What is a Brand? (Probably Not What You Think!)

January 12, 2017 by Jennifer Reitmeyer

I’m so excited to be presenting “Consistency is King: Why Building Brand Integrity is So Important, and Exactly How to Do It” at Mobile Beat Las Vegas in March! In anticipation of this seminar, I’m rolling out a series of posts for Mobile Beat that are all about branding. My mission is for every mobile DJ to be represented by a brand that’s effective and authentic, and for that brand to achieve powerful things in the marketplace. Does that sound too ambitious? I don’t think so!

Let’s start with what a brand is, and how to develop one that works. Virtually everyone is familiar with the term “brand,” but many don’t consider that your brand is so much more than just the following:

  • A business name
  • A logo
  • A color palette or set of fonts
  • A website, business card or brochure

Sure, some of those things are parts of your visual brand, but your brand as a whole is comprised of something bigger.

What is a Brand? by Jennifer Reitmeyer for Mobile Beat

Is your brand currently a blank slate?

Your brand is the promise you make to your clients: what can they expect when working with you? What will they experience? How will they feel? In what ways will they benefit?

Your brand is also the perception that people have of your business: what do they assume about you based on what you put out into the world? It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t actually define your true brand – others do!

To develop, promote, and truly exemplify a complete brand, you need to know who you are, what you do, and whom you want to serve.

“But I already know who I am,” you may be thinking. “I’m John Doe, the best DJ in all the land.”

The thing is, to get to a place where you can create a brand that works for your business on the most fundamental level, you need to dig deeper. You need to be able to answer questions like:

What do I believe about the events I serve (weddings, parties, nightclubs, whatever)? Smart business owners know that their work is about more than just the money. Can you articulate your thoughts on the kinds of events that you perform for, and how entertainment factors into those events? What do you feel is important about these events? How do you feel the hosts or planners should treat their guests? What do you believe is the most memorable part?

What values guide me in business and in life? When you know what’s most important to you, you can cultivate the relationships, book the clients, and do the work that aligns with what you believe in on the most personal level. I can assure you that that’s the kind of work that’s more sustainable, and rewarding, over the long term than any quick-money job you might accept.

What unique qualities do I possess? For this purpose, we’re not talking about your talents or technical skills – rather, we’re talking about your personality traits, the characteristics that make you who you are. By taking inventory of what makes you you, you can craft a brand identity that puts your uniqueness front and center. This helps to influence clients’ expectations of you, and sets you up to work with people who appreciate what you bring to the table. Not to mention the fact that your business and brand will feel 100% more authentic to you, which is always a good thing!

How do I want my clients and colleagues to perceive me? Every one of us aspires to be respected, if not also liked! So it’s clear that perception matters. Acknowledging your “ideal reputation” enables you to apply that ideal to the brand you’re creating – so why wouldn’t you want it to reflect the best version of you?

How do I want to work? Being the boss is a beautiful thing. It means you get to decide when, where and how you’ll get your job done. Take a few minutes to imagine your “dream job.” What hours would you be available to clients? What methods would you use to communicate with them? What would your workspace look like? What would be your general process for accepting sales inquiries, booking events, providing customer service and performing for the gigs on your schedule? By considering these things in advance, you can be sure your brand communicates them to the kinds of clients who want to work with a business just like yours.

What kinds of people inspire and excite me to do my job? What might their events be like? Often, when we first start our businesses, we’ll take on any clients who are willing to pay our price. After all, we have bills to pay! Yet, most of us find ourselves struggling to get along with some clients, and that’s often because they just aren’t the right fit for us. Think about your favorite clients, as well as your colleagues (say, other event vendors in your market) who have made you look forward to doing your work. Think about your favorite events over the course of your career, or the kinds of events you’ve only heard about but would love to perform yourself. Again, this all factors into the brand you’re creating.

In my next post, I’ll be guiding you through the next phase of developing your brand: defining what exactly it is that you do, and how that differentiates you from your competition. (And trust me, the answer is not just “DJing.”) Until next time!

Jennifer Reitmeyer Jennifer Reitmeyer (5 Posts)

Jennifer Reitmeyer is the owner and president of MyDeejay, a mobile disc jockey firm serving weddings and corporate events in the Washington, DC metro area. Operating since 2003, the company has earned virtually every award in the event industry, maintains a perfect five-star average rating on WeddingWire with nearly 800 reviews, and services approximately 400 events per year. Jennifer is also the founder of WeddingIQ, a wedding business blog, and provides business and brand consulting services to mobile DJs and small business owners in a variety of industries. Join Jennifer at Mobile Beat Las Vegas 2017 for her featured presentation, “Consistency is King: Why Building Brand Integrity is So Important, and Exactly How to Do It.”

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business