If there was a secret sauce for brand building, understanding your brand benefits would be the key ingredient.
In my previous post I outlined a simple way to highlight what makes your brand unique by defining your brand essence. If you haven’t taken the time to develop your brand essence, make sure to go back and read about it here. Once you understand the core values of your brand – personal or business – it’s time to build on that by defining your brand’s benefits. There are two types of brand benefits, feature based and emotional based. Features are usually easier to define, especially if you have a product you’re selling or if your career success is linked to easily measurable outcomes (professional athletes come to mind here.) Emotion based benefits can sometimes be more difficult to define, you really need to know your ideal audience before you can create an emotional connection for your brand.
Are you focused on strengthening your personal brand right now?
As you answer the following questions think about yourself in your professional environment as well as your personal life. Think about the people whose lives you touch. How do you show up for people and make a difference? What kind of feedback do you get (formally or informally) at work or in your everyday engagements with others? Answer these questions in as much detail as possible:
- What value do you bring to your relationships? Be as specific as possible. This could mean different things to different people in your life. Family, friends, a romantic partner, colleagues, your profession, your community. List them out here.
- What skills do you bring to your work? By work, I mean your profession or other important role you dedicate your time and energy to. This could be your role as a parent, caretaker or volunteer, not just the work you get paid to do (if any.) Make a list of these skills.
The lists from step 1 and 2 are your benefits. This is the value that you offer other people in your various relationships. Review your list and identify the most relevant benefits to your goals. For example, if you’re looking for a new job, recognizing that you love jobs where you can be a Jill of all trades and deliver whatever is needed of you to keep a business running smoothly is a valuable benefit. Once you identify this as one of your superpowers, you can get to work on finding jobs where this benefit is especially valuable, for example at a growing start-up company.
Are you building a brand right now?
Make sure you’ve done the work to answer the questions related to your personal brand in the first section. You can’t be an effective entrepreneur or business leader without a thoughtful personal brand that is aligned with your business. Once you’ve worked through your own brand, you can then focus on your business. Your goal here is to list all of the benefits your product or service provides your ideal customer. Don’t overthink this and worry about what your more established competitors are offering. To begin, I want you to list every benefit your business offers. Another way to work through this is to think about the specific problems your product or service solves for your ideal customer. Brainstorm as much as possible following the prompts below.
- What are the tangible benefits of my product or service? List out specific features as well as pain points your product or service solves.
- What are the emotional benefits of my product or service? Think about your ideal customer. How do their lives improve when they use your product or service? A simple way to answer this is to start with the age-old question, “What keeps my ideal customer up at night?” And then write down how you help them address this concern.
Now that you have a comprehensive list of your brand benefits, go back and review them. Identify the benefits that you excel at, remembering that you still need to tie this back to what your customers need. Tune in for my next post where I’ll walk through a simple process to help you define your brand attributes.
If you haven’t done the work to create your brand essence yet, don’t forget to check out my last post Building a new business or career? Start with this branding basic.
I’m always here to answer your questions. Let me know how you’re doing and where you’re stuck!