The moment you decide to build a brand, you have also decided to have a platform.
You cannot hide behind your brand and let it speak for you – people want to know who is behind your logo. They also want to know what your brand stands for … they want to connect.
Your brand platform can be distilled into five core areas; your stage, story, consistency, positioning and values. Here’s a deeper look at each:
Choose Your Stage
Your brand platform needs a stage. I used to be an actress, so I know how to take advantage of my stage (down stage and all of that!). Selecting a stage requires that you know “self”.
Be honest and aware of who you are; how much you can endure and are willing to sacrifice. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths will help dictate the best stage(s) for you.
What are examples of stages? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Path, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, blog talks, live events, meet-ups, all qualify as types of stages on which your brand platform can exist. These stages all have one thing in common: the necessity to showcase your most valuable asset – to create original content. If you don’t use the right channels to distribute that content, your message will not reach anyone and sooner or later you’ll have to exit stage left.
Tell Your Story
What is your personal story? What is your brand’s story? Essentially, they go hand in hand. You’ve never heard a brand story that didn’t somehow tie into the founder’s life revealing why the founder created their brand, the story behind the brand name or why they felt there was a market need for it.
Stories allow people in your industry to create connection and, ultimately, shape your brand identity. Everything goes back to that connection. Find different ways to tell your story and take every opportunity to tell it! Make that connection.
Consistency is, by far, the hardest thing. Not only because creating a consistent routine and actually sticking to it can be difficult, but because it is discouraging when you don’t get the feedback you expected or a steady increase in engagement. Just remember: People see you! Even if they don’t respond, “like” or comment – they see you.
Where exactly do you fit in? There are many people that do what you do, but how are you different? What is your unique selling proposition? You have to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The only way to stand out is to be your authentic self. You are unique and that is an advantage in itself.
Decipher Your Values
The things you value will be an important staple in the way you run your business. If you lack integrity, so will your business. Allow your values to speak through your business; people will connect much better that way.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Brand Guru. Creative Director. Victoria Reese is the founder of The Victor Group, a LA-based creative consulting agency. She is a self-proclaimed down-to-earth Detroit girl to the core, carries the Howard University (Washington, DC) heir like no other and has picked up the New York hustle and bustle along her journey. Connect with @picturethisvic on Twitter.