I’ve read a flotilla of articles and blogs about the importance of having a personal brand, and how key it is for companies to have a positioning that excites their target markets. Yet, I haven’t read anything to my satisfaction that clarifies in simple language all the terms that are bandied about.
The word “brand” has come to have many definitions. The key is that when you are working on your brand it is important to use a common vocabulary so that you and your colleagues are communicating in the same language.
Here are three simple definitions:
What is a brand?
- A brand is what an organization wishes to be known for. It’s the words you use to describe yourself and/or your company, and is the result of a strategic analysis to establish your unique selling proposition. It is an inside-out process.
What is positioning?
- Positioning is how an organization and the services it provides are perceived in the minds of its target audiences. It is looking from the outside-in. The challenge is to have your brand and positioning in alignment.
What is corporate identity?
- Corporate identity is the visual expression of the organization’s name, logo, tagline.
Now isn’t that simple to understand? What’s not simple is defining your brand, whether it’s personal or for a business. It is hard work to understand what makes you unique and what you are really selling. I haven’t figured it all out myself yet, and when I see that even the biggest companies mess up their brands (remember Coke?), then I take heart that I’ll get it right someday. How do you feel about your brand?