Bethany, your personal brand strategist here. Let’s deconstruct the difference between building a business and building a brand using SKIMS as a key example of how to make this distinction so you can increase your personal brand presence while making your company grow.
You have the power to shape that perspective. You have the power to influence that gut feeling someone brings to the table based on how you present yourself and how you look– Bethany McCamish, your host
Here’s what you can expect to hear in this episode:
- Brands vs. businesses case study: SKIMS
- Innovating over reinventing
- Why you need to be consistent in brand presentation
- Looking at impact and scaling
- What it means to build an unbreakable brand
ARE YOU RUNNING A BUSINESS OR CRAFTING A BRAND?
Are you running a business or crafting and cultivating a brand? If you can’t answer that question, then you need to dive into this episode with me.
Let’s first lay the foundations for what I mean when I say running a business vs crafting a brand. Because you might be thinking, “Ummm, if I have a business, don’t I also have a brand?”
Yes – you absolutely do, because a brand is the gut feeling or assumptions people have about your product or service based on what you put out in your presentation and marketing.
The gap I want to talk about today has to do with where you’re putting your efforts for shaping the perspectives people have about your products or services (aka your BRAND) vs just running a business. You make good money, you have consistent clients, and you’re not worried about scale, reach, or overall impact.
Let’s look at SKIMS for this because I am obsessed with the key strategies they use to cultivate a brand and NOT just run a business. Plus, the past teacher in me knows we thrive from an example.
If you didn’t know (for some reason), SKIMS is a shapewear brand founded by Kim Kardashian and Emma Grede, who also helped found Good American. They quickly built a brand that had notoriety and, on top of that, were able to secure major capital to help with their growth.
Of course, we can first acknowledge that any brand backed by a celeb or founded by a celeb has a built-in step up in terms of reach and reputation (because they already had a solid personal brand to build off). That said, here are key approaches they used to become more than another business selling products that slim your bod.
LEVERAGE WHAT YOU HAVE – ESPECIALLY IF IT IS A PERSONAL BRAND
SKIMs is a digitally native brand drumming up massive sales online before ever moving into a partnership with Nordstrom. The key takeaway here is that they leveraged the reputation, social media following, and presence they had already created as the founders themselves with their personal brands.
Number one, this is reason enough to focus on your BRAND first, and number two, when you are looking at cultivating your brand, you need to start with what you already have: where are your people, who is engaging, who are your loyal fans, and how can you encourage them to widen your circle.
YOU DON’T NEED TO INVENT; YOU NEED TO INNOVATE
I think it is also worth pointing out that SKIMS didn’t reinvent the entire wheel. They took a product that exists – shapewear – and decided to fix everything ‘wrong’ with it – which was primarily size and shade inclusivity and comfort.
They also used other marketing strategies like partnerships with Fendi and limiting demand.
LASTLY, MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOU NEED TO BE CONSISTENT IN PRESENTATION
This one is super easy for you to implement. That is consistently presenting your brand across all platforms and all touch points. Multiple studies have shown that consistently presented brands increase revenue by 33% all the way up to 50%.
What that means is when I’m looking at a brand, for example, SKIMs, because I’m currently obsessed, between their website, their Instagram, every single button you could possibly click, including the brand representatives themselves, is consistent.
By consistent, I mean, we have the same feel, we have the same general color palette, we have the same overall look – like it’s just seamless, and it’s beautiful. I see this disconnect a lot when it comes to either businesses who are ready to really craft their brand or someone who’s just starting out and really trying to define themselves.
Consistency, usually, is what’s kind of falling apart. It’s like falling to pieces. I see this a lot when someone’s Instagram feed maybe looks really good, really put together. But then you click on the link and go to their website, and it’s a hot mess, or it’s not mobile responsive, or something’s not working.
I also see this a lot at even smaller touchpoints. Let’s say that you’ve onboarding clients, but you’re using some sort of onboarding software like HoneyBook, or Dubsado. You don’t have it set up to be on brand; you don’t have your colors or fonts uploaded; maybe you haven’t customized the URL to be your actual website URL – all of those pieces matter.
Because when you’re you’re consistently presenting, you are shaping that perspective people have about your service or your product. That’s literally your brand, right, you have the power to shape that perspective; you have the power to influence that gut feeling someone brings to the table based on how you present yourself and how you look.
So if there is any part of your brand that isn’t consistent or if you only send people to your Instagram and not your website, then you’re missing out on literal money, and you’re leaving it on the table.
A QUICK REMINDER FROM YOUR PERSONAL BRAND STRATEGIST, Bethany McCamish
Your mindset is looking at the impact and scaling rather than simply growth and profit when you decide to focus on your brand vs building a business. I am in the camp that your brand is where you need to focus because it can be unbreakable.
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