The "brand" is what defines you and sets you apart, a total concept created to attract and build a consumer base.
A brand aspires to be more than the sum of services and products you provide. It encompasses a lifestyle, a distinction, an approach and attitude to the content, presentation and delivery that showcase your presence in the market.
A successful brand is in equal harmony with all five senses – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.
The brand is a platform to highlight your vision, enables the delivery of the experience, showcases the culture, distinguishes your presence in the market, and communicates the team and leadership's approach.
When all of the above are in perfect harmony, the brand's name and logo instantly become recognized as the market leader.
Apple is a good example. The Apple brand is associated with ease and functionality – all of its products integrate and are designed to function together. Apple provides the ultimate experience in its market. It took the best of what its competitors had developed and repackaged them to create a seamless transition into what then was a totally new way of communicating.
Individually we all are our own brand – how we talk, listen, dress, approach a situation, see the world around us, react. How we distinguish ourselves and utilize our talents creates our personal style.
Consider these steps to build your brand:
Step One: Ask what lifestyle changes the brand will create.
Step Two: Consider to whom the brand will appeal.
Step Three: Decide how you will communicate delivery of this new experience.
Step Four: Find a way to stand apart with the new verbiage, visuals, deliver of the message and attitude.
Step Five: Plan a two-pronged approach to education--internally with your team and also with your customers.
Step Six: Weigh the pros and cons of starting totally fresh or converting an existing customer base.
Step Seven: Remember that most new ideas come from listening to customers' needs.
Step Eight: Keep it simple, keep it clean, start small.
Step Nine: Learn from your initial mistakes; remember that success is a series of mishaps.
CLICK HERE to read Labos first blog in the branding series, "Stay True to Your Vision."
Allan Labos has more than 30 years of beauty and style experience across the country and in Europe. He began his career under the tutelage of Vidal Sassoon in London and opened and managed Sassoon salons and schools in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. For the past 25 years he has owned and operated Akari, a 20,000-square-foot business in Portland, Maine. Akari offers hair, nail and spa services and also includes a boutique, fitness center and medical spa.