Branding is the face and actual picture that explains and gives life to your idea!
Vaca wants you to keep in mind some very punctual elements for building a brand that remains in the mind of your customer and that helps you in successfully positioning your products & services to establish your IDENTITY.
As crucial and fundamental as branding is, the role it plays in establishing and growing a business is often overlooked by many businesses. The emotions that trigger preference are simple human nature, and the strategies behind to launch a successful brand are in connection on how you are looking to attract the audience that will engage and be loyal to your business.
Research is essential
In most business plans, a description of potential customers and how they make purchasing decisions receives much less attention than operational details such as financing, sourcing and technology. But in the end, it is your customer who determines your success or failure.
Sixty percent of new businesses fail within the first three years, according to Victor Green, a serial entrepreneur and author of “How to Succeed in Business by Really Trying”, where he quotes: “Too often people rush into business without carefully checking out their idea to see if it will work.”
When starting your business and while you determine how you will communicate it to your audience, DO NOT:
- Use only secondary research.
- Use only online resources.
- Survey only the people you know.
If possible, DO discover the needs and emotions that would trigger your audience by:
- Making decisions based on actual customer feedback
- Extracting data released by industry authorities related to the problem your brand is solving
- Studying the competition’s trends & their customer preferences
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don't rely on what you think they think. Know what they think!
Ask yourself the fundamental questions
Establishing the character of your brand aspects is a self-introspective process that requires analyzing internal and external elements of your business to nail down your BRAND IDENTITY, such as:
§ What is your company's PURPOSE?
Layers of meaning and purity of purpose create a sense of warmth and emotion around a brand. Your business intends to solve a problem for someone specific that has expressed a need for what you offer. Do not forget what is the meaningful reason for which you exist!
§ What is your VISION?
When solving a problem you envision your solution to completely eradicate the problem and you create a future by implementing your idea. Then it is time to ask yourself “What does success look like for your company?”
§ What is your MISSION?
The action you will perform intends to solve a problem, and encompasses both your purpose and vision. This sets the tone of your commitment as entrepreneur or business and determines the promise you make to solve a specific problem.
§ What are your VALUES?
These will be the rules of moral compass of the way you do business and the behavioral commitments in your daily operation, which must be reflected not only on your behavior but in everything you communicate to your audience: from slogans, to shapes and colors, your values must be reflected in every element of your brand.
§ What are the benefits and differential aspects of your products or services?
If you are in the world of innovation, and believe your product or service solves a problem in a way different than your competition, make it be known and let your brand define the innovative way in which you hope to solve that specific problem to benefit your audience.
Tell it to the world
Once you've defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
§ Get a great logo. Place it everywhere!
Not just your logo, but your colors, fonts and messaging need to comply with the idea you want to communicate.
§ Write down your brand messaging.
Define key messages you want to communicate about your brand, as these determine its attributes.
§ Integrate your brand to every aspect of your business.
How you answer your phone, your e-mail signature, your social media posts, everything.
§ Develop a tagline.
Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
§ Be consistent.
To establish your brand you need to deliver your brand promise and utilize the same colors, placements, look and feel all over.
Once you let your customers interact with your product or service and see what their take is on it, you can determine what you are doing right, and where you are failing. Your customers need to become your first brand advocates, and they will be when you listen to them and take criticism to improve what you do.
One of the easiest ways to utilize feedback is to focus on “The Lean Startup” approach, which considers three basic pillars: prototyping, experimenting and pivoting. By pushing out a product, getting feedback and then adapting before you push out the next product, you can constantly improve and make sure your brand stays relevant.