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cooldeb coming at ya’ll with some grand and groovy branding advice called the 4Vs of Branding. Gearing up for a startup launch? Refreshing an existing brand due to a change or expansion in services? Pushing out emails and social media posts yet engagement is low? No worries, keep truckin’ and read on. I’ve got the steps you need to help you own your brand and your industry.

Have you heard about the 4Ps of Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion? Well, it’s time to meet the 4Vs of Branding – Value, Vibe, Voice and Vision. When you define and coordinate these four brand principals, I guarantee you’ll experience success. And it’s called owning your Business Brand Groove.

Clarify Value

A man holds a light bulb in his hand to reflect the Value in branding.
Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

Value is your starting point and it’s super easy to distill: what’s the product or service you bring to your respective industry to address customer pain points? Now, what does your brand promise and how does it reflect your purpose and what you stand for?

As many of you know, I’m a huge Simon Sinek fan. In his book Start With Why, he shares a beautiful brand nugget. Simply put, people don’t buy WHAT you do – they buy WHY you do it. Begin by expressing your Value in a broad manner as an industry solution to a problem. Then, drill it down to capture your unique approach. Heads up, this will often reflect you as the owner of the brand. Share your personal story. Express your desired mission. Identify a shared cause.

Express Vibe

A black and white picture shoes a sign that says Good Vibes Only.
Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

Vibe builds on Value in a personal way. Vibe tells your story and further expresses the emotional side of the brand – and why it matters. Shout out to Jen Devore Richter and Boss Women Rock for schooling me on the mathematics of emotion. When you deeply tap into a prospect’s emotional side, they’ll find a way to rationalize their purchase. So in the end, it’s really not about the money – a battle you don’t want to be in – it’s about how you understand who you serve and how to effectively communicate your brand.

To move prospects and customers past their financial concerns, create an irresistible offer and layer it with your brand Vibe and personality. Give them a reason to care and connect by expressing empathy and offering solutions to solve their problem.

Define Voice

A young boy shouts into an old fashioned microphone with his eyes closed to reflect Voice in branding.
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Voice is thought leadership. Proclaim it – actually praise it – to the rafters. Voice allows you to stake claim on a uniquely defined niche. A strong brand goes nowhere without it. If you’re in a broad mix of competition, it’s imperative to elevate Vibe in partnership with Voice. Bring your personality and speak your truth. Brand Voice should be reliable, practical and playful.

First and foremost, share your area of expertise and why your perspective not only matters, but why it’s distinct and informative to cultivate trust.

Second, make it applicable. How does it help your customers? How easy is it to implement given your customer’s resources and manpower? If limited, how can you help?

Last, have some fun. Share real-life experiences and thought leadership with a sense of humor and authenticity. Simply put? Be you.

Leverage Vision

A brown outdoor shed has a painted sunflower and the words Always Room to Grow to reflect Vision in branding.
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Vision collects and measures your full brand picture. It connects bootstrap to strategy, co-mingling it nicely together to track engagement across all levels. Multiple levels matter because your prospects and customers are at different stages of their purchase cycle. The cooldeb stages of the sales and marketing funnel include Clueless, Consider, Cultivate and Convert.

  • CLUELESS. Your prospects don’t know you’re alive, nor do they realize the value of your market offer because they’re not actively shopping. Become the thought leader so when they’re ready, your brand is familiar and trusted.
  • CONSIDER. Your prospects are on the radar because there’s interest and they’re shopping. Now, you’re battling competition for share of mind and heart.
  • CULTIVATE. Elevate why your brand rocks and how you solve problems. Address concerns, answer questions and showcase industry expertise through lived experiences.
  • CONVERT. Transform cultivated customers into brand loyalists. A customer testifying is gold because it means you’re serving customers by going above and beyond to meet their needs. Their success attracts new customers because they’re evangelizing your brand truth.

Get your Business Brand Groove on

When the 4Vs of Branding are working harmoniously together, I promise you’ll experience brand success. Your communication will stand out. They will clarify, express, define and leverage your brand.

And if you think you can build a website, send out email campaigns or post on social media without the them, I promise, you’ll be noise. Think of your own consumer brand-o-sphere and who you buy from and follow. Your offer has to solve a problem in a way that’s distinct, honest and intelligent. There’s simply too much competition.

If you want to learn more about how the 4Vs of Branding can help grow your business with clear and succinct brand communication, hit me up.

I also welcome your feedback and your own brand experiences. What’s working? What’s not? Got questions? It’s all about the love and learning ya’ll. And we do this through shared experiences.


10 Comments

Mary Michaux · June 13, 2019 at 10:38 am

Great article, Deb! I am going to send this to Meg as she can use this with her clients! Well done!

    cooldeb · June 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Awesome Mary. If she has questions, I’m happy to chat with her. And if she subscribes to my blog, she can download my free 4Vs of Branding infographic. Thanks for the share!

Ginny | MothersRest · July 2, 2019 at 2:24 am

I was literally talking about Start With Why today and how to define your values. Great timing! Great read – packed with helpful insights and a fun vibe ❤️

    cooldeb · July 4, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Isn’t it a classic? In my top three list for fave business books. Appreciate the blog read and look forward to hearing how the Why-How-What framework aids your marketing efforts Ginny.

Lyda Carpen · July 3, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Great breakdown. I have had the privilege of doing this work alongside you and you know your stuff. Still miss your professionalism and wisdom every day.

    cooldeb · July 4, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Yes. We nailed it and the work we did as a team is a career highlight for me. Thank you for your shared wisdom and insight Lyda. The ‘miss you-ness’ is mutual. : )

Candace Martin · July 8, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Wow! This is a lot of great wisdom for early stage entrepreneurs or for business owners that need a “refresh”. I’ve added Start with Why to my reading list. Thank you for sharing the 4Vs of branding and pushing us to think out of the box when it comes to all things branding!

cooldeb · July 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm

I appreciate your comment Candace. And you’re 100% correct! The 4Vs work for startups as well as established companies who need to refresh or rebrand. You will LOVE the book. Let me know what you think after you read it! Hope all is well in your marketing world!

Gaby · July 9, 2019 at 12:45 am

Great info! I totally agree that vision is super important and sometimes overlooked. If you don’t keep your vision in mind, you’re just creating noise in the already super noisy interwebs :). I’ll be sharing this with my contacts! Thanks, Deb.

cooldeb · July 9, 2019 at 1:02 am

Vision certainly grounds the other Vs to capture ROI Gaby. The interwebs is indeed noisy, which makes measurement even more important to remain competitive. Thanks for the read and comment my marketing fellow maven!

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