Building A Strong Brand: Are you using your secret sauce?

Building your brand by Annemarie CrossOne of the wonderful professionals I’ve met via social networking is Annemarie Cross. Based in Australia, Annemarie is a branding specialist extraordinaire. That’s why I invited her to be a guest here on my blog. I hope you enjoy Part I of her insightful post about building a strong brand. Stay tuned for Part II: 4 Keys to Identifying Your Secret Sauce.

If I asked you to define the word ‘brand’ – what would you say?

If you answered: “it’s your business logo, your business card, letterhead, envelopes, with compliments slips, marketing material, brochures, website etc”, you’ve responded similarly to many other business owners.

While these things are all very important they are really more about the ‘branding’ elements that will help you to communicate your brand message to your prospects and clients.

Your ‘brand’ goes much deeper than these ‘branding’ elements.

Last week I shared a tip on Facebook, which sparked an interesting question. My post read:

“How many times have you reached out and added value to your community? This is vital for building your brand and reputation.”

Someone then asked the question:

“Sometimes it’s hard to find that niche and be unique. Everyone is copying an idea or another. How does one truly stand out? Integrity and honesty of course – but any other thoughts?”

What a great question.

I like to think of your ‘brand’ as the perception others have of you and your business. It’s your promise of value. Your reputation.

So, want to know what your brand’s secret sauce is? It’s YOU!

There may be hundreds of other coaches and consultants working in your field offering similar systems and processes as you do. However, what will truly set you apart – is you:

  • Your unique qualities.
  • Your mission and purpose.
  • Your core values and what you stand for.

Even though you may be speaking about a similar topic or sharing similar tips and advice, what WILL be different is ‘how’ you deliver the information and ‘HOW’ you show up in all of your interactions with your prospects and clients.

And while you may be concerned that others may try to copy you, rest assured that imitators will stand out for all the wrong reasons and most likely will end up tarnishing their reputation because of the false persona they are trying to portray.

In fact, trying to be something or someone that you’re not is extremely difficult to maintain and will often result in a confused brand and marketing message. And, a confused prospect says ‘no’ and will move on and that’s not what you want.

So, remember being authentic – just being ‘you’ is important.

If you find it difficult to define your core brand, in my next guest post I’ll reveal four key areas you should consider when identifying your brand’s secret sauce. Here’s to determining your brand’s secret sauce so that you too can stand out powerfully from the crowd to get more clients, get noticed, hired and paid what you’re worth.

In the meantime, do you have comments about your brand? Feel free to post them below. I’d love to hear from you.

Then, stay tuned for Part II of my post here on Debra’s blog: 4 Keys to Identifying Your Secret Sauce

Branding Strategist Annemarie CrossAnnemarie Cross is a Branding Strategist & Business Coach helping entrepreneurs create rich powerful and authentic signature brands that identifies who they are and magnetically attracts attention, opportunities and a steady flow of ideal clients. She may be contacted at: