Thursday, August 23, 2012

“What’s Your Message? What’s Your Brand?”

Written By: Diane Kniowski
Date: August 23, 2012

I work in the image and perception business. I work in television.
The world of television is full of messages. Some of the messages are good; some of the messages are bad. All of the messages are powerful.
They are powerful because they project out to the masses.
I have learned from watching images and messages my entire career. Here is what I learned: If we are not defining ourselves, others will define us.

We define ourselves by how we dress, behave, communicate and more.
And so I want you to think about…what is your message?
What statement are you making with everything you do?

The best messages that I witness deliver a Brand message.
A brand is a promise of value.  The promise is that every time someone comes in contact with your brand, the person enjoys the same experience.  It should be a good experience. The person that you are projecting your Brand to has expectations that are fulfilled or met in a positive way with each encounter with you.
That consistent performance builds an emotional connection. The emotion connected to any experience with you is TRUST. People trust that any encounter with you is going to go well. People trust your brand because it delivers, every time.

So your brand is definitely built on how you handle yourself and deliver for people, but many other issues impact your brand. Your brand must focus on the personal experience, but it is shaped by all the other images around your brand.

What do you want your brand to look like? What is the image you want to project so more people choose your brand?  They won’t get to have a brand experience with you if you stop them by your outer image first.

Think about your own business. Does how you dress reflect what you want others to know about any experience with you. Is who you are networking with reflective of you?

So we are writers. We get to have creative freedom. I think we should still have a style.
From our business cards to our blogs to the organizations we join. It all makes a statement to any person who might do business with us. We need to craft the image and be brand conscious as we build our careers.

People can be brands. Think about Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey or Donald Trump. I can size up each of those brands in one word per person.
Martha Stewart – Home
Oprah Winfrey – Women
Donald Trump – Opulence

Maybe those are extreme examples, but each one of them started at a job and built upon their strengths in that field.

So how are you defining yourself in your field? What is the image you want to project? If you asked someone to define you in one word, what would that word be?

Want to build a brand? Ask others around you what is the message you currently send? That will give you a starting place. Then you can build and tweak from there.

We live in a world of too many messages. Make sure yours stands out. Make sure any experience with you provides a positive emotional experience. It builds a brand. And that builds repeat business. Now, go continue to build your image.

1 comment:

Patricia Kiyono said...

Thanks for posting this Diane! So many times we're so focused on our stories we forget about how we are presenting ourselves.