Start up Business Series: Branding
Date: 07/08/19 | Author: Sean Toomer
Branding? Isn’t that marketing? No. Your Brand is a set of values that encompasses your business as a whole; what you stand for and why you’re doing it. Your brand needs to be clear, easy to understand and consistent in everything you do.
These are a set of words, or values, that describe your businesses brand. As an example, some of Diverso’s brand values are:
It’s a bit like a dating profile. They are values that not only describe your business, but need to follow through in what you do. You wouldn’t say you’re a dynamic firm of accountants and then have your clients use Excel to keep their accountants. You wouldn’t say your environmentally conscious and then start burning rubber tyres in the garden.
Your brand is like your reputation; you have one whether you like it or not
Whether you’ve taken the time to actually define your brand values or not, you have them. They will develop on their own, based on how you are as a company and your customers will know this.
If you don’t define then, this can lead to inconsistent brand values, which will get customers confused as to what it is you do or what you’re offering. And if that happens, all too often a confused customer will go elsewhere where they don’t need to think too much.
To be clear, have your brand everywhere
From what envelopes you use (both GSM, type, colour), to the mugs you service clients coffee in, to the type of furniture you have and what staff wear and how they behave. Keep everything on brand, to make it as easy as possible for your customers to identify what you are and what you’re about.
I’ve seen many businesses succeed with an exceptional strong brand alone (poor systems and processes). Customers can easily fall in love with a brand - a concept, more so than they can a product or service.
Think about a Mission Statement
When it comes to branding, this can link well to your mission statement. Your brand is the overall customer experience - what they are supposed to feel when they experience your business.
Your Mission Statement defines why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. Therefore, the two are very much interlinked. If you’re struggling to identify your brand values, try writing a mission statement for your business. As an example is our mission statement.
What to do now?
Write down your brand values - as many as possible. Then look at ways in which you can incorporate these into your processes to reflect your brand.
Don’t forget, look out for our next blog in the series: Structure
If you missed our previous blog in the series, The Business Plan, take a look here.
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