What’s Your Brand? (And what are you supposed to do with it?)

What is a brand?

According to Investopedia, “the term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual. Brands are intangible, which means you can’t actually touch or see them.”

That’s a semi-helpful definition, but it still leaves it a little washy. Let’s be more concrete.

A brand is the sum total of what your customer thinks and feels when they hear your name.

As such, you have some – but not total – control over your brand. Yes, you guide and direct it by what you say and do, but you don’t get the final say. (A terrifying thought and topic for another day.)

Now that we’ve defined what we’re talking about, what are you supposed to do with your brand? How do you wield it?

Simon Sinek helped us out when he said, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

In essence, you can use your brand as a banner to tell people what you believe. You wave that banner anytime you put your brand in front of eyeballs and ears. Advertising is generally, but not always, the most effective way to get your brand in front of people.

The stronger your brand the quicker you attract people who believe what you believe when they need what you sell. 

That’s because brand strength or weakness is really just about the clarity of thought and feeling you evoke in your customer. 

Do people have a kneejerk reaction, good or bad, when they hear your company name? Then you have a strong brand.

Are people indifferent to the pronouncement of your name? Then you might have a weak brand.

If that’s the case and you’re interested in strengthening your brand, then let’s talk about the big-picture roadmap to doing so next week.

– Zac Smith, VC