BRANDING, YOU FIRST

Bukola Olujobi
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As a startup, you are your brand first before your business. Whichever way it goes or happens, your personal brand has a lot to effect on your business. The life span of any business is based on mutual relationship: customer-business relationship, how well your brand is trusted, and what perception people have about you and your business.


The brand is that identity, symbol, or logo that creates a particular perception in people’s minds. It is that thing people see or say that automatically represents you or your business

The importance of branding cannot be over-emphasized; everybody is a brand even if you do not sell value to people in any way. This is because you can be identified, referred to, and identified with. A brand is an image, it is that substitute that can accurately feature your characteristics in your absence and make you appear present. It carries vital information about you: skills, beliefs, knowledge, passion, talents, weakness, and strength; your relationship with people, your entire build up and entire attributes.


As a business person and creative, you possess a dual-brand; a personal and business brand. Your brand is your symbol, the public perception of you. The incorporation of your skills, talents, passion, principles, struggles, habits, strength, and weakness influences your actions, how and what you do and would not do. 

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As a startup or an entrepreneur, the origin of the creativity that births your business or firm is you, so the root of your business brand can be traced to you. Before the inception of any business, your perseverance, decisions, consistencies, willingness to improve and solve problems birth the intention to provide value to society.

 

As a startup, your brand is that information your personality passes to the public, how the public perceives your personality. Your circle of influence – people who have a personal relationship or contact with you – are most times your first customers and a strong medium for marketing your business.

Building a personal brand in this case has a lot to do with self-development, how you present yourself, and identify with your customers. Who you are and what you do have a great influence on your business. Your business is an offshoot of your brand. 

 

Your personal brand entails your personal skills, knowledge, principles, integrity, quality relationship with people, talents, passion, strengths, and weaknesses, actions, and inactions. These are the major elements that will reveal your uniqueness to the public and thereafter influence how and what you do in your business.

 

Your personality answers the questions who, what and how

  • Skill/Talent: how good are you at what you do, your ability, your intelligence, how relevant is what you do, what solution do you provide, how creative and spectacular are you?
 
  • Passion: are you passionate about what you do, are you intentional about it? What is your drive, how far are you willing to go?
 
  • Reliability: are you reliable, trustworthy? Can people invest in you or your business? Can customers trust your brand anytime and any day?
 
  • Risk Taker: are you a risk taker or you prefer to watch people lead the way? How fearless are you? Are you afraid of novel ideas or implement them with care and confidence?
 
  • Relationship builder: how well do you manage people? How do you relate and identify with them or is it just the money for you?
 
  • Time management: time is money. An entrepreneur’s greatest resource is time; how well do you utilize it?
 
  • Confidence: do you believe in yourself and what you do? Are sure about the path you are on?
 
  • Willingness to learn: improving and updating yourself, learning from people in your line. Do you have a mentor to guide you or you rely solely on what you know?
 
  • Consistency: a very valuable tool, it helps you stay strong. With your goal in mind, how focused are you?
 

Essence of branding: 

  • Recognized IdentityValue 
  • Trust
  • Product Promotion
  • Perception: it helps position your business in a positive light within the market, it positions and creates the image of your company in the mind of your consumers. Therefore, it controls your marketing position
  • Preference: it gives you an edge over your competition. Your product or services are preferred.

The basis for a transaction is a mutual relationship and trust which exists between a brand and her customers. People are everywhere, when their perception of your brand is good, they will promote your business at every opportunity.

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