I'm excited to talk to you today about branding your business in the wedding industry. I've been working closely with my mentorship clients as we build profitable businesses with a purpose. The wedding industry can be a tricky place to stand out, especially if you are in an area where the market is saturated with other talents. I'm excited to kick off this blog series that I am coining:
As I work with business owners, I ask them to describe their business brand. Most business owners have a misconception about what their brand is; they consider their business brand to be colors, textures, design elements, patterns and fonts. They see their business card and website as being the tools to communicate their brand. They use words like “classic, luxury, organized, and elegant.”
To me, all of that means nothing.
We entrepreneurs spend a lot of time obsessing about our brand and how it is portrayed in the market place. We brand, re-brand, refresh our brand, rejuvenate it, and then re-brand again in an ever vicious cycle to remain relevant and pretty. We tweak our brands, spend thousands of dollars on designers, business cards, client gifts and materials to communicate our brand to the masses.
With all that creative energy and money spent on having an appealing face for your business, ask yourself, have you spent the same amount of time working in your business to truly uncover who and what your brand is?
The answer is usually no.
Allow me to be clear about something with all of you: your logo and website are not your brand, they are merely just a conduit of who and what your business is. What truly defines your brand is you and your business' purpose, product and process — not your logo.
What truly defines your brand is you and your business' purpose, product, and process. Click To Tweet
Your business' logo and website are the face of your brand, but it doesn't mean anything. Your brand starts from within your business at the very basic level– it's those building blocks that you spent tireless hours putting together as you started your company.
Your business brand is the experience you offer your clients.
Your business brand it is the process of how you do business.
Your business brand is the way you interact with the world.
Your business brand is about how you follow up on what has been promised with actions.
And most of all, your business brand is who you are.
As my mentorship clients and I work on building their business from the ground up, we come to a point where we have to reevaluate the face of their company and ask ourselves if it mirrors the work we've done from within. Their businesses go through a series of changes– some radical– and as we define who they are, their purpose, product and process– the outside often doesn't reflect the changes inside.
That's because branding starts from within your business and manifests itself outward in your appearance– not the other way around. The very core values and principles that make up your company should define your brand.
I've put together five ways for you to start re-evaluating your business brand from the inside–
1. MAKE YOUR BUSINESS BRAND A REFLECTION OF YOU
Almost all businesses in the wedding industry started with the solo entrepreneur = you. Every part of your personality can be infused into your brand: your likes, dislikes, values, aesthetic, and the unique quirks that make up who you are. Often, business owners create brands they think will attract the kind of clientele they want– and the visual brand ends up being completely different from who they are. Don't we want likeminded people to hire us for the job that we do?
The easiest way to stand out in a crowded marketplace is to be yourself. No one can do what you do and no one can create what you create.
2. DISCOVER YOUR BUSINESSES PURPOSE
Discovering your business' purpose is often the hardest challenge which is why its one of the most important. We all start our business with a purpose– so ask yourself, what is yours? What does your business aim to do?
3. THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE IS PART OF YOUR BRAND
Defining your client experience is something that service based businesses tend to neglect. As a wedding planner, I provide a service that is not necessarily unique– but the experience in working with me and my company is unique. Have you defined your client experience? It is the one way your company stands out from a sea of competitors.
4. DESIGN SERVICES & PRODUCTS THAT COALESCE WITH YOUR BRAND
The services you offer should be a direct reflection of your brand. More often than not, companies compromise their services which in turn reflects the quality of their brand. Be purposeful about the services you offer and don't compromise them for clients looking to score a deal or want to devalue your service. Stay tuned for a blog post next week where I will talk about this in more depth.
5. DEFINE YOUR PROCESS
Every business needs a process in order to get the job done. Have you defined yours? Flying by the seat of your pants day-to-day may not be apparent to your clients, but it does reflect poorly on the experience you offer, your purpose and ultimately, your brand. You need a solid process in place from the moment a client finds your company until the last interaction with that customer.
Building a brand isn't an easy task, but neither is running a profitable business. If you are struggling with your businesses purpose, product and process– let's talk.