125 Tips for Building an Irresistible Brand

image of the word brand

There are countless blogs and articles on the web that proclaim the importance of building a unique brand.

But how, exactly, do you create a brand that’s irresistible to your audience and positions you as an authority?

And how do you do it if you’ve never built one before?

In the comments of my last post, The Rockstar Guide to Getting More Traffic, Fame, and Success, many of you said you were having trouble finding your unique style and turning it into a brand.

So, today I’m going to share 125 of the questions and tips I use when developing a brand for my clients.

The tips in this list will help you gather research, and take the specific steps necessary to create a brand that’s unique to your personality.

How to use this list

To help walk you through the process of creating your brand, I’ve grouped this list into five categories: know yourself, know your audience, know your competition, building a brand experience, and implementation tips.

In order to build an irresistible brand, you need to take what you learn about yourself, your audience, and your competition and blend that research with your own personality to create a style that attracts your audience.

The first three sections ask you questions that help you pull together the information you need to create your style, while the rest of the list gives you specific steps you can take to turn that style into an irresistible brand.

Ready? Here we go …

Know yourself

1. What drives you? Is there an emotion, need, desire, or past event that motivates you to take action? How can you infuse some of that energy into your brand?

2. What are you passionate about? What gets you excited, angry, or motivated to take action? How can you let your passion come through in your brand?

3. What are your strengths? Everyone has specific skills or personality traits that they are especially good at. What are yours? How can your strengths help support your brand?

4. What are your weaknesses? Weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you’re not as strong in those areas. In fact, acknowledging your weaknesses instead of hiding them makes your brand more human.

5. What is your personality type? Are you a “type-a” personality? A “pleaser?” Maybe you’re an extroverted sanguine or an ambitious choleric. Getting to know your own personality traits is the first step to infusing your brand with your personality.

6. What is your story? Everyone has a story. Yours might be a “rags to riches” story or maybe an inspirational “beating the odds” story. What elements of your story can you bring to your brand to make it more interesting?

7. What is your background? Where did you come from? What are your training, your education, and your experience in your niche? Did you change careers when you got started in your current niche, or did you grow up doing what you do now? Where does your background fit within your brand?

8. What are you most talented at? What is the one thing you do better than anyone else you know? Is it part of what you’re doing now? If not, why not? Can you integrate your special talent into your brand?

9. What do you have the most experience doing? Sometimes what we’re talented at and what we have the most experience doing for a career are two different things. Does your experience match up with your talents? Where does your career experience fit in your overall brand?

10. Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market? Why did you start doing what you do now? Was it by choice, or were you forced into it? Are you passionate enough about it to build a brand around it?

11. What do you plan to offer? What products / services do you plan to promote? Are you going to be providing information as a resource only? If you are going to sell something, what will be your flagship product? How does that decision affect your branding?

12. What makes you unique? Are you a punk rocker who munches apples and writes about stories? Maybe you’re a reclusive hermit who writes about social media. What elements of your personality, experience, skills and niche can you blend together to put a fresh spin on your topic? How can you build a brand around that uniqueness?

13. What hobbies or interests do you have? What interests and activities do you enjoy outside of your niche? How can you integrate elements of those interests into your brand to help make it unique? Can you become the “skateboarding CEO” or the “mountain-climbing granny” to infuse some personality into your brand?

14. What are your core beliefs? Remaining true to your core values is an important part of making your brand authentic. How can your brand reflect what you believe and live by?

15. What makes you uncomfortable? Are you afraid of public speaking? Does confrontation make you squirm? Knowing what makes you uncomfortable will help you prepare your brand for dealing with those situations when they arise.

16. If money were no object, and you could do anything you wanted for “work,” would you still do what you’re doing now? This is more of a “gut check” question. Before you spend the time and money building a brand around what you’re doing, are you sure you want to continue in that niche?

17. What are your favorite colors? Colors convey specific messages and affect response rates, so choosing the right colors for your brand is important. How do your favorite colors compare with the colors preferred by your audience?

18. Is there a specific design style that you really like? Do you prefer modern, futuristic, minimalist, or some other design style? How does the style you prefer compare to the style preferred by your audience?

19. What emotion(s) do people associate with you? Do the people around you describe you as happy, impatient, angry, or some other emotional trait? Does that emotion come through in your brand?

20. What brands / designs from other companies make you jealous? Don’t try to copy the look or style of someone else’s brand. However, looking at other brands may help spark some ideas for your own.

21. How do you describe what you do? If you had only one sentence to describe what you do, what would you say? Are you using the same words your audience uses to describe what you do?

22. What are your goals? It’s important to plan for the future when creating your brand so it will stand the test of time. What are your plans for the future, and how does your brand fit into that picture?

23. What is your message? When your audience sees your brand, what is the primary message you want the brand to convey? Is there a specific emotion you want them to feel when they see it?

24. What are you really selling? Someone once said “people don’t buy drill bits, they buy holes.” What is your audience really buying from you, and how can you reinforce that with your brand?

25. What is your level of commitment? This is another “gut check” question. Building, implementing, and maintaining a brand requires commitment. How committed are you to the brand you’re building? Will you still feel confident you made the right decisions about your brand five years from now?

Know your audience

26. What gender is your audience? Are they mostly male, female, or a pretty even mix? How does that affect the styling for your brand?

27. How old are they? The age of your audience makes a big difference in the styling and presentation of your brand. It also affects the voice and message you use when you connect with your audience.

28. What generational values do they have? Baby Boomers respond to brands differently than Generation X does – and Generation Y (the Net Generation) responds differently than either of them. Do you know what generation profile your audience is from?

29. What is their household income level? Is your audience middle-class, wealthy, or barely able to pay the bills? How does price and affordability affect the brand you’re building?

30. Where do they live? Is your brand targeted to an audience that’s national, worldwide, or just your local neighborhood? Will that affect how you present your brand?

31. What are their hobbies and interests? Does your audience share any of your hobbies and interests? Can you convey that with your brand?

32. What is their marital status? Are they married, single, divorced, widowed, or engaged? Does their marital status affect they way they will perceive your brand?

33. Do they have kids? Having children changes the way you think about life and money. If your audience have kids, will that help your brand or present some challenges?

34. Do they have pets? For many pet owners, their pets are their “surrogate kids.” How does pet ownership figure into your brand? Does it present any advantages that will help your audience connect with you?

35. What kind of computer are they likely to own (if any)? As you build your brand it’s important to think about what type of technology people are most likely to be using when they interact with you. For example, will your audience spend more time with your brand on a laptop, iPad, or smart phone?

36. Do they have any special needs or health issues? It’s important to take special needs into consideration when developing your brand. For example, some people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury can have seizures if presented with bright, flashing colors. Does your audience have any special needs you need to be mindful of?

37. What TV shows do they prefer? Which television shows people watch can tell you a lot about their personality. For example, according to a study done by Mindset Media, people who watch the hit show “Mad Men” are creative and socially liberal. Knowing what shows they watch can give you clues about how to build a brand that they relate to.

38. What blogs do they read? Is your audience avid blog readers? Do they even know what a blog is? Knowing what blogs your audience frequents will help give you insight into the topics that interest them so you can incorporate that into your branding.

39. What other websites do they visit most often? Again, knowing what websites your audience spends the most time on helps you understand what topics, issues, and leisure activities are important to them. It also gives you some clues about how and where to promote your brand.

40. Are they active in social media? Is your audience addicted to Twitter and Facebook, or scared to death of them? Does your audience intentionally boycott social media as a frivolous waste of time or invasion of privacy? How does that affect the plans you have for your blog?

41. What career level are they at? Aspiring college graduates that are new to the workforce have a different perspective than experienced “veterans” of the corporate world. Where does your audience fit into that spectrum, and how does that affect your branding?

42. What is the highest education level they’ve achieved? Is your audience high school dropouts, college graduates, or do they have a PhD? How does their level of education change the way you present your brand and its sophistication?

43. How much of their shopping is done online? Knowing how comfortable your audience is making purchases online is important if your brand will have a heavy online presence, or if you plan to sell anything online.

44. Do they subscribe to any magazines or publications? Knowing which magazines your audience subscribes to can be a great source of research. For example, most magazines have media kits available on their websites that detail the demographics and lifestyle of their readers.

45. What is their greatest fear? Developing your brand around something that reduces or eliminates the fear your audience feels over a topic or situation is a powerful means of attracting them to your brand.

46. What is their greatest frustration? If your audience is frustrated over a problem, how can you build your brand around the solution? If you can do that, your audience will feel excited they’ve found the answer to their problem in your brand.

47. What is their greatest hope or dream? Does your audience have a common hope or dream you can incorporate into your brand that they relate to?

48. What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Do you know what causes your audience to seek your help in the first place? What problem or event triggers their initial search? How can you position your brand as the solution to that problem?

49. Are there any products or services they buy regularly? Does your audience always shop at high-end luxury retailers, or technology stores? Knowing where your audience shops will help you craft a style that feels familiar and inviting to them.

50. Is there anything you have in common with them? Sharing a common interest, problem, skill, or passion with your audience can give you a huge advantage when building your brand. The common ground you have will help your audience identify with your brand and engage them faster – encouraging interaction and more sales.

Know your competition

51. Who is your competition? Everyone in every niche has a competitor. Even if you don’t have someone in your niche that offers the same products / services / information as you do, there’s always someone you compete with in search engine rankings for your keywords. Know who they are.

52. What makes them a competitor? Are they offering the same things you are to the same audience, are they competing with you for the same keywords, or are they a friend that you compete with for fun?

53. How do they describe what makes them unique? What words and tone of voice are they using to convey what they do? How does their description differ from yours? Do you need to adjust your branding to make your description more appealing to your audience than theirs is?

54. What do they offer? What services, products, and information do they offer to their audience? Do they offer anything you don’t? How can you adjust your branding accordingly so what they offer seems outdated, inferior, or irrelevant?

55. Do they charge for what they offer? If so, how does their pricing compare to yours? Do you need to tweak your brand to look more / less expensive than what they offer, or look like a better value for the money?

56. Are they marketing to the same audience as you? If it appears they’re marketing to a different audience, you might need to re-evaluate whom your audience really is.

57. What are they better at than you? Take an objective look at their business, their services, and their brand. What do they do better than you? How will that affect your branding? Do you need to compensate for that weakness, or display it proudly?

58. What are you better at than them? Which of your strengths can you emphasize in your branding to give yourself a competitive advantage?

59. What colors do they use in their brand? Pay attention to the colors your competitors are using. If they’re all using similar color schemes, it could be because your audience prefers those colors. You also want to make sure you don’t use the exact same colors as a competitor and confuse your audience about who’s who.

60. How would you describe the design style of their brand? Is it modern, conservative, futuristic, or funky? How does their style compare with what you’ve learned about your audience’s tastes? Do you need to adjust your style to connect with your audience at a deeper level than they do?

61. What kind of Internet marketing presence do they have? Do they seem to be everywhere, or do they barely have a functional website? Does that make it easier for you to launch your brand online, or more challenging?

62. Are they trying to attract an audience from a specific geographic area? Are they targeting a local, regional, national, or international audience? Where do they have gaps in their coverage that you could fill?

63. How active are they in promoting their brand? Is their brand a household name in your industry, or has nobody heard of them? How can you position your brand as the leader in your niche?

64. Does your niche have a national or regional trade association? Are they a member? Trade associations are great sources of research on your niche. Many of them have online membership databases that let you view the websites for each member, giving you a wider sampling of data.

65. What “voice” do they use in their branding? Do they communicate with their audience in a formal or informal manner? Does their style seem to be more conversational or professional? How does that compare with your brand?

66. How much of a “threat” are they as a competitor? Do you expect to be competing with them for the attention (or money) of your audience, or do they pose no threat to you? Is there an opportunity for you to position your brand as the leader in your niche?

67. What is their value proposition? Is the value they provide their audience obvious, or is it difficult to find? Can you do a better job of conveying value to the same audience with your brand?

68. What are they really selling? Just like you, what they offer and what their audience really wants may be two different things. Does it look like they understand this point, or is there an opportunity for your brand to outshine them in this area?

69. What is their style? Are they corporate or informal? Do they seem cold, distant, and mechanical, or do they seem warm, approachable, and human? Do you see any obvious reason they chose that style? How does their style compare with the one you’ve planned for your brand?

70. Why do you think their audience likes them? This is somewhat speculative, but do you notice a predominant reason their audience is drawn to them? Does that need to be addressed with your brand?

71. Is there anything they might have overlooked? Is there something they’ve overlooked in their branding you can capitalize on to connect with your audience better, and make them irrelevant at the same time?

72. How strong is their relationship with their audience? Is their audience highly engaged with them, or is there an opportunity for your brand to take the top spot in their audience’s mind?

73. How responsive are they? Do they keep their audience waiting and wondering, or are do they have stellar communication skills? How will you need to address responsiveness with your brand to be competitive?

74. Is what they offer readily available? Does their audience have trouble getting what your competition offers, or can they easily get their hands on it? How will you position your brand in relation to that level of availability?

75. What emotional need do they fill for their audience? Are they satisfying the core need their audience has, or is there room for your brand to provide a higher level of satisfaction?

Build a brand experience

76. Branding is more than just design and corporate identities. Branding is about the experience your audience has when interacting with you, in addition to the identity elements like your logo, colors, etc. Don’t just stop at developing the logo, build an experience if you want an irresistible brand.

77. Be accessible. Nothing frustrates your audience more than not being able to reach you when they have a need for what you offer. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you.

78. Build goodwill. If you want to build referrals and word-of-mouth advertising for your brand, you need to foster goodwill with customers and your general audience. This involves delivering positive experiences and being a good “corporate citizen” with your brand.

79. Create positive experiences. You can’t please everybody, but try anyway. Always do your part to give your audience the very best experience you can each time they interact with you. Give them the “rockstar treatment” and make them feel special.

80. Keep your word. If you promise something to a customer on a certain date, make sure you deliver on or before that date. Following through on your promises is important if you want a positive reputation for your brand.

81. Deliver more value than they expect. What can you do to surprise them with added value they weren’t expecting? It doesn’t have to be anything big. Making your customer smile is the goal. For example, I once ordered a pair of shoes from Zappos with standard shipping, and received an e-mail about an hour later saying they had upgraded me to express shipping at no extra charge.

82. Be a good “citizen”. Don’t be the type of brand that people only hear from when you’re selling something or want something from them. Contribute to the larger community by being a “giver” as well.

83. Show up. Don’t get lazy about your brand. If you want to build a brand that your audience respects as an authority, you need to put the work in to earn that respect. Be there when your audience expects you to be, and put your best effort into everything you do.

84. Try to help people. One of the most powerful ways to connect with people is to help them. If you can incorporate this into your brand, you’ll find your audience much more receptive to you. But your efforts must be based on a genuine desire to help. People can spot selfish generosity in a heartbeat.

85. Be generous. Don’t be stingy with how you share your time or talents. Incorporate a little generosity into your branding and it will help you build trust and goodwill with your audience.

86. Be gracious. You will encounter people who are rude, irate, or misunderstand your intentions. Be gracious in how you respond. By taking the “high road” you’ll gain the respect of your audience, and might even convert that rude naysayer into a true fan.

87. Cultivate relationships. Don’t think of your brand as a facade or decoration to what you do – that’s what paint is for. Build relationships with your audience if you want to foster brand loyalty.

88. Seek feedback. Let your audience know, in no uncertain terms, that you want their feedback so you can improve and serve them better. And when you get feedback, don’t be shy about letting your audience know you’ve acted on it.

89. Be honest. Most people instinctively know not to lie outright, but many more are willing to conceal facts or bend the truth to suit their needs. Once your brand’s reputation is damaged, it’s time consuming and costly to repair. Be honest with your audience and maintain their trust.

90. Encourage participation. Acting on the feedback of your audience in a public manner helps them feel like they’re involved. For example, Conan O’Brien recently made a public change to the opening credits for his show based on a YouTube video from a fan. You can check out the story here. Get your audience involved and they’ll quickly become fans.

91. Keep the big picture in mind. Always consider your overall brand in everything you do. Make sure that what you provide your audience, whether content, services, products, or free stuff serves to build your brand, not detract from it.

92. Relax. Avoid presenting yourself in a stiff, formal manner unless your audience is also stiff and formal. You want your brand to seem human and approachable, not cold and aloof. So relax a little and let your audience see your human side.

93. Have fun. Victor Borge used to say, “a smile is the shortest distance between people.” The same is true for your brand. If you’re having fun, your audience will sense it and start to have fun themselves.

94. Connect with people who can promote you. Tooting your own horn will only get you so far. If you want to gain exposure, build authority, and get more people interested in your brand, take the time to connect with people who can promote you.

95. Take the lead. Your audience doesn’t always know what they need from you, they just know they have a problem they need solved. Guide them. Help them understand how you can solve their problem or meet their need.

96. Always give your best. To help build positive experiences, always put forth your best effort. I once hired an attorney at the rate of $250/hr who kept overlooking important information I had already provided him because he was rushing through his work. Bring your “A game” to everything you do for your audience.

97. Be informative. Help your audience see you as a resource by providing them with information that is useful to them. Keep them informed of your progress on their project. Help them understand your niche and what you do. Educate them about what you offer.

98. Be accommodating. Everyone’s life is hectic these days. Sometimes the best way you can create a positive brand experience for a customer is to just be accommodating to their situation. Maybe they can only meet after hours, or need a few extra minutes with you to understand how to use what they purchased. Regardless of their need, if you make it easy for them to do business with you, they’ll remember it and tell their friends.

99. Be reassuring. Understand that when your audience buys something from you, they’re vulnerable to a certain amount of buyer’s remorse. Help them feel good about their decision by reaffirming the reason they bought it in the first place.

100. Avoid hard sell tactics. No one likes those “in your face” salesmen. If you get pushy about your sales, your audience will back away. Stay away from hard-sell tactics if you want to keep your audience interested and buying.

Now, implement

101. Be consistent. A key component to any successful brand is consistency. Always present yourself and your brand in the same manner in whichever media you’re using. That means using the same imagery, tone, style, and message in print, on air, in person, and online.

102. Develop a logo. Your brand needs an identifying mark. It can be artwork, nicely styled text, or a combination of the two – but create a logo so your audience can visually identify your brand.

103. Create a corporate identity package. You may never use them, but develop a business card, letterhead, and envelope design for your brand anyway. Doing this step will help you solidify the design style for the rest of your brand, and you’ll have the designs ready to go if you ever need them.

104. Use colors that convey the message you want to send. Each color of the rainbow conveys a specific meaning, and affects how people respond. Make sure the colors you choose for your brand will have the desired effect with your audience.

105. Use a design style your audience relates to. Your audience is likely to respond better to one design style over another. Use the research you’ve done on your audience to craft a style that resonates with them.

106. Choose a design style that enhances your credibility. In addition to creating a style your audience likes, you need to make sure your design strengthens your brand and its position in your niche.

107. Develop design elements that can be used on all your marketing. As you create your design style, develop specific design elements that will work across your whole brand to tie it all together visually.

108. Be original. Don’t try to copy what someone else did with his or her brand. Create your own style based on your research and your personality if you want to build a brand that’s interesting to your audience.

109. Let your “freak flag” fly. Don’t be afraid to infuse your brand with your personality. Your individual personality is what will make your brand unique and interesting.

110. Create a web presence that is consistent. Make sure your Internet marketing is inline with the rest of your brand. Build your website using the same design style and colors as the rest of your brand. Customize your social media profiles and avatars in the same way.

111. If you struggle with creativity, find help. Your brand will be central to your marketing, and will be at the forefront of your audience’s attention. If you’re not good at creative thinking, invest in some outside help. You’ll enjoy better response to your brand with a professionally designed style than something you settled for because it was the best you could do on your own.

112. Keep your audience at the center of all you do. Never lose sight of your audience and their needs. Without them, your brand is worthless.

113. Get specific with your style, right down to fonts. The style you craft for your brand needs to be specific and detailed. You should drill it right down to the specific colors, fonts, and even paper stock you plan to use. Being that specific will help you maintain your branding down the road.

114. Create a “creative standards manual”. A creative standards manual is a simple document that spells out the design details of your brand. This manual becomes indispensable for making sure your branding is consistent when you need to hire a different designer, printer, or other creative services company.

115. Be mindful of your stage presence. Whenever you’re in the public eye (in front of your audience), make sure you present yourself in a manner that’s consistent with your overall brand. Never make the mistake of diminishing your brand or damaging your credibility by getting careless with your actions.

116. Use the language your audience uses. If your readers use industry jargon, you should too. On the other hand, if they’re confused and annoyed by industry buzzwords, shape your copy accordingly. Make it easier for your audience to understand what you do by using the same terminology they do.

117. Never roll out a new brand in stages. Conducting business with part using your old brand, and part using your new brand will confuse your audience. Wait to roll out your new brand until you can rebrand everything with your new look.

118. Don’t try to promote more than one brand to the same audience at the same time. Again, promoting multiple brands to the same audience will only serve to confuse that audience. Pick one brand to move forward with and promote that.

119. Develop brand ambassadors. Put extra effort into encouraging, educating, and supporting members of your audience who send you lots of referrals. They are your brand ambassadors and are better at developing quality leads for your business than a sales team.

120. Never settle for good enough. Mediocrity is the cancer of branding. As soon as you start to settle for “good enough” instead of your best, your brand will begin to decline. Always insist on excellence.

121. Be informal. Remember that people buy from people, even in the business-to-business world. Make sure your brand doesn’t distance you from your audience. Instead, focus on building a brand that’s warm, informal, and inviting to your audience.

122. Don’t go overboard. Some people take the advice to “be unique” too far and create things like business cards that don’t fit in any Rolodex or cardholder, or promotional mailers that can’t be saved for later reference. Make sure your uniqueness is balanced with usefulness.

123. Adapt. Over time, your audience will grow and change. Make sure the brand you build will be able to grow with them if you want it to remain relevant.

124. Give your brand a face. There’s a reason corporations hire spokesmen and create mascots. Your brand needs a “face” your audience can connect with. That might be you, an employee, or a mascot you create, but you need to give your audience someone that can be the face of your brand.

125. Infuse everything you do in your brand. Your brand needs to permeate every aspect of what you do in order to have the desired effect. Make sure nothing slips through the cracks unbranded or displaying an old style.

Believe it or not, this list barely scratches the surface of tips for creating a brand. If you have a tip you didn’t see in this list, please share it with us in the comments below!

About the Author: Logan Zanelli is the author of How to Go from Boring to Rockstar in 30 Days, a course that teaches you how to build a unique style and become the “rockstar” of your niche.

P.S.

Looking for more solid techniques about branding, business, and making a living online? Check out Copyblogger’s free email newsletter, Internet Marketing for Smart People. It kicks off with a 20-part tutorial on the most critical elements for online marketing success — without sleaze, spam, or hype. Click here to learn more about it.

Print Friendly

Smarter is Better Solutions for Smarter Content Marketing

Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  • 15 high-impact ebooks on content marketing, SEO, email marketing, landing pages, keyword research, and more.
  • A 20-part Internet marketing course that lays out a comprehensive path for your own online strategy.
  • An organized reference guide to the “best of the best” of Copyblogger.com, and how it all profitably fits together.
Free Registration

Take The Conversation Further ...

We'd love to know your thoughts on this article.
Meet us over on Google+ or Twitter to join the conversation right now!

Comments

  1. Logan:

    I really like today’s post. Maybe it’s the depth of the post. Perhaps it’s the excellent questions you asked about each main point.

    The only drawback is defining brand. The businessdictionary dot com defines it as, “Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. ”

    Next, you engage us in the five categories: know yourself, know your audience, know your competition, building a brand experience, and implementation tips.

    Finally – but most importantly – you ask some engaging questions, on the five categories.

    “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”~Socrates. But you know what makes Socrates wise? He knew the right questions to ask.

    Randy

    • Thats true! Many dont realize what a Brand is. And much less realize how to promote and monetize a Brand. I guess its the clarity with which one approaches which will make all the difference.

      • Randy, I think it was alright that Logan did not define the word “brand”. It was implicit and the questions were given precisely so that the readers can understand the concept of branding. To define is to limit understanding. To ask question is to expand understanding.

    • @Randy,

      Just to let you know that your comments make visiting Copyblogger.com an experience.

      A real thought provoking post today. Answering these questions is going to take some effort and time, no doubt. But it is an experience that will leave one with a totally different perception of self.

      Thanks for posting.

    • Wow, this is all inclusive. It’s more like a e-book!

      Nice work.

  2. It comes down to knowing who you are and where your going on the road of success. Get answer from your today follows and see what they need from you. Adjust your thinking be getting on task and making your daily planning into an must do. It will come down to just being consistence..Great List Logan..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  3. What an amazing post! Think I’ll print it and laminate it….

    I like 94 as this can easily be forgotten as the logo and fonts are decided on – I’d also add “Give your ‘promoters’ a voice and somewhere they can share their problems and discussions”. A facebook page is one idea.

    Am just off to switch the laminator on….

    Thanks again Logan for a super post.

    Lucy

  4. I’m using this post as a worksheet. Planning to fill it out with my own answers and put it up on my wall. This is perfect for anyone who’s struggling with stage one in building their business. Thanks so much Logan.

    • That’s exactly the right idea Paul. Using this post as a worksheet will help your implementation. Glad you found it helpful! :)

    • I read the post and thought the exact same thing that Paul did! Have you made your worksheet yet? How did it work for you? Basically, I just wanted to know if you had any suggestions before I get started.

      Thanks!

  5. That’s just awesome! Great thanks!

  6. Fantastic post! Great questions that spark thought and action. Sometimes when you are doing work you love, it is easy to overlook important facets of your brand. Thanks for shining a broad light here. This is a reference I will use throughout the year.

    Bold on!

    s

  7. Great list, Logan. Thanks so much!

    I will be referring clients to this post when we consult with them on building an irresistible brand.

    I hope 2011 is absolutely amazing for you.

    Kerry

  8. Wonderful! With Logan’s permission, I shall use a part of this article on my future training session with lyceum students on business theme :)

    A easy to digest piece of writing

  9. Absolutely great list!

    Thanks

  10. Good advice.

    Thank you.

  11. Logan –

    Great post….I can’t really pick a favorite on the list since there are so many great thoughts here. One thing about brand to me is to ask yourself this question: “If there were other businesses to choose from, would my customers continue to choose mine?”

    If the answer is a resounding “Yes” then you have done a great job at not only customer experience but building a brand as well.

    :-)

  12. Thanks for the good post. I have a comment about #118.

    Perhaps it would be useful if you added a few comments about the difference between a brand and a product.

    For instance, is Copyblogger a brand or a product? What about Scribe – the SEO product that Copyblogger offers: is it a product, or a separate brand?

    And when I see Scribe being advertised in the sidebar of Copyblogger, is it counter to #118 about not marketing more than one brand – if indeed it is a separate brand – to the same audience?

    How about Agora Publishing? They cross market all of their brands (or are they products?) – such as an e-newsletter for investors, another for internet marketer and others – through their flagship newsletter, Early to Rise.

    A little clarification for someone like myself – people who want to start profitable blogs – might be helpful. Thanks.

    Ken

    • Yes, Scribe is a separate brand of Copyblogger Media, as is StudioPress, Teaching Sells, Third Tribe and the upcoming Premise. But in our model, the brand attraction is strongly centered around the media brand Copyblogger, with satellite product and service brands.

      In other words, Copyblogger is usually how people find us thanks to the free content. Then and only then do we introduce people to the product and service brands, which eliminates any confusion.

      This is one way in which a content marketing model works. It seems to be working pretty well. ;-)

    • Great question Ken. In addition to what Brian said, you can also think of it this way…

      You have a primary or “parent” brand for your blog that appeals to your entire audience (in this case, Copyblogger). Each of your products or services are a “child” brand of sorts that will target a segment of your audience who are most likely to buy that offering.

      When done right, this works because the product brand is used as a method of qualifying and attracting the portion of your overall audience who need that product.

      So even though you promote your product to the whole audience, the two brands don’t conflict and confuse people because you’ve made it obvious that the product is a product and not your primary brand.

      Hope that helps :)

      • Thank you for all the questions and suggestions. I feel that if one will simply go through each number, and answer or implement them, then he’ll surely come up with a better brand.

        This additional explanation also help me examine my primary brand. Is it my blog or my seminars?

        Thank you.

  13. Great set of questions and advice to think over and implement Logan! I worked on asking myself several of these and implementing them over the last several months. The next step is to continue moving forward while still asking myself these questions to help guide my actions and keep me on track.

  14. Wow, lots to think about in this post. Love the ‘know your audience’ section, which unfortunately is often skipped over, despite being one the most important parts of any plan. Thanks for the in-depth advice!

  15. This post speaks to me. Great information. Branding yourself is the key to any and every successful empire. Just look at geico, wal-mart and target.

  16. Brain your posts are awesome. Your website have been a great resource for me from the day I read Darren book in which he has mentioned your blogs and copy-writing tutorials too.

    All these 125 ways will help everyone to stand out of crowd if done we do it correctly. I will make a list figure out all 125 ways.

    Thanks,
    Kai

  17. This is wonderful…love how you keep getting back to the word “authentic.” THAT (to me), in a nutshell, is what attracts others to us (blog) and/or our product. Be consistent. I would love to know more about the diff personality types and how that intel affects a r-e-al-l-y small biz. Extroverted sanguine comes to mind (the magnetic “never met a stranger,” dreamer, etc. No wonder I can’t sleep. GREAT stuff…will pass along.

  18. Great list of questions. Without a clear vision for your brand you risk finding yourself being shaped by your followers into something you never intended. Of course, this will happen to some degree as your brand evolves, but a clear vision at the start helps you morph in your intended direction.

    This list is going to be a lot of help to me.

    • That’s a good point Tammi. The brand you develop needs to be able to evolve and grow with your business and your audience – otherwise it will limit you rather than help you grow. But that growth needs to be balanced against your vision and long-term goals to help your brand evolve rather than react.

      Thanks for bringing that up!

  19. This is definitely a post that I will be turning back to quite often because I am trying to not only build a irresistible brand for myself, but build an incredible brand for my company. Branding is all about creating powerful relationships by providing value to your customers and addressing the needs of your audience.

  20. This is one great list,the thing that always becomes
    a problem for me though is the seemingly
    contradicting idea of “good enough” and
    something like Ready Fire Aim.In other
    words,put something out there, and make
    adjustments to it.Can you comment about
    this,they seem to say opposing ideas.
    thanks, Ron

    • Great question Ron – in fact, I get asked that a lot. Here’s my opinion.

      Making something the best you can at the time, launching it, and continuing to make it better is not the same as shrugging your shoulders and saying “eh, good enough,” because you’re tired of working on it or are too lazy to put any more effort in.

      So when I refer to not settling for “good enough,” it’s the latter of the two I’m talking about. If you never settle for less than your best effort, you’ll be in good shape.

  21. I find your 125 tips to building an irresistible brand quite informative. I am new to the internet as a web site owner. Actually, my site is not as refined as I would like it to be. But I am encouraged to know that it is ok to launch it, so long as I am continuing to make improvements. Thanks for the article.

  22. I really liked that the list starts with exploration of the person who creates the brand. It is critical to brand success. The only point I would add to this list is “Evolve your brand”. Based on my experience starting an online boutique at http://www.fashionvortex.com I learned that the brand evolves with your business and you need to update your message and brand image at least once a year.

  23. at present branding your product is too important that you can’t realize it. Social media is there for you to get any hype and make it sucessful in no time. Realize your strengths and listen as much as you can and implement them into your work. In no time you will make a brand from nothing to more than you can’t think off

  24. I can’t wait to answer each and every one of these questions. Thanks for the fabulous resource and soon-to-be acquired blogging (and personal) insight.

  25. Great post worthy of printing out. I loved the tip about the “freak flag”. Boring and the status quo is definitely a brand killer.

  26. As a limousine software company I have come across some limo companies that have done a great job creating their brand and others that have not. Tips like these can really help companies from any industry build a foundation for the type of brand they want to become.

    Thank-you!

  27. I don’t print blog posts as a general rule, but I’m printing this one. I’m going to take the thing into the bathtub with me, where with jets blasting and hot water (maybe TMI–sorry ;) ), I’m going to study this list and make notes and polish up my brand. Thanks so much for this. It’s like getting a book in a blog post. :)

  28. Great article, and a great reference for people looking to make a difference with their brand. This is the day and age where time and effort and make all the difference, where in the past you needed huge financial backing. With a little organization, passion, an internet connection, and a plan, you can make miracles happen, and with a list like this guiding you, you are well on your way to achieving your goals, so long as your goals are aligned properly with the needs of your business/brand.

  29. More gold from copyblogger! There’s a special copyblogger section on my artist community. :)

  30. I like the question-driven approach and the simple frame.

    I also like the fact that being a rock star in your niche doesn’t require playing the guitar or big-80’s hair, although that might help.

  31. An interesting list, but just the sheer length of it shows how hard it is to make a brand irresistible. It seems to me that business people as a whole are trapped in the illusion of makeability.

    • Thanks for the feedback Pepita. Actually, building a great brand isn’t hard – it just takes an investment of time. This is a big list, and at first glance it may seem a bit overwhelming. But if you take a close look at the questions, you’ll notice they’re pretty easy to answer if you spend a little bit of time doing so.

      • Hi Logan, thanks for your reply but I cannot disagree with you more. I think you are creating the illusion that building a brand only needs time. In my experience that is not true. Of course you need time to build a brand, but you have to make the right choices. Every question in that list is a question that you can answer in more than one way. That is what my whole point of makeability is about. And then I am not even adressing the issue of empirical proof for that list. But that is just my opinion and letting my “freaky” flag fly:-)

        • Variety is the spice of life – that’s what makes differing opinions so great. Without them, life would be dull indeed.

          I think we’ll have to “agree to disagree” on this issue Pepita. I respect your opinion, but there’s no illusion here. This list is based on my own 15 years of experience helping both large companies and small businesses build effective brands.

          It can be done. It’s not too hard for an entrepreneur who’s willing to invest the time and effort. And even though the questions can be answered in more than one way, when you balance them against each other a pattern will emerge that you can take action on.

          Finally, no brand is “perfect” when it’s initially launched. There are always things that can be adjusted to make it more effective – which is why it’s important to continue tweaking and honing your brand over time.

          Thanks for your feedback, and by all means, keep letting that “freak flag” fly. :)

  32. Wow that is some list to mull over. I think I will have to agree with Pepita, the fact that you have listed so many in the list makes it seem incredibly difficult the task is.

  33. Logan, this is one of the best articles I’ve read on Copyblogger and you’ve got a lot of competition here! I specifically logged onto Copyblogger this morning because one of the largest radio stations in Atlanta somehow came across my website and want to interview me on the air this Friday and of course this is the first place I came to for advice.

    Being a guest speaker is an incredible opportunity for my company but I’m freaking out wondering how to represent my company and entice people to visit my site (and buy my product of course). I hope branding is the answer.

    Thank you again for this great article. And if you’re not too busy maybe you can churn out a quick article on “How to Shine If You Land a Guest Spot on the Radio” – any time before Friday would be good!

    Jennifer
    http://www.EightyEightPercent.com

  34. Excellent article!
    I will print the item to have on hand.

    If all brands see this article mainly the new brands would be helpful.

    Greetings

  35. Logan, wow! What an output!

    I love tip #125. It’s easy to forget that brand doesn’t stop at marketing material.

    To add to what you said to ‘infuse everything you do in your brand’, I recommend creating really good templates for your documents. If you’re creating a report for a customer, or spreadsheet or slideshow or a diagram for your report, these should also be consistent with your brand.

    When the company I work for implemented its brand in 2003, I was responsible for what I call ‘practical implementation’ of the brand: the things outside of marketing that are required to make the brand practical to use by everyone within the company.

    I was tasked with implementing the style sheet created by the designers, and turning their pretty pictures of document pages and slides into usable, and I emphasise ‘usable’, MS Office templates. It was a considerable task. I also developed a style manual (not the same as #114) to ensure there were clear instructions for documentation standards to ensure consistency. I’m repeating the exercise to implement our brand using Office 2010.

    Templates and a style manual are the best enablers I know of for preparing consistent documents for your customers.

    • Great point Mark. Templates are a great way to ensure brand consistency across documents that you produce on a regular basis (like the ones you mentioned).

  36. Hi Logan,

    I’ve subscribed to Copyblogger for quite sometime but when I’ve read this on my email, I think it’s exactly what I needed. So I had the urge to repost it on my blog and latter decided to take it down because you did a great job and you sure don’t deserve a replica. Well researched and well written, thank you for sharing! :-)

  37. This is an incredibly comprehensive list that really helps bring about focus when tackling branding and communications strategy. It’s so important for businesses to understand that a brand isn’t a logo or a website, but rather an identity communicated through those tools and in many other ways as well.

  38. I loved the article. It was in depth and cover quite a bit of ground. I hope we can take much of what is listed here to brand out products.

  39. Logan –

    You’ve captured not only the particulars but the full sweep of the key point most all of us face – defining, living, and effectively communicating our brand. You’ve laid out a remarkable group of extremely useful, actionable, concise, and well-written topics, each of which deserves our attention.

    Thanks very much for your great post!

  40. Very useful information that I will be referring to again and again. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Logan, You are Simply Excellent. Thank you so much.

  42. I agree with most of the comments referring to this post as a great tool for training or pre-consulting work for clients. Nice job. Some of my students are excited about branding themselves but may get stuck when they try to move forward with getting started. This type of list can serve as a catalyst to get someone “un-stuck”.

    I’ll pass this on. Thanks.

    Victor

  43. A magnifying lens can be used to focus sunlight (energy) and create a fire. This may take a while, but the effort will have been worth it.

    This article is a very powerful “magnifying lens”. If used, it can provide you with a great deal of focus. True, it may take some time… but the effort is worth it!

    Thanks for the fabulous post. Lookin’ forward to going over the list for myself and getting super-focused.

  44. This is truly amazing advice. I am thankful you have given it away to us for free. I have copied all the questions into a word doc where I will answer them all in detail for myself. These are all crucial questions to know the answer to in order to provide a seamless user experience.

    Thanks so much!

  45. Logan,
    Wow what a list! Great information and a lot to process. It’s basically my entire Master’s degree in one blog post and I think it’s awesome. I like how you broke down the 125 tips into categories and particularly like the way you ordered them. You can’t go anywhere with a brand (be that personal, product, service etc.) without a clear sense of self.
    Thanks for the post! Looking forward to using more of your advice for @brand_uu

    ~Andrea

  46. This article blew me away. The content in it is worth 1000 dollars, I tihnk I will have to go through it few times to get as much from it as I can. Thanks a lot Logan. Looking forward to reading more from you.
    Greg

  47. David Bhattacharjie :

    Great Stuff. I am using this as a guide line with my sales team as also my PR & Ad Agency.
    David.

  48. I love these thought-provoking introspective questions. “Know thyself” is such a wise moniker for any type of entrepreneur. Before you can sell a brand, you must start with a clean mental slate. You need to make sure your long and short term goals are realistic and that you’re emotionally prepared for whatever waves come your way. It also helps to enjoy the process and live in the moment, which is what I focused on in my blog this week.

  49. I started my firm in 2005 and came out the gate with personal branding. Like real estate professionals, I put my photo on print materials and our website. With social media, we’ve been able to grow our community. What frustrates me is when I check out folks’ Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin pages and cannot make out what they do. It’s important to know because we log that information in our CRM system. Even more frustrating are the folks that have several websites, services and products that are not really inter-related and I am left wondering – who are you? what do you really do? what is your expertise?

  50. This is an excellent set of questions to serve as a filter and review, as others have said. Well done! However (admittedly based upon a very quick skim-read), I don’t see where you have asked the crucial question of “Why?”. Without understanding the “Why” (of “What” companies and consumers do, and “how” they do it), then the Product/Service and its Branding will be lacking, in my opinion. And the “Consumer Why” will usually be unarticulated. Discerning that is the key to success of companies from Apple and Amazon to P&G.

  51. P.S. I realize that you are mainly talking about personal branding here. But the “Why?” still applies equally, if not more so.