC guy who services your furnace every year.
Successful branding includes yes – an effective solution or message for the buyer, and yes – inspiration for people to feel something about you or your product or service that moves them to buy it, choose what you personally offer or follow you.
Effective brands are not always the cheapest (americangiant.com) not always extensively known, (sistergolden.com) not the biggest, (liftekelevator.com) or the most sophisticated (mypillow.com) Brands that win, find a way to people’s feelings. Effective brands can definitely be supported with a snappy logo, a clever tag line, great design and compelling content.
Effective personal brands evolve when individuals convey what is perceived by their followers, clients and peers as authentic, genuine and real. People who demonstrate “heart”, and no pretense. People who are well aligned with, and have a passion for the work they do. The best, most influential personal brands are human, show some vulnerability, and are relatable and honest.