No matter what field you are in or what your business is, you need to be branded. Why? Greater commercial success will allow you to fund new exploration, new technologies and innovation in your area of expertise.
What does a strong brand provide? It makes you more competitive because it:
- Delineates your fit within the industry & strengthens your position in your field
- Increases your value & stature in a group, which can lead to, more “choice” projects, more money and more opportunities
- Provides greater focus for the work you should be seeking (and the work you should avoid!)
- Allows the right people to find you (including clients, customers, sponsors and future employees)
So how do you build a stronger brand? By leveraging the science of marketing. It’s not just a wishy-washy “let’s-put-something-out-there-and-hope-for-the-best” approach. There is a specific process with tangible measurable steps along the way.
First, be clear:
- about who you are
- what you have to offer
- Who you serve
You are unique, and your contributions are different than others in your same field, because you approach problem-solving in a different way than others do.
Not all clients and customers were created equally. By refining the definition of your target audience and doing research to understand that audience, you can refine your marketing messages and media delivery. One helpful exercise is to think about how your customers/clients spend their days. What publications do they read? Where do they hang out? By thinking this through, you should be inspired to identify some new media outlets—places where you can begin to engage your audience in meaningful, on-going conversations that will build your brand and your business.
- About your product and services
- In your conversation with your target audience
- In talking about how you solve problems
Once you understand your target audience, it should become easy to talk in a compelling way about what problems you solve. Speak their language. Use their words, not your industry buzz words.
Engage them in conversation and build a relationship with them!
- In your messaging
- In where you appear
- In each consumer touch-point
You have to be consistent in branding yourself. Evaluate the various consumer or customer touch points and ask yourself whether they are all building to one cohesive impression of your brand.
If you focus your efforts on these three areas, you’ll strengthen your brand and you’ll strengthen the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math!
Rahna Barthelmess is Chief Branding Strategist for Beacon Marketing and author of the soon-to-be-released Turbo-Charge Your Career. For more branding insights, check out her website or reach out to her directly at Rahna@beacon-marketing.com or 860-254-5907.
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