In our modern society it isn’t enough to be the best at something, to declare yourself as the champion or number one in the field; a strategy is required to reveal to the world who you are and that you are the best. The specialists are calling it brand, the entity created around a product, company and even a person.
The freelance community quickly understood the power of branding and embraced it. Letting down the scholar definition, a brand is something that makes people aware of somebody being the best in his domain or offers high quality.
Recently, Apple was named as the most powerful brand and studying their products, it is pretty simple to realize why. Any freelancer, in order to become successful, should apply a strategy branding else he risks not being “existent” to any client.Unfortunately, the process of branding can’t be measured and only few indicators may reveal the evolution of the process; more, the results are immaterial and these are coming after a long period of time. All these features make a complicated panoramic picture and only few manage to obtain good results.
Here, a few considerations, which must be taken into account to develop a fruitful strategy of branding, are pointed out; it is a great reward to the author if somebody finds other important tips and shares these with us by using the comment form.
1. Continuity in everything connected to
Definitely, it is different to brand a person than to brand a product but the most important common element is the continuity. The first sign of turning into a brand is the recognition by people but they don’t have time to observe the chain of changes so avoid often “improvements”. A good object of study is the big brands and here the examples are obvious, i.e. Coca-Cola who hasn’t changed its logo for decades. The idea behind this tip is pretty simple: the usual folk is never learning by heart intentionally; a logo or the name of a company; once the branding process is developing, the potential customer may find out the name of it and start paying attention. Changing the name or the logo will make the customer indecisive, he knew a logo, but actually it is different…
2. Long/ever lasting process
I said previously but to emphasize the importance I create a special paragraph, branding isn’t a two weeks deal. The big names invested immense human and financial resources to get to this point so it is hard to do it in a shorter time with less money. The process of branding for a freelancer starts with a cool logo presented both on the website portfolio and business card, keep on with quality services. Finally, we can talk about a complete strategy, which must pass the exam of the time. My personal advice: don’t be upset if the results aren’t coming rapidly, it is normal.
3. The details make the big difference
Almost everyone knows that a brand is a necessity, however the big question is how one manages turning in successful examples of personal branding. An important factor in this equation of success is played by the details. A veritable strategy must be very attentive to the preferences of each individual; any neglected persons must be considered a potentially lost big client. Also, any complete strategy must be scheduled to the finest details but it must be re-evaluated frequently to the demands of the people.
4. Quality always triumphs
Personally, I consider this tip the most important one because quality services/products always compensate any shortfall approach regarding the branding process. World of mouth is still a very powerful source of advertising & branding and the main fuel of this is the quality. Take your own example: if you find a very good post, won’t you share it via social media?
Contrary, let’s suppose that a product is well promoted but its quality is modest, clearly people will buy it but definitely won’t do it twice!
5. Branding without advertising is impossible
The entire strategy of branding can’t be ever imagined without advertising, one considers these terms partially synonymy and hardly distinguish them. The advertising must be regarded as a component of the branding with a major role. Even though it is a conventional campaign, online or/and offline the advertising must be presented and everyone should pay attention to it because here, the image received by the people, who must be regarded as the potential customers, is crafted. Adidas is spending huge budgets for cool advertising materials and the results are obviously positive.
6. Usually, the money invested is proportional with the profit
A brand is a huge resource consuming and the budgets allocated are becoming higher and higher. Another rule (not necessarily, but very often happening) is that, an amateur approach to branding results in an image of an amateurish brand while a professional team creates a quality one. The conclusion of this logical enhancement is that spending a lot of money isn’t a sign of disaster unless it isn’t very carefully studied regarding the expenses and the profits brought. I will never say that someone should invest amazing amounts of money to create a powerful brand but the exceptions are rare.
7. Each next step must be calculated, each previous one must be studied
The financial recession we just passed (or maybe we are still facing) makes us understand that any dollar must be spent wisely. To create a powerful image serious investment is required and as a consequence a strict accountability is welcomed. In a nutshell, the problem is simple: each previous action must be studied to see if the results were better or worse than expected and each next step must be build on the past experiences avoiding as much as possible the unknown factors in the equation of branding.
I hope to help anyone who is promoting a brand, here are only few theoretical aspects, the big problems are coming when effectively work on it, but with lot of patience and work everything is possible.