How can my company become a great brand? How can I make this brand sustainable? What will bring value to my brand? Just what is my story, and how do I tell it? And, my favorite question and the most important by far: What the hell is branding?
Branding is more than a logo. It’s more than a website. It’s more than a business card. It’s more than the colors and typefaces you choose to represent your company. It’s everything your company does. Your brand is your voice in the marketplace, and it is your proposition for disruption. It is your opportunity to create something with lasting impact. It is how you tell your story, and it is absolutely key to your success and your survival.
Most entrepreneurs go to market not with a brand, but with an idea—an idea that can be so soulful and personal that it can be challenging to present and explain to others. You think everyone should intrinsically get it, just like you do—but they don’t have a clue. And that’s why you need to develop effective brand messaging.
One of the most frequent comments I hear is, “People just don’t understand us, our value and what we do, but we are absolutely the best at it.” Therein lies your problem. Your brand is your story, and if you can’t tell it, then nobody will get it.
If you ever catch yourself making that sort of statement, take a step back. Because it is total BS. No one is that special. This is business, not Dr. Phil, and if you cannot communicate the value of what you bring to the market, the economy and the world, well then, your days are numbered.
Branding is about knowing your niche, what you stand for and how you communicate the values and character of your product or service. As a company founder, this is not so much a design choice as it is a leadership decision. Your job as chief is to know exactly, concisely and in context what you stand for. You are the lone author of your story, your mission and your reason for being. How you tell it is your job and will determine your success.