How Building a Brand is A Lot Like Exercising

02.21.14 | Uncategorized

I was working out the other day to one of my many fitness DVDs and as I was pushing through the exercises I started to think about how building a brand is a lot like exercising. (My mind was obviously wandering!)

image-03As Jillian Michaels was yelling at me, I mean motivating me to work harder, I started thinking about how I say a lot of the same things to my branding clients. So, here are 6 similarities between build a strong healthy body and a strong healthy brand.

It works best when you have a goal.

Lose 20 pounds, train to run a 5K or attract 8 new clients, generate 10 good leads from LinkedIn, or build brand awareness in a new market. When you have a goal in mind it’s so much easier to create a strategy, a plan, or a RoadMap to go get it. You can create the right “fitness plan” with activities that “feed” and strengthen your brand. Goals also help you to measure your progress so you can see what’s working a nd replicate it. Or, cut what isn’t working from your plan. We’re all busy and can’t waste time and money on activities that aren’t helping.

You need to concentrate on your core.

You need to work on your core, your abs, your back, your hips, to have a strong foundation which gives you endurance, flexibility and balance. The same thing happens with your brand building. You need to work on the core of your business by identifying your core values, purpose, and brand promise. These are consistent and form the strong foundation for all of your marketing messages. They also give you focus so you can stay on track and make the right strategic decisions to meet your goals.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

image-02A strong, healthy body takes commitment. It’s an on-going process and you have some great days and some set backs. (My set backs always seem to revolve around chili con queso.) A strong, healthy brand takes commitment, too. Every day is a chance to make or break your brand so you can’t sit back and hope it stays strong and relevant in the mind of your customer. Have you ever noticed how it takes 3 months of exercising to see improvements but only 2 weeks to fall back out of shape?

Well, branding is similar. You can’t stop and start. It’s hard on your body and it’s hard to get traction with your brand. You need to be in it for the long haul. It’s about rethinking or changing your lifestyle choices to be healthy in body and mind. For you and your business, it’s about rethinking or changing the way you deliver on your brand promise both in what you say and what you do.

Confidence comes from within.

Notice how when YOU feel that you look good, you have swagger? Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you owned it? It’s probably because you felt confident. Maybe you lost 10 pounds. Or you know a lot of people in the room so you feel comfortable. You fit nicely into that new outfit and your hair cooperated that day. You feel comfortable in your own skin. Other people notice and find that attractive.

The same thing happens when we talk about branding. Having a strong brand gives you focus. You don’t stumble when someone asks you what your company does. You can talk passionately about your business and why it is unique. You have a sense of worth because you are proud of your business and feel good about your direction. Who wouldn’t want some brand swagger the next time you walk into a networking meeting? Most importantly, the right customer will find your brand attractive.

If it was easy, everyone would have it.

Like Jillian Michaels explained in her Shred Exercise DVDs, if it were easy we all would look fabulous. But, it’s not easy. It takes work. So, you need to ask yourself how bad do I want a lean body or a strong brand or a successful business? Then do the work to go get it. Today, let’s Brand Strong! Like that graphic? I found it at the Fate from 5’8 blog.

Do you agree? Is building a brand like a fitness program? Did any of these ideas or metaphors hit home with you?