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Three brand building blocks from Elevate advisor Poh Lin Khoo

Poh Lin Khoo founder of Khoo Consulting and Elevate Hennepin business advisor

Three brand building blocks from Elevate advisor Poh Lin Khoo

Branding can be uncomfortable for entrepreneurs who just want to get moving, get selling, and start providing service. But as Elevate Hennepin business advisor Poh Lin Khoo, founder of Khoo Consulting, notes, it’s essential to work through that discomfort to build a solid foundation and create a cohesive vision for marketing and other business outreach.

“You need a blueprint because marketing messages and social media, they're all fleeting messages,” said Poh Lin. “But you keep reinforcing your vision and your brand through them.”

She has three essential building blocks for a good brand foundation, and some tips to get through the process.

Who am I?

The first building block of a brand, according to Poh Lin, is just recording what a company is about. Not what it sells, but what makes the company unique.

“I love to help clients understand that branding is about the uniqueness of who you are, because there's only one of you,” said Poh Lin. “So, the brand is, ‘who I am’ or ‘what is my company about.’”

She often asks clients what kind of car they are. Are they a reliable Honda that is there day in and day out? Are they a flashy Mercedes with a premium offering? Are they a Ford that offers a specialty others can’t?

When an entrepreneur has a good answer to the “who” question, they can work toward a business name, colors that represent them, and start thinking about imagery that matches.

Why should they care?

The next key building block: Why. To Poh Lin, that means explaining the vision or the why a potential customer or clients wants to buy your product or service over the many options out there.

“I always encourage people to think about value propositions,” said Poh Lin. “Why should anybody care about you?”

She said value propositions should be something that grabs emotions, not just logic or simple attributes. She points to her own mission statement for Khoo Consulting: “Advance business and community activities to strengthen resilient communities and prosperity into the future.”

Building resilient communities is a good reason to work with her instead of the many other marketing and branding consultants out there.

Who is my audience?

The last key branding building block is defining an audience.

“Gone are the days where you create one message and everybody gets it,” said Poh Lin. “People are bombarded with millions of bits of data a day. The more targeted you are and the more tailored your message is, the better it is.”

For instance, if a company sells pet products but doesn’t have a distinct message for cat or dog owners, it’s not going to do well.

“I have dogs. If you kept telling me about cat stuff, I'm not going to pay attention,” said Poh Lin.

With those three building blocks in place, Poh Lin says a business can start building a cohesive marketing or outreach program on a solid foundation.

Connect with Poh Lin Khoo or any of the Elevate Hennepin marketing advisors for support today. 

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Three brand building blocks from Elevate advisor Poh Lin Khoo

Elevate Hennepin advisor Poh Lin Khoo has tips to build a solid brand foundation.  

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