Branding Essentials for Your Membership Business
Branding is all about your logo, your website colors, a memorable tagline and your company name… right?
Well, yes and no…
They play their part, but your brand is so much more than that.
It's what all of these things together represent.
When it comes to your membership, it's important to develop a brand strategy that reflects your business and conveys it to your audience in a positive way.
This will help you attract new members, retain existing ones and create a loyal fan base.
So what is a brand?
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.”
It's the lasting impression that your membership leaves on your audience…
The memories, the emotions, the knowledge, the experiences and the assumptions.
Think about your favorite brands…
- Why do you like them?
- What memories do they evoke?
- How do they make you feel?
The answers to these questions defines the entity of those brands for you.
A strong branding strategy can help you shape and influence what people say and how they feel about your membership.
To develop a successful brand for your membership, you should focus on three essential core areas…
The three P’s of branding: principles, positioning, and packaging.
Let's delve into each one…
Your brand principles
It can be hard to define your brand’s principles, so first break them down into four core elements: your purpose, mission, vision, and values.
Your purpose is the ‘why'.
Why does your membership exist?
This is the core belief that motivates you to do what you do.
For us, we believe that success comes from living a life of your design and that your business should support that life, not the other way around. That’s our ‘why'.
Simon Sinek wrote in his book Start with Why that people don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.
So, this is a very important first step towards making sure that people understand your membership better, so they can ultimately be part of it.
Your vision is the ‘what‘.
What is your membership trying to achieve?
Think about what you want to accomplish with your membership five years from now.
This should align with your purpose.
The what and the why are a powerful combination and aligning them will help clearly communicate your principles to your audience.
Your mission is the ‘how'.
How is your membership helping you achieve your vision?
Our mission is to be the number one resource for proven practical training and support on growing a successful membership business.
We’re achieving this through our podcast, Membership Academy and our events, which are all driven by our vision and purpose.
Finally, your values are the way you do business.
The way you decide what you stand for (or against), what drives how you operate day-to-day, and they’re the reason behind who you choose to work with.
Understanding and being clear on these four key aspects of your brand principles will inform everything else you do.
These elements are the heart and core of your membership.
They’ll be the answers to the question, “What do you like about my membership”.
They’re what your brand is all about.
Your brand positioning
It’s no good having strong core elements if you can’t communicate them effectively to your audience.
Your positioning is fundamental in helping your audience understand more about your membership.
The first element of positioning is identifying how your membership is different from others in the market.
Think about your membership's brand as if it was a person:
- What type of person would they be?
- How is this person unique?
- What personality traits do they have?
The answers to these questions will tell you what kind of language you should use to communicate your brand’s message.
This tone of voice will inform everything from the angles you use in your marketing and promotional material to the type of images you’ll include in your membership.
The second element is the value proposition.
This is the problem that your membership solves or the goal that you help people achieve.
Ultimately, this is why people sign up for memberships.
People are looking for a solution to their problem, and if you have that solution, they will come to you.
So, you shouldn’t keep this a secret – you need to shout about your value proposition.
But you need to be really clear on what it is too.
Nail down exactly what you provide, and you’ll attract members who need and want your product, and you can even deter those who aren’t right for your membership.
Your brand packaging
Your packaging is the visual element that ties together and communicates all of the previous elements and is what most people think about when it comes to branding.
This is where your name, logo, website colors, and any other visual elements that communicate your message come into play.
They’re a shorthand form of getting your message out to your audience.
Your packaging should work in conjunction with your positioning and principles so that when people see your logo, they think about your vision and your values.
How to create a successful brand strategy
Developing your brand strategy requires planning and consideration.
Aligning these three P's for your membership business is hard work, but it can really pay off.
With a compelling brand you can shape perceptions, so when you’re not in the room, your audience will say good things about you.
To help you achieve this, we’ve created a Brand Strategy for Memberships course.
This is a practical, actionable guide on how to harness the three P’s to develop your brand.
It will result in you becoming known as an expert in your space, build an audience who will connect with your personality and attract the right members to grow your site.
If you don’t know what your purpose, vision, mission and values are – this course is designed to you to discover and refine them before taking the next steps.
Our course is only available within the Membership Academy and is free with your Academy Subscription, so check it out now if you’re a member.
If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for?
Whatever stage of the membership journey you're at, the 3 P's will help you nail your brand identity and communicate it effectively to the world.