Building Your Platform
The moment you decide to build a brand, you’ve also decided to have a platform. No, you cannot hide behind your brand and let it speak for you - People want to know who is behind that logo. They also want to know what your brand stands for. They want to connect.
Your Brand Platform can be broken down to five core areas:
- Your Stage
- Your Story
Choose a stage - Your platform is your stage. I used to be a actress in my Detroit life - Lead actress in the musical and “Actress of Year” type of chick. So I know how to take advantage of a my stage (down stage and all that!). Selecting a stage requires one to know self. You’ve got be honest and aware of who you are, how much you can endure and how much you are willing to sacrifice. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths will help dictate the best stage(s) for you. What are examples of stages? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Path, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, blogtalks, live big audience, live small audience (meet-up), and the list of stages goes on and on. As a brand, your most valuable asset is your ability to create content. However, unless you use the right channels to distribute that content, your message will not reach anyone.
Tell a story - What is your story? What is your brand's story? Essentially, they go hand in hand. You’ve never heard a brand story that didn’t somehow tie into the founders life or WHY the founder created it. Why THEY named it that name or why THEY felt there was a need for it. Stories allow people in our industry to create connection with us and, ultimately, shape their own identities. Everything goes back to that connection. Find different ways to tell your story and take every opportunity to tell it! Make that connection.
Consistency - Consistency is by far has got to be the hardest thing. Not only because creating a consistent routine for yourself and actually sticking to it can be difficult. It also gets discouraging when you may not get the feedback that you expected or you don’t see a steady increase in engagement. Just remember: People see you! Even when they don’t “like” it or post a comment, THEY SEE YOU. And I see you!
Positioning - You’ve got to find out where exactly you fit in. There are 80 million t-shirt designers but how are you different? The only way to stand out is to be your authentic self - No one is designed like you and that is an advantage in itself. So whats your position? What is your unique selling proposition? You have to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Values - The things you value will be an important staple in the way you run your business. If you lack integrity, so will your business. Allow your values to speak through your business, people will connect much better that way.
What do you think?