“Your word is your brand; your bond, your signature, it’s your way of establishing yourself in the marketplace.”

There are many people who are unconscious about their brand and that is a big problem. How in the world are you going to be effective in your industry if you have not established your brand?

There are 7 steps to developing your brand; however, our focus will be on only one step and that is the planning step and the development of a brand board.

For your records, the 7 steps to building an Incredible Brand are See (the Incredible), Inspect (the Incredible), Attract (the Incredible), Speak (the Incredible), Plan (the Incredible), Expect (the Incredible) and Do/Unleash (the Incredible).

Again, for the purpose of today’s article, focus is to be placed on Step 5 – Plan (the Incredible Brand). The planning process is used to recognize that writing your brand image and concepts down give it validity. As long as the concept stays in your mind, it has the potential to dissipate because we are bombarded with thoughts every second of every day that come and go as quickly as they came or went. But what gets attended to gets done so if we take the time to write down what we want our brand to represent, it is more likely to occur.

The key to an Incredible brand is strategic thought-provoking concepts and images that clearly articulate the personification of your brand. So for all intents and purposes, the planning process of building an Incredible brand will be realized via a branding board.

Not to be confused with a vision board, a brand board is similar and equally important to the purpose minded person, that is whether you run your own company or work in someone else’s company but have a vested interest in ensuring that the image your portray speaks to the brand you are establishing for yourself.

We all know that our thoughts become things and the things that we think about and/or visualize happen in our lives whether we focus on them or not. So if we strategically use that energy in our favor the production of our brand will be Incredible!

Now, here’s the thing: branding starts in your mind. In the conception phase of brand development, your thoughts create power and power is transformed into the representation of who you are and/or want to be viewed as in the marketplace. Also remember that branding is personal; you cannot find someone else’s brand and copy it because then it is not authentic and people will be able to see right through that. You must follow the 7 steps to building an Incredible Brand and find your message, because you alone have a message that is yours and yours alone. Truthfully, if I try to steal someone else’s brand, it won’t work for me anyway because what God has for you is yours and no one else can have it. At best, you can only be a good copy of someone else or you can be the original, which is worth far more when inspected for intrinsic value.

Also keep in mind, that your logo is not your brand. Your logo should be a continuation of your brand but it is not the brand itself. The development of your brand is strategic and interdependent to everything about you, the company and the product(s) that you offer. That is why this process of development is so essential to ensure that you take the time to develop a succinct concept that has longevity in the marketplace.

So, here are 5 of the reasons to build a brand board:

1. To get a clear understanding of you, your product or service. When we take the time to write down our goals, they become clearer and easier to attain. Clarity helps us to answer questions like: what do I want people to think of when they hear my name, my company’s name or see my logo, business card, advertisement, etc. If you don’t know the answer to this question, take the time to go through all 7 steps and at the end your brand will be clear to you. Also, ask yourself what is the one word, you want people to say resoundingly when you are brought up in conversation.

2. To line up your vision for your life with what you want others to see, think or feel when they are in your presence and or thinking of you. This is where it is important that your vision board and your brand board connect. They are interdependent upon one another. You cannot have a brand without vision and if you have vision, you will most certainly have a brand.

3. To have a visual reminder of your signature to carry with you every where you go. Remember that our thoughts become things so when we visualize what we want our brand to mean to us and others, it will happen. It’s the law of attraction!

4. To be a strategic representation of your company’s core competencies, values and mission to serve your customer’s in the best possible way. If there is no company, then how will your message be a representation of you core competencies? Remember, branding is not just for the entrepreneur. Think about it; people you know who are always late, you think of that first when you think of them and therefore tell them a time that is at least a half an hour earlier than the actual start time because their brand is to arrive tardy…right? You get my point.

5. To clearly identify the differentiator between you and others in your industry. Oftentimes the only thing that separates your from others is what your brand says about your levels of service and commitment to Incredible Customer Satisfaction. So developing a brand that speaks to all aspects of you, your company, your product or service and your reputation, is terribly important.