The word "brand" gets thrown around all the time, but does everyone know what it means to be a brand? Or the work involved in cultivating a brand? A brand is a name, term, design, or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others. It's what makes you one of a kind.

Whether you're building your own brand or developing a brand for someone else, it needs to be: right for the client, unique in their marketplace, and consistent throughout all media and messaging. They should feel proud, take ownership, be invigorated, have fun with it, want to push it out every single day.

Still, some people find this concept hard to grasp because they're stuck questioning what exactly makes them distinctive. Basically, if you're on social media and you're putting out a consistent message every day--and people are watching--you have a brand.

But, and this is a big but, that doesn't mean you're automatically an influencer (another word that gets thrown around).

What is an Influencer?

On a basic level, an influencer is a real, relatable person who has attracted a loyal following on their blog or social media channels. They are called “influencers” because by inspiring others to follow them, they’ve earned the power to move those followers to action. Influencers can be powerful partners to brands, campaigns, and social causes, because others listen when they talk and care about what they have to say.

Whether your voice is distinctive or impactful is another thing that remains to be seem, but if you're looking to build a business, your brand, your flavor, your mark on the world is something that you should think about carefully.

Here's a great formula to help define your brand: 

1 BIG IDEA (a problem to solve) + YOUR PERSONALITY = YOUR BRAND

Beyond that there's your content, your style, engagement and your story that are combined to grow your brand.

I'll talk a lot about figuring our your brand and tips to help you cultivate yours here soon. But for right now, here are a few inspiring articles about branding that I felt compelled to share. You'll read why branding is important and how a few companies nurtured their own brands.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an individual interested in defining or refining your own personal brand, these five articles on the business of branding provide helpful information to keep in mind through the process.

Great Branding is Invisible

It’s Not You, It’s Your Story: Why Branding Matters

The 4 Essentials to Building Your Brand on Social Media

How A Side Project Became A Thriving Lifestyle Brand--Overnight

Extraordinary Design Lessons from 4 Companies that Changed the World