Brands aren’t built by companies. They’re built by consumers who develop emotions for brands after they interact with them or experience them in some way. The consumer perceptions that develop enable consumers to develop expectations for those brands. If a brand consistently meets those expectations in every customer interaction and experience, consumers will get a sense of security from that brand, which turns into loyalty and generates word-of-mouth marketing. Suffice it to say, building your freelance writing brand can offer significant advantages to your business and bottom-line in the long-term in the form of sustainable, organic growth.
The most powerful brands own a word in consumers’ minds. That word is often an extension of the brand’s position relative to its competitors and is typically born of the brand promise and consumer perceptions of the brand. The strongest brands are highly focused, leaving little room for consumer confusion. Instead, consumers know what the brand promises and they can depend on that brand to meet their expectations again and again. In other words, it’s easier for a focused brand to own a word in consumers’ minds than it is for a broad brand. In fact, broad brands are more often linked to the type of consumer perceptions and confusions that cause people to turn away from a brand in search of one that they can count on to meet their expectations and needs consistently.
I usually refer to car brands when I’m explaining the benefit of owning a word in consumers’ minds when I teach branding to clients and at seminars. Take a look at the car brands below along with the words they own in consumers minds (remember, there are always exceptions to every rule):
- Hyundai: inexpensive
- Kia: even cheaper than Hyundai
- BMW: performance
- Cadillac: luxury
- Bentley: extravagance
In order to build a powerful freelance writing brand, it’s important to determine where your focus will be. What word do you want to own in consumers’ minds? Always lead with your strengths and your brand focus on your website, LinkedIn profile, resume, and so on. In other words, hype your brand focus, or your niche, so you become the go-to-person for that type of writing. It won’t happen overnight, but with consistency and persistence, your brand will grow.
Stay tuned for the next part of the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series in which you’ll learn how to fight against the market leader.