When I grow up, I want to be a wheelbarrow.
7-year old Jimmy had just had William Carlos Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow read to him by his aunt Ethel, and for some reason, he was blown away. Maybe it was the bright red colour, or the white chickens, or just the fact that so much depends upon that wheelbarrow. Instantly, Jimmy – who wanted to be an astronaut two weeks before – decided he wanted to be a wheelbarrow when he grows up. Do you want to know how many budding entrepreneurs are a little more like Jimmy than they would care to admit ? Entrepreneurs who let every new idea/approach stop from building, or derail them from their existing brand? The answer is way too many.
The Next Big Thing
Fact – there will always be the next big thing. An idea that sort of sounds like your business (as much as wheelbarrow sounds like astronaut), but absolutely is not what you are about. In our fast-paced world, it takes more commitment to stick to a niche than it does to explore a million different possibilities. And that is killing countless promising businesses. The practice of brand definition should be taken seriously by every entrepreneur who desires to carve out a market for themselves and outshine their competition.
Commit to your Brand Promise
Branding is simply defining who you are and who you want to be perceived as. It is the promise you give to your clients; what they can expect from your products/services. While the process of branding can be tedious and time-consuming, it is imperative for every business to go through this process. It helps you define your mission and vision, values, style and general ambiance. Defining a strong brand for your business helps you stay on your lane, and not venture into other lanes which do not merge into the brand you have built.
Be it the creative innovative, or the conventional safe-player in the industry, let your customers know exactly what you stand for. A strong brand sets you apart from others who offer the same products/services like you do. Your brand is how your customers know and identify you, and it keeps them coming back to you despite all the new benefits your competition throws at them. They can be sure of the experience they will get from your brand. This is the backbone of all of your marketing strategies.
Make Choosing your Marketing Strategies a breeze
The tools and technics, channels, and tone you will use for your marketing campaigns will be much clearer after your brand has been built. Your brand guides you on the colour schemes, logo placement, and language to use in your marketing campaigns. This creates a consistency your customers can relate to, strengthening your marketing campaign and eventually your brand image.
With time, your marketing strategies will evolve and so will your tactics, but your brand remains. There could changes with growth like expansion in products and services offered, but it is essential that the core of your brand – mission, values and principles – remain unchanged. That’s the sail that keeps every business fixed on its course.
Have you gone through the trouble of defining your brand? What is your brand image, and are you consistently honouring your promise to your customers?