In the last article I discussed the topic of Purpose as one of the two key items for business success. The second topic I want to address is that of Branding.
When I bring up the topic of branding, most people think of the logo and other graphic design elements consumers see on marketing material. But true branding goes much deeper. Not only does it go deeper, but it is hugely personal. It is so personal that it really comes from the owner’s identity.
BRANDING FROM IDENTITY
Jeremiah 1:5 says,
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
In other words, God has made each of us unique. And that same uniqueness makes up your identity that you should bridge into your business. If you focus on building the business around your identity, you will build a brand that stands out.
For example, what makes Apple unique from the rest of the computer and phone industry? For answers you will have to go back to the purpose and what drove Steve Jobs. In the 70s, he wanted to make personal computers accessible to the common person and not just to be used for business application.
In order to do so, Jobs was going to have to simplify and make computer language more intuitive. Over the decades, Apple has turned that purpose into building computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones that turn the most computer illiterate people into ravage texters, game players and photoshopping geeks.
What is the Apple brand? Simplicity and fun!
Even their marketing material reflects that image and creates that emotion. This was built by Steve Jobs’ passion to build computers that the average person would want to use.
IDENTIFYING YOUR BRAND
So, what is your brand?
Your brand comes from how God made you and is refined by your own experiences. From those experiences, both good and bad, your strengths and passions have developed.
As you recall the story of Joseph, he went from being a father’s favorite, to the ditch, sold into slavery, to jail and finally to becoming the prime minister of Egypt.
Each step of the way from the time he was sold into slavery, Joseph was the quintessential servant leader. Whether he was in Potiphar’s house, in jail or as prime minister of Egypt, he was always second-in-command but had almost complete authority to lead.
At every phase of his development he always showed his ability to be a good steward. That is why all of his masters put him in charge of many things.
So, take the time over these next few days and weeks to pray and reflect on the path that God has brought you through and look for that one attribute that seems to take center stage. That one attribute is your brand.
Once you’ve identified your brand, ask God, “What is significant about this, and how will this apply to my business?” Remember to stop talking and listen to His response. You will be amazed at what He says.
Once you’ve identified your brand and understand how it will apply to your business, make sure that everything you do to build your business fits your brand. As you do this on a consistent basis, your business will continue to fulfill God’s purpose!
Robert Fukui serves as a deacon for HRock Church and a marketing industry professional. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and has spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing for corporations such as Coca-Cola, Novartis Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He is the founder of High Point Marketing, the director of Wagner Leadership Institute-Marketplace and the current president of the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce.