If you’re an entrepreneur in today’s market – my hat’s off to you. You possess the power to see opportunity where others see obstacles, and you know how to act quickly to take advantage of that window to success. Time, in today’s economy, is more precious and fleeting than ever as our lives move faster with technology and communications.
Besides endless hours of hard work getting your business financed and established, today’s entrepreneur wears an additionally daunting cap – broadcaster and market leader. Building a loyal following of customers and fans is more important today than ever before – and the channels to reach them are increasing in complexity and reach with each passing day.
In the heat of the hunt for immediate results, many new (and existing) businesses dash past the brand development stage, and march quickly into delivering logos, websites and collateral from limited or multiple resources. Who has time to ponder the personality of the language used to describe your product or service? People just want to know about it, and hopefully stop long enough to pay attention.
Breaking that pattern of rushing to market is a key component to building a solid communications foundation that will serve you and your growing business for years. Spending the time creating and defining your brand platform with a team of professionals will not only save you precious time, but precious funds in the short and long-term. If done right, your brand platform will influence every single business decision you’ll make today, and in the future.
So what are the real bottom-line benefits you’ll get from establishing a solid brand platform and strategy?
1. Stand Out From The Competition
So much competition, and so little time to compare for too long, the window of opportunity to connect with today’s consumer is ever decreasing. We multi-task on a variety of devices, all while maintaining several streams of conversation and potential distraction. “New and Improved” simply isn’t enough to attract and keep consumer’s attention today; you have to prove your real, authentic value in competition with everyone. Truly standing out in today’s market is harder than ever – and reaps even greater rewards when done well.
2. Communicate Your Value Quickly And Clearly
With a solid brand strategy and well-defined personality and language, you’ll be able to speak with clarity and speed. While speeding down the highway in your car, your billboard will have but a few seconds to be attracted and memorable to a stream of potential customers. The internet is like a highway as well; with similar rules of quick and clear attraction requirements. Keep your message concise and most importantly – make it memorable.
3. Attract Both Customers And Investors
Ask any budding young entrepreneur today who is just beginning to develop business ideas, and they’ll confirm that a strong brand is something they must have to secure funding. “Build It And They Will Come” is notorious as a poor rationale to develop a product or service. As humans, we want to believe that our realm of experience is similar if not exactly like our target market’s… which is often not true. Spending the time to clearly define your target market, and give them reasons to buy from you from their perspective and experience is a critical step to financial returns.
4. Enjoy Lasting Marketing Returns
A well-defined brand platform is one business strategy that gives back for years if executed correctly. As the company grows, so do you expand on the foundation that was established through a formal branding process. Without that foundation, you’ll likely change messages and tactics enough to never gain traction in any specific market; and waste critical resources of time and money while doing it. Developing a solid brand promise also translates into better information for creative expression; saving you time, money, and the sapping effort of going through rounds of creative attempts and evaluation.
5. Grow Faster With Purpose
One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses is to stay on track. It’s hard to know which opportunities to pursue, and which ones to pass on. Particularly when you don’t have the structure and decision-making processes of a large company. A well-defined Brand should be used as a continual, actionable filter to review everything: products, partnerships, people for fit to your core values. If they don’t fit, even if they have merit, then pass.
Brand platform building, especially defining your target market and your unique positioning is a powerful need for every business. Many businesses see the branding process as a challenge, and not an advantage.
How do you see branding in your business today? Is your brand platform clear to you and your market?