How to Create an Authentic Brand
Branding expert Cloe Luv shares what she believes are the most important elements of authentic branding.
Cloé Luv believes branding is the most important step in business. "Branding dictates how you roll out everything from customer service to company policies," she says. Luv is the founder of Brooklyn coworking space, Cloés Corner and 501c3 non-profit organization Women With Voices, which helps women navigate and achieve their professional and financial goals. Through her Brand Morphing classes, branding handbook, and private coaching, Luv aspires to empower more female entrepreneurs to create the business and branding of their dreams. She sat down with Jessica Abo to share why branding is "a marriage" and why you want fans, not followers.
Jessica Abo: What are the most important elements of branding?
Luv: When it comes to branding, make sure that your brand components, such as your logo, your website, your brand colors and even your fonts, resonate with who your targeted market is. You want to make sure that those components speak to the people you're trying to reach out to. You also want to make sure that you understand that branding is an ongoing process. It doesn't just stop there. That's where it starts.
Branding is something that continues through the whole life of the company. You're constantly rebranding, expanding your brand and aligning with other components that push your brand or add to your brand's value. So, think of branding as a marriage, a marriage to what you want people to feel when they come in contact with your company or your products or services.
Where does brand positioning come in?
Brand positioning is burning your company, your product and your services in the minds of customers and clients so they know to come to you for that specific thing. You want to position in a way where they feel like they won't get that experience from anyone else. So, you're the main and go-to person for that particular product or service. That's what brand positioning is: putting yourself in a place of authority for your targeted market.
How can an entrepreneur establish strong brand integrity?
The only way to establish strong brand integrity is by staying true to your promise and delivering on that promise consistently.
How would you define brand value?
So brand value, not to be confused with your brand's price, is what people will pay for that particular product or service. It's what is valued by people from a social status. It's not what the pricing is. And the way to make sure that you have a strong value is, again, by the brand position and brand alignment.
Aligning with people or components when it comes to your brand that brings up the status of it is how you implement and maintain a high brand value. And it will allow you to, of course, price higher because people are going to feel like this is exclusive. This is high quality, and I can't get this from anywhere else. So it'll raise your brand value.
Another great way to build that brand value is by emotionally connecting to your clients and your customers. And I teach that in my Brand Morphing course. When people can align and emotionally feel something when they come in contact with your products, your services, your brand components, they're going to become die-hard fans, not just followers who like a picture or come to something free, they will support the brand. And that's what you want to build. That's the type of value that you want to build when it comes to your clients and your customers. And you do that by brand morphing.
How do you think an entrepreneur can measure brand experience?
Some great ways to measure your brand experience are by putting out surveys to your clients and customers, giving out free samples to get feedback from potential clients and customers. In some cases, through customer service: People have a 30-day return policy or money-back guarantee policy. Depending on how many people are returning and what that service or product is that they're returning is a great way to measure the brand experience they're having with that. So, there are so many ways to get feedback from your website, to add a forum on your social media. You want to utilize all those ways and listen to what your market and your people and your tribe are saying.
Tell us about your brand morphing method.
Brand morphing is heavily based on being authentic, doing it while being authentic. There are so many times that we're told we have to look a certain way, we have to speak a certain way, we have to come from a certain background to be successful in a particular field. And I'm here to break the status quo on that. I'm here to tell you guys that's not true. You can be successful in whatever it is you want to do the way you want to do it because there is a tribe of people out there who want to hear from you, who want to hear it the way you have to deliver it, and who want to hear what you have to say from your perspective. So, that's what Brand morphing is about. It's about marrying those things in your product and services to connect with your tribe.
What are some of the benefits of brand morphing?
So one of the best benefits of brand morphing is doing it your own way. It's being able to show up in your field the way that you want to, being authentic with your tribe, being true to what your vision is. Having people be able to benefit from it, having that diversity available for people to see things from your perspective, to experience things from your experience, I feel like that's the best way, because it diversifies the portfolio of what people have to offer, even if it's in the same field. And I feel like brand morphing is going to be the thing that changes the status quo.