A business is not something for the faint of heart and it’s defintely not something you should get into if it’s just see what will happen. When starting out you’re thinking of a thousand things a day like how are you going to get customers, what price should you charge, do you need a website and the list goes on and on. Amidst this mix there is often one crucial element that gets glazed over or thrown together in a rush and that is… your branding. Now I am sure you are probably thinking to yourself right now, we have a logo, what else do we need? But branding is so much more than a logo and a tagline.
Branding, what is it really and why is it something you should be thinking about now when you’re first starting your business. Well by definition it is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.” While we can agree with most of this definition there’s a far simpler way of describing and it can be done in one word. Positioning.
Positioning is what you want to focus on before even graduating to marketing your business. If you position your brand correctly your marketing will work seamlessly. Think of your branding and marketing like biscuits and gravy. Branding is the biscuit without it you would have the complete dish but it’s the most important part of the dish. Your branding strategy needs to be focused on two things: what value are you providing to your customers and why should they care. Your brand ultimately is your reputation and like Jeff Bezo’s said “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not the room.” Ask yourself what is it that you set out to provide to customers. Your mission statement is your brand vision in a sense and every person that comes in contact with that vision should have a clear understanding of it, that goes for your employees too.
Before you start creating your marketing strategy and looking into Facebook Ads you need to get crystal clear on what it is that your brand will stand for. Marketing can drive endless amounts of traffic but if your message doesn’t resonate with your potential customers or simply doesn’t make sense, then they will bounce right from your business to the next.
Most businesses fail within the first 18 months of opening and while some people may argue that it was due to a lack of customers, high costs of operating, or even a recession in the economy, I think a lot of it comes down to their branding. Don’t be another statistic and skip over this step. Look no further than Apple or Amazon and see the cult following they’ve created. It was’nt because of their marketing, it all comes down to their branding and how they’ve positioned themselves.
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