The best way to market yourself is to build your brand. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.
If you already have started your own fitness business or thinking about setting it up, you will know there are all sorts of things you should be thinking about, such as;
- Registering yourself with the professional bodies for your sector
- Getting public liability insurance in place
- Registering as self employed
- Registering for National insurance contributions
- Opening a bank account
- Making provisions to meet your tax liabilities
- Registering your business
- Business location, and……..
- Developing on your brand – Don’t neglect branding – it is one of the most important parts of setting up a business.
So, what is a brand? And why is it so important for your new business?
Branding is much more than a logo or a set of colours – it’s is about the entire customer experience.
How do you want to look to your customers?? Face to face? On the telephone? On your website and on social media? How do you want to look to your competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? How do you want your brand to make your customers feel about the products and services you offer?
Creating a good brand doesn’t just happen… it is a well thought out strategic plan.
A strong brand will:
- Make you recognisable.
- It will help build confidence in your brand and help customers and potential customers feel at ease when buying your products or services.
- Differentiate you from the competition – making you stand out from the crowd
- Generate referrals, people love to wear brands and will tell others about the brands they love, therefore creating brand loyalty
- Keep you focused on your own goals and business direction by keeping you in line with your mission and vision for your business
- Help you connect with customers on an emotional level. Purchasing is an emotional experience and having a strong brand helps people feel good when they engage with your business
- Provide business value well beyond physical assets
When starting to think about your brand, it is often best to think first about your brand values.
Values sit at the very core of your brand. They’re the centre from which everything radiates—including your brand’s look (design), message (voice), and relationships (customer service).
Many small business owners skip this step of discovering their brand values because they consider other projects such as market analysis and product development are more important. This cutting of corners can be fatal to the longevity of your business. Without core values, a business lacks direction and the unifying power that will allow it to grow without losing its identity.
So, before you even think about what design you’d like as your brand logo, or how you’d like your brand to look, you need to determine what your brand should feel like. What values will it represent in the world?
- Nike feels like victory, like determination, like giving your best.
- Dyson feels like innovation, like creativity, and like making progress.
- Chanel feels like money, like elegance, and like fashion.
Write down the emotions and ideas you’d like your brand to communicate and the values you’d like to operate on.
How do you want your customers to feel when buying your products or services? Or, in other words, what’s important about the way you want to be doing business?
Tradition, innovation, creativity, colour, results, goal oriented, energy, stability, trust, risk-taking, artistic expression, reliable methods, timeliness, winning, improvement, speed, steadiness, something else?
Start by writing as many of these as you can come up with and then work through them by elimination to find your 3-5 core values.
We hope this was helpful. Good luck with developing your own brand….