Your most precious asset.
Would you agree, that these days, for any business to be successful, one must build trust, relationships and credibility with consumers, partners and employees?
The great news is, your company has a precious asset to achieve those and many more objectives. It is your Brand.
As we know, the brand is much more than a logo or visual identity (these are just part of a bigger picture). Brand is the perception people have of an organisation — what they think, feel and believe about its products and services.
At first, building a brand might sound intimidating and difficult. Where to start, what to do? As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot of money. However, you have to begin early, that is, at the start of your business.
The benefits of starting early.
When you bring a new product or service into the market, your brand enables people to connect with your offering and helps them understand how it fits into their lives, and why they should care.
Having a strong brand early on shows consumers that you are serious about your business and are here for the long haul.
It allows you to become a real competitor to the existing products or platforms in the market, even if you are just starting.
The brand increases your visibility, differentiation and chances of becoming recognisable and credible in your industry.
What you can do.
The most common argument I hear from the founders of new companies is that they are still figuring things out and planning to take care of the brand later when everything is more clear and settled. Sounds familiar? You might not know the details of every aspect of your business yet, but you definitely know what the idea is and why you are doing it, right? Well, that is enough to start building your brand!
Articulate your startup idea and why you are doing it into a Brand Purpose — why you are in business beyond making money.
Identify core values that are important to you, your business and the audience you want to connect with.
Brainstorm the ideas of how your business actions are going to communicate your Purpose and reflect your values.
Think about what place you want the brand to occupy in the minds of your audience.
Listen, and then listen more to your customers. How does your brand make them feel?
Once your startup grows, invest time and resources to create an actionable Brand Strategy of where you want to go with your brand and how you are going to do it.
Take your audience on a journey.
There is no deadline or endpoint where you say you are done building your brand and now can move on.
Brand is a living thing that develops and grows over time. It is the way your company appears and behaves, the culture you create, the story of how your startup evolves together with a changing world.
Don’t wait for the 10th anniversary to start actively shaping your company’s brand. As it takes time, start early, grow and evolve together with your consumers and their needs. It’s never too early to start building meaningful relationships and establishing trust with your audience.
Viktorija K. is an active member of Auxilia- a group of women, passionate about increasing funding to Female founders. She is a Brand Consultant based in Berlin. She works with companies and individuals to help them build and activate their Brands. Find out more here.