5 Principles Of Successful Brand Building

Kumar Gauraw

When you think branding, do you think of a logo, an advertisement on TV, radio or on the internet? You are not alone if you do that because branding is yet another misinterpreted and misunderstood  word.
principles of successful brand building for entrepreneurs and companies
Branding is usually identified with the practice of putting a symbol on a thing to indicate ownership. Companies have used their logos on the products they sell and campaigned to imprint their logs in people’s minds.

Do You Need A Logo For Personal Branding?

Recently, a gentleman sent me a review of my blog design and proposed that he could give me a better design and a better navigation for about $500.

Well, he should have known that I undertake web designing projects myself and I have been doing that work for a while now. Had he taken time to go to my profile, he would have figured that out. But, that is a different issue for another time.

In his remarks, he was pleased that I have a logo on my website – good for branding.

About that, I am still not sure if that is really a good thing, although a lot of Internet marketers promote the concept of having a logo.

I had created my logo without thinking that I am creating one. It just felt nice to me to put my initials and some styling around it before my name. It wasn’t a strategy planned logo design. It just looks nice and I kept it. That’s about it!

As I see it, for your personal branding, your headshot is unique and that is what people should remember when they think of your name, not your logo. Your headshot is the best image you can ever have to associate with your name. You don’t need a logo for personal branding.

A Little About Brand Building Practice

In the early days, ranchers used to put a unique mark on their cattle to indicate their ownership. Essentially, the same practice was later adopted by companies and it became a branding practice. They developed their logos and put them on their products. Over time, as the practice matured, they worked hard to develop compelling logos and started associating meaning with the design, and so on.

Technically, that brand building practice is still going strong. However, it’s no longer enough to convince the market of your brand identity. Today, a logo, an advertising campaign, and clever marketing techniques are not good enough to build a successful brand identity.

Today, a company’s brand identity is driven by more than one factor. It’s almost like a company culture. If you have a personal brand, it is more indicative of you as a person, of your behavior, of your thought processes. Branding is more comprehensive today than it has ever been.

5 Principles To Follow For Successful Brand Building

Let’s touch upon some of the most important branding principles that most successful brands follow.  Let’s also discuss why they are so important.

1. Identify Your Core Values

It is very important to define the core values of the brand identity you are trying to develop. Why is it so  important?

As an organization, it is very important for people involved to know about those values. Only with that understanding, your people can embrace the culture of your brand and operate in a way that is in alignment with your brand identity.
The idea is to focus on what you do best. Then make sure everybody in your organization is  able to communicate that message in a consistent manner. Your organizational culture should reflect your brand vision, mission and core values.

2. Define Your Target Market

Your brand needs a specific target market. When you appeal to everybody, you attract nobody. That is not a good situation to be in as an organization, as a company, or as an entrepreneur.

You need to know your ideal customer. You need to have a plan; a strategy to attract your ideal customer to you. Your branding efforts should go in the direction of attracting customers to that profile.

When you do this, you attract other people. But narrowing down the focus on the target market also helps your brand identity become more visible.

If you know Amy Porterfield, you also know that she is one of the foremost Facebook experts in the world. Amy narrowed her focus to target businesses that were only interested in Facebook marketing. It established her way faster than some others who branded themselves as social media marketing experts.

Do you think Amy also knows Twitter and LinkedIn and Pinterest? I am sure she does. But, it was a smart marketing strategy to establish herself in one market and build a strong brand identity. She succeeded!

3. Stay Consistent With Your Brand’s Message

Consistency is the key. It is very important that you communicate the core values and message of your brand. Whether through your actions or the actions of those who work with you, it must be consistent… everyday, everywhere.

That also means you need to have a plan in place so that you achieve consistency.

If your brand vision keeps changing every few days or every few months, it becomes hard for the market to understand your brand. That is why it is so important to pay really good attention to the points above.

4. Leverage All Form Of Media

I have spoken about this before and I want to reiterate. Along with having a great product, a great business model, and great people in your organization, it is equally important to promote yourself everywhere.

Companies have leveraged paper media ,TV, radio and internet – all forms of marketing to establish themselves. That principle doesn’t change.

However, if you are a small business owner and you have budget constraint, you can still leverage the most powerful media available to the common man today – the Internet.

You can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and so on, for text and image based marketing. You can also use podcasting platforms for audio marketing and channels like YouTube  and Vimeo etc. for video marketing. All of these come to you at a very minimum cost if you don’t have technical skills. Can it get any better?

5. Pay Attention To The Smallest Details

A culture isn’t developed and practiced through management talks at the top. The culture within the company is reflected through what happens at the ground level.

Southwest airlines is one of the finest examples of excellence at every level within an organization. If you have traveled Southwest airline, have you noticed how happy the crew is while doing their jobs? They board faster, they fly on time and land on time while keeping a genuine smile on their face. They look like they are really having fun while doing their jobs.

On the contrary, look at some of the pricier airlines and the kind of treatment you get. The crew never smiles, they don’t fly on time and, more than anything else, they make you feel as if they are doing you a favor by having you on board.

They are able to achieve that level of consistency in excellence because the company spends time and money in making sure that their mission, their vision and the core values are ingrained in their employees. They connect their employees with the purpose at every level.

The companies who do not pay attention to small details, make unhappy customers, unhappy employees, and an unhealthy brand identity in the marketplace.

Speaking of Southwest, I wanted to share a video here to show you how they connect their employees with their purpose. Imagine the impact when a new employee joining Southwest watches this video. Would they be a little more proud of their company, their brand? Check this out!

Your Turn – Share Your Thoughts Now

Can you think of any other important principle that should also be included for a successful brand building for any entrepreneur or company? Please share what your thoughts are through your comments and add value. Thank you kindly!

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Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

26 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I believe when people go for shopping, a brand is the symbol of status more than quality. Of course, only qualitative things generally are successful, but somethings and people become more popular and privileged to have or to be connected to, and they become brands.

    Over time brand implies quality, popularity, durability, reliability, trustworthiness, and a style statement. But its more about the psychological impact it makes on the people.

    I also believe a logo does help in facilitating easy visual identification, but generally the name is enough – it strikes more if it’s unique. You’re right about the headshot as a personal branding option. But I think it only works for bloggers, and when you talk of companies, a styled symbol or a logo is preferable.

    I agree with all of your principles to follow for successful brand building. Besides offering quality and targeting the right people in the best way, it is also important to impact the people’s mind and make them “feel” connected with the person, product, or company. For bloggers, I’d say its “authority” + “popularity” that helps create a brand.

    Great post and thanks for sharing!
    Vinay Recently Posted: Life Lessons From A Blind BloggerMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Vinay,

      You are right about the logo. It definitely makes more sense for companies and organizations while people such as bloggers and successful businessman are better off with their head shot. People like Neil Patel, John Maxwell, Tony Robins etc. are known through your individual head shots. They do not need a logo for themselves.

      On the other hand, Coca-Cola, Pepsi like companies are known and identified through their logo.

      In today’s atmosphere, branding is way more than just creating logos and doing advertisements. it is now a connection driven economy. the more people feel connected to the brand, the more likely they are to do business with them.

      Thank you for pointing that out and yes authority and popularity – goals are important for bloggers and their brand identity.

      Have a great week ahead.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  2. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Another great post.

    How funny those guys are trying to promote their services are aren’t they? At times I have some guys offering their writing services 🙂 So I smiled at what you said.

    You know, you’re right, I think that the best logo is your headshot. I actually had to scroll back up and look what your logo was! As for your headshot I knew it was there and that’s how I recognize your blog header. So your headshot is more important than your logo if you ask me.

    So, true the little details are what makes the difference, and your comparison with Southwest airline is a good one, indeed. When there are humans behind machines (big companies) it makes a whole lot of a difference, and we need to do the same with our online businesses as we promote them.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Sylviane Nuccio Recently Posted: How To Align Yourself With The Universe VideoMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Sylviane,

      I am glad that you enjoyed Southwest story. they are the latest and the greatest example of success because of their excellent attention to customer satisfaction. You said it right. when there are “HUMANS” really and genuinely committed to serving to find machines, it does make a whole lot of a difference for that to brand and the way it establishes its a brand identity in the marketplace.

      Regarding their gentleman, yes, I have no problem with with the fact that he tried to sell something to me. the problem, however, was that he did not take time to understand my real needs in a hurry to get me as a customer with a pitch that did not have any attractive value proposition 🙂

      Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts here and I wish you all the best for this new week.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  3. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    For entrepreneurs, bloggers, business owners and all other branding is the word which not that much easy to configure as it seems. There is always a question that how can people build their brand so that people will know them with their brand name?
    Consistency plays major role in branding. Using social platform with regular presence has the power to boost up a brand name in couple of months.
    There is not a specific time that people can build their brand. Taking baby steps is important.
    Having a logo added a great value to a brand. Though I haven’t made any logo for my blog yet but still I will do it for sure.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing post.:)

    Enjoy the weekend ahead.;)

    Ravi Chahar Recently Posted: What Is Gravatar And Why To Use It For Your Online Branding?My Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Ravi,

      You said it right. Consistency is very very important for success when it is for branding, whether it is for business development or in any other aspect of life. You have to commit to constantly put efforts in the right direction for success to show up.

      That’s an excellent point, indeed.

      Speaking of your logo, I am sure you would figure that out. Let me know if you need any help.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  4. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,
    Core values is an often overlooked component of branding. When you say branding people automatically think of obvious factors like logo, colors, etc.
    But, as the Southwest video shows, the intangibles like trust, rock solid values, reliability, honesty are the qualities that will bring in new customers and bring existing customers back.
    You bring up many great points to consider – thank you!
    Neena Recently Posted: The Many Roles of BloggingMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Absolutely correct Neena! Core values should be at the center of all activity we do in market to establish our grant identity and to grow our businesses. Integrity, reliability, trust are so important today in a connection driven economy.

      People and companies need to come out off that 20th-century mindset of creating logo and then running marketing campaigns to imprint those logos in people’s brains. Well, it doesn’t work anymore!

      Southwest airlines success is a true testimonial after the fact that people are no more loyal to brands because they are cheap. In fact people are willing to pay premium cost and stay loyal to a brand that makes them feel ” valued”.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you more.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  5. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I’m a bit torn about having a logo. I know the importance of it in branding, but haven’t felt the need to place a logo on one blog, but on my other post, I do. The reason is there are two different markets. One target audience a log would help as it is more visual in terms of the products and their results. The other is not as visual or immediately identifiable, so I guess my opinion is – it depends.

    Good read and good topic.

    Barbara Charles Recently Posted: How To Build An International Network Marketing – Part 1My Profile

    • Twitter:
      That’s a good way of looking at it Barbara. Put euro where you feel it’s needed and don’t worry about it when it’s not that significant.

      I also have logos created for my other businesses such as Krishna World Wide Team and Krishna World Wide Hosting. But, I don’t think I need a logo for this blog. People will remember this blog with my headshot better than they could so that logo.

      Thank you for dropping by and have a great new week.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  6. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I agree here with Sylviane and think that it is best to have a head shot of us. The reason being is sometimes, when I get to know someone and they have a logo, I forget who that person is. I find that it sticks in my mind better if they use their own name and head shot. Some do, some don’t , but I always remember the face.

    Knowing our brand and target market is imperative in order to conduct business. You have mentioned Amy Porterfield and how she is Branding on Facebook. When I see her name I think Facebook!

    Yes, I’m sure she is on other platforms, but by putting lots of energy one one specific platform is a wise business decision. She had chosen Facebook, so that is how we know her.

    Knowing our target audience is quite the fun job for me. I have been researching, testing, re-testing, and so on, to find exactly who it is. From age, interests, lifestyle, etc. There is so much you can find about your target audience, then apply your business in front of their eyeballs. That’s my favorite part of this post.

    All the rest of your information is spot on as usual.

    donna merrill Recently Posted: Blogging vs Facebook PagesMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for your kind words of appreciation. I am so glad to know that you enjoyed this post as well.

      Speaking of Amy Porterfield, actually you said it just the way I visualize. The moment I hear or think of her name,Facebook comes to my mind too. Isn’t it amazing how strongly she has been able to brand herself?

      I am glad to know that you also belong to the same school of thought that we do not need a logo for personal branding although if we are having a website for our business, that might need a logo.

      Thank you for stopping by and you have a wonderful new week.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  7. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar

    I love this post and it is something I have been really diving into recently.

    I think a head shot is sufficient for us if we are branding ourselves and I do not think we need a logo as you said.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with Rhonda and Brain Swan who have branded themselves as “The Unstoppable Family”. Rhonda also has an eBook on Branding. They with their young daughter have been traveling now for some years living the “internet lifestyle”. Their branding is so consistent an everything they do is inline with their brand.

    I think until we are really clear on our target market it is very difficult to build a brand as we are talking to no one really. That took me the longest time to understand.

    And of course our values. I think to really identify them helps us know who we want as our clients or team members.

    Thanks for this great post Kumar.

    Sue Price Recently Posted: Your Story Is Not Your OwnMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Sue,

      You are so absolutely right that having the knowledge of our target market is really really important for our personal branding. if I don’t know who my target market is, it is hard for me to brand myself. Who will value my brand?

      That is an excellent question.

      No, I had not heard about Rhonda and Brain Swan. But, now that you mentioned, I will check them out. I would like to explore how they do what they do and maybe I can pick up a couple of things from them. thank you for sharing about them.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  8. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar,

    I have to tell you that people like that really upset me. It’s like the people who use to call up my Mom and want to give her a bid for putting siding on the house. I use to love to answer the phone when I was there for those guys. She had a brick house you idiots. Do your research before you make a complete fool of yourself. Same goes with the guy cold calling you for a service you provide yourself. Duh!

    I think for individuals that we are our brands and the companies, especially the bigger they become, definitely need more of a logo. But if my name and your name is your URL then when people come to that site they instantly can picture us both and remember us well. Even if someone just mentions our names then our faces appear in their heads and to me that’s pretty darn good branding.

    I do think though that we need to hone in more on what we offer and I honestly need to start doing more of that. I can’t help myself though because I started this process just eager to share what I was learning. You can just talk so much about blogging without covering so many different aspects of it. Just like my post today, it was about commenting like mine last week was so there is just so much you can cover on these topics because they don’t change as often as other things do in our industry.

    I think though as time continues to go by although I’m known for a certain thing that I might be able to find a more dialed down niche. That’s what I’m hoping at least.

    By the way, I love Southwest Airlines because they are fast and I’ve never had a bad experience with them at all so thanks for using them as an example.

    Hope your week got off to a great start Kumar and all is well with you. I haven’t seen a response from you here so hope you’re okay and just busy.

    Adrienne Recently Posted: Revealed: Why You Need Blog Commenting RulesMy Profile

  9. Twitter:
    Hello Mr. Kumar
    As always thanking for your interesting posts.

    As I am still learning and as I’ve shared with you, I want my blog to be converted to a website. It is not just for blogging, so I believe I need a more defining headshot, but a logo as well.

    There are many different aspects of branding, but what stands out to me as very important is our core values.They speak of who we are within.

    I,too love Southwest because of their consideration of customers.
    Their service is excellent.

    Thank you for this educational posts.

    Gladys Recently Posted: The Strength of Core BeliefsMy Profile

  10. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Great article – quite interesting. I think you’re right about the headshot being the most unique thing for personal branding, but so is your name. That’s why I think it is important to have a logo even for a personal brand.

    My logo is my first and last name, and I had it turned into a video flash that I use on my video intros and outros, for very effective for branding.

    I definitely agree with your five principles for successful branding. It is definitely a skill to be able to communicate more values in a consistent manner and of paramount importance – As you say very well.

    I didn’t really narrow in on my target market until this year as this was a time I’ve gotten really focused on a more narrow market, and I am seeing really good results. 🙂

    Staying consistent is definitely a challenge, but very doable. Having a logo created by a professional company in high resolution that can be used across all social media platforms and basically anywhere on the net, is a really smart thing to do in order to have a congruent message.

    Small details are my specialty, sometimes to a fault! LOL

    Thank you so much for sharing this information is it really helped clarify some things for me, so thank you!

    – Carol
    Carol Amato Recently Posted: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Try Instagram and SnapchatMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Carol,

      Great to hear from you!

      Yes, I see a lot of people using logo even on their personal websites (including myself).

      However, I did accidentally as I already mentioned and it ended up becoming my logo 🙂

      It’s a personal choice to make and my point is, if you don’t have a logo for your personal name, I think it still is okay! You don’t have to beat yourself down for that.

      However, when it comes to a business website I see why having a logo is important because that is a visual identity for that company and when people see that logo they recognize the name.

      Speaking of target market, I already have told my theory and I appreciate that you took time to share how you narrow down your target market and you are having a better result. That’s a great testimonial! Thank you for sharing.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Lock Down Your WordPress Admin And Save Your Server ResourcesMy Profile

  11. Stuart Dell

    Thanks for sharing these. 🙂 Knowing these principles are very much needed! Successful branding is a bit hard these days! But I must say that social media has played a huge part in building a successful brand.

  12. I thought it was very interesting as I was looking at this about how you were talking about your target audience. Do you think your target audience can alter how you brand? especially how you make your logo?

    I’m curious to hear your opinion. I think that it can make a difference but I wonder if with design and other aspects if it depends too much or not.

  13. Thank you for the article. Great first point! Knowing your core values will be the basis for all your marketing thereafter. It will help with your brand consistency and help define you to potential customers.

  14. Twitter:
    Great post Kumar,

    Creating a brand really is important when you are creating your web presence. I am often surprised by people who won’t pony up and spend the money to create a great logo etc.

    It seems to me if your gonna spend your time online for business you should take the time to really think about creating a great brand that represents you and your company/products…

    Thanks for sharing these tips..
    Larry Rivera Recently Posted: Larry Rivera – Reclaiming My Rank Position OnlineMy Profile

  15. Being a designer I found this very useful. Brand/ Logo is something that represent your company, values and power of company. For this a decision should be taken carefully no matter what you can use a spare logo in beginning then you definitely need to have your own identity! nice to see this post!
    Saqib Ahmad Recently Posted: Free Golden Crown Logo TemplateMy Profile

  16. “Brand/ Logo is something that represent your company, values and power of company.”
    Couldn’t agree more with this comment from Saqib. For a newcomer, just make your company logo as simple as possible but it can make many people remembered your logo everytime and everywhere. Thanks for the great post.

  17. For branding design plays a very important role. The first priority if logo and the second is the design of the website and about the third one is the successful promotion of the business and to get the people aware about the services or product of the brand.

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.