I sat down with brand strategist Maranda Joiner to talk about passion, branding, and why it’s important to find your purpose.

Merriam-Webster defines brand (verb) as: to impress indelibly.

Definition of branding (noun) as: the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand. 

It may be a bit surprising to find out that the word “branding” was first coined in 1913. It didn’t really take off until the 1950’s when major companies realized they sold better with stronger marketing techniques. Overtime, branding became more and more developed until it became its own animal, becoming part of a company’s business tactics, and is key to business success. Branding has come into the common vernacular in recent years, partly due to the rise in side hustle, and partly expedited through social media. 

What Is Branding?

But, real quick: we may have the definition of branding, but what exactly is it? To put it simply, Maranda Joiner defines it as how you make people feel. To expand on that definition, if used well and effectively it’s a way for companies to connect with their customers in a meaningful way. When that happens, companies can use that to thrive. This isn’t to be confused with marketing.

Branding is the message, the who you are, the culture and strategy of the company. Marketing, on the other hand, is the how and the tools used to share who and what your company is. Your color scheme, logo, what your website looks like: those are all part of marketing, determined by your brand.

If you’re ready to do some personal work, and identify your brand, then read on for some tips. 

First, dig deep. Dig deep into your past, into your childhood. Maranda says there is no need to actively search for it in front of you, but that the answer will lie in everything you’ve done up to where and who you are now. Your career path is directly related to your childhood, and to your past. It’s your why you are here, how is it you feel, what excites you. Once you’ve identified this – however long that may take – you’ve identified your brand. It’s your who, your why, your purpose.

So you have your message – your brand. This is the very core, the nitty-gritty, foundation of exactly who you are, what your company is (even if it’s just you, or maybe you’re rebranding with a company with hundreds of employees), and the message you wish to convey through your company. 

How To Deliver Your Brand

Now, it’s time to focus on how to deliver it. You want to be careful that you haven’t sought for your purpose through a particular carer or medium. Instead, the career is there for you to use to deliver the message. It’s an easy mistake, and Maranda says “a lot of people get caught up searching for purpose in the vehicle, but in actuality, purpose is found in the way you are meant to make people feel.”

So, your company, your business, your work are the means of how you transmit your brand (message and your why) to other people. This can be anything from being a writer, an interior designer, a comedian, artist, an educator. Your brand and message are transmitted through these careers.

Once your brand is clear to you, and you’ve realized the best medium in which to share that brand, it’s time to focus on, what Maranda likes to say, “how to breathe your brand into your business.” Knowing your brand, you can begin to set up for success for your business. According to Maranda, “there are three things that you can do to contribute to your success and they are: manage your mindset, to have a plan for fear, and accept the fact that you are not for everyone.” 

This is where marketing is really important. Your message is conveyed in how your product is made; what color scheme your business card or website has; the type of promotions you offer; where you perform or sell; what your logo looks like; how you sell and interact with your customer and potential customers. Maranda reminds us that “every genuine connection in business starts with purpose.” The key to that? Knowing your brand.