In this new age of technology, we have seen the rise of bloggers, vloggers, YouTube sensations and an abundance of online boutiques like never before. Even the popularity of social media pages such as TheShadeRoom and BallerAlert, have become the flagships of this new phenomenon of what advertising and public relations looks like. Gone are the days of the “brick and mortar” ways of public relations and enter the new way of capitalizing and reaching your target audiences like ever before.
First off, one must understand the difference between branding and marketing because often time people believe these two words are interchangeable. Think of the push and pull method. Branding is the pull, whereas marketing is the push. Branding is simply the reason someone buys, while marketing is the reason someone thought to buy in the first place. Simply, branding is the why and marketing is the how (how you build awareness). There cannot be marketing without branding! If this does occur, then often times you do not see a profit, but more of an expense and wasted time and money.
When it comes to branding yourself or your business/product there are keys things you must recognize before you secure the bag. Therefore, you must ask yourself these simple questions.
1. KNOW THY SELF
Who are you? What are you trying to sell? What is your purpose? Why are you making this product? What makes me different? Why should someone buy my product? Why should someone want me on their team?
2. KNOW THY INDUSTRY
What is the income in this market? What is the profit vs expense in this industry? What are the new technology or formulas within your field? What new programs are being utilized? What conferences should I be affiliated with? What new skills should I possess?
3. KNOW THY COMPETITORS
What products are my competition selling? What is the price range of competitors’ products? Who are they working with? What distribution centers are they working with? Who are their audience? Who else is competing for the same job? What are the marketing strategies of my peers?
4. KNOW THY TARGET AUDIENCE
Who am I trying to sell my product to? What are the needs of my audience? How can I engage my audience? What is lacking with my products? What is the wants of my audience? Why do my audience need me?
5. KNOW THY END GOAL
Where do I see myself in 10-15 years from now? What am I trying to achieve short-term and long term?
Once these questions have been answering then starting your business or going for that dream jobs should be on the horizon. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy, but it will required hard work and dedication. However, you are not alone. There are people ready to assist you and your endeavors. With the age of technology and our trusty social media, finding individuals to help with building your brand is easy. I know what you’re thinking, “Why should I pay when I can save money and do it myself?” Well, why do it alone when you can do it together? Why stress and drive yourself crazy when you can enlist the help of professionals. We all the saying,” You must send money to make money” and this is no different. If we can make funds appear when we need are hair and nails did or to go get the latest shoes, we can make it appear for our brand. It’s time to invest in you!
If you are looking for professional help, and don’t know where to turn, especially if you live in Chicago or the Chicagoland area, you should know branding extraordinaire, freelance Brand Consultant and Founder of Brand Chicago L3C, Ms. Brittany Applegate. Applegate takes your brand no matter the stage and evolves it into the dream you always want. Plus, it’s a one stop shop and great to support our fellow Black Owned Businesses. So, today I challenge you to plant the seed and watch it grow.
Brittany Applegate Contact information:
Written by Freelance Writer Teresa Washington