The other day, Bonnie Glendinning interviewed me for her upcoming event, The Thriving Artist Summit.
In our conversation, I mentioned to Bonnie that I viewed myself as someone who is building a lifestyle brand.
The idea that I view myself not just as a lifestyle brand, but as a brand at all, was really fascinating to Bonnie.
“Do you think it’s important for artists to view themselves as a brand?” she asked.
Not to give anything away, but the answer is unequivocally a YES!
If you are running a business, you have two choices. You can be a commodity or your can be a brand.
Commodities are interchangeable. Commodities compete on price. Commodities thrive on huge economies of scale. Commodities are all work and no play. In short, it’s hard to be a commodity.
But a brand…
Brands are full of infinite possibility. A brand can be anything. Brands stand for something. A brand is what customers respond to.
Brands are where the money is.
(To be fair, there are bargain brands and discount brands. But there are also high-end brands and luxury brands, and brands that we fall in love with, and dream about, and obsess over, and declare our loyalty too. These are the brands I’m really interested in.)
Whether you operate under you own name or the banner of a business name, thinking of yourself as a brand is essential to your success.
Having a strong brand is what allows you to charge higher prices, what makes you instantly recognizable, and what turns buyers into loyal customers and raving fans.
So what do I mean by brand?
Your brand is made up of three key elements – purpose, people, and presentation.
Purpose is what your brand stands for. It’s your WHY. It’s what you and your customers believe in.
Purpose is what helps turn your product into a statement. A rallying point. A symbol.
People are you, your team (if you have one), and your customers. People influence how your brand is perceived.
Some brands are personality brands. They thrive on the personality and celebrity of the owner or figurehead. Other brands are customer brands that focus on the mentality of the tribe. (Think DVF verses lululemon.)
One isn’t better than the other, but it’s important to understand which one is your primary branding strategy.
Presentation is your visual story. It’s everything from your products to your packaging to your website to your fonts, colors, mood, and more.
When most people think of branding, they think of presentation. But presentation, while 100% essential, is only sticky when it supports the purpose and people behind your brand.
Like it or not, we live in a brand-obsessed culture. (Personally, I think it’s a good thing. It provides endless opportunities for you and your business.)
As makers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the process or the product. But it’s the brand that your customers really want to buy into. It’s the brand that provides the potential for growth and opportunity.
It’s the brand that can really catapult you into success.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Because building a strong brand is so important to your success as a business, I’m making it the January focus of the Honors Program. And because I want to make the Honors Program as affordable as possible, I’ve added a twelve month payment plan option! Click here for all the details!