Like many over achieving entrepreneurs, many of you have or are currently experiencing the excitement of starting up a new business. You had or have a great business plan, a vision for the future, along with long term and short term goals. But during the excitement of getting a new business off the ground, many aspiring owners put the value of branding their new ventures on the sidelines.
Unfortunately, this can be a big mistake. Branding your company is a key element to future success and the pipeline to ongoing business. Taking the time to establish a strong brand for your business will add an extra layer to the foundation of future success.
A company brand is its recognizable appearance to the rest of the world of what the company offers and is all about. It consists of its name, visual logo, mission, quality of products and services, and the company’s communication both internally and externally. These elements all filter down to how current and future customers see your business. It can give it value, or disvalue it.
As a business owner, we have to look at a brand like a term of assurance. Over time, anyone who comes into contact with your company for its products or services will have a feeling of being assured the quality and outcome of what they are seeking through the affiliation of your brand. Think about your favorite restaurant? Can you describe its logo, service, and quality of food? Because you go there routinely, are you not assured the outcome of the interaction with staff, atmosphere, and food quality? This is all attributed to its brand. When looking at national amusement parks (i.e. Disney), do we not automatically conclude what lies ahead before entering their gates based on the brand we affiliate with them? How about national franchises? What do we think about when we see the McDonalds or Subway logos? Their brands resonate with consumers, does yours?
No matter what type of business you are engaged in, establishing a brand can assure future success. Whether you are in the infancy of starting a venture, or have been established but never put thought behind creating a brand, now is a good time to start. A strong brand will reinforce your mission statement and vision, which will create direction for your employees. In doing so, your brand will help you generate emotion from your customers (which helps sales of course), because they will know what to expect from that implied promise of quality. This in turn will also spread to generate new customer leads. As a result of a strong brand, you will be set apart from any threatening competition through your distinct recognition.
In sum, branding is an accumulation of your name and logo, mission, quality and communication internally and externally. It should extend within your company and to the outside world. Developing and delivering to the foundation of what customers can expect from your business as a result of your brand affiliation, can assure a lasting pipeline of business and leverage over competitors.