When I started my first company at university, I struggled a lot. There were many reasons behind this. The main one was I did not have a north pole. Various opportunities appeared on the road, it was hard to decide which ones to take into consideration. Unsuitable strategies led to misguided actions resulting in a loss of time, money, and motivation.
Branding is usually perceived only as the logo and complementary design elements. However, it is only 20%-30% of a proper branding process. Before starting to reveal the benefits of branding, let’s first define ‘BRANDING’.
Branding is the process of creating a strong perception of a business with its products or services. It is the set of rules that creates your brand equity; and holistically reflects your strategy, values and actions. It is your bible to center your thoughts. It is the existence of your company with its mind, body and soul.
Branding helps you save time, not only for your collaborators but also for your team members. It truly is a magnificent tool to turn all defined strategy into culture.
In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins says ‘Disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and who take disciplined action. In a culture of discipline, people do not have jobs; they have responsibilities.’
Your brand gives birth to your culture. Your culture automatically creates an atmosphere that feeds disciplined actions.
When someone is newly hired, slowly, they begin to understand the deeper meanings behind the way the company lives & operates. Branding fastens the culture, the culture cultivates the potential of your employees.
In the book Strategy Maps, Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Assets, Harvard Business School professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton state that, ‘Strategy consists of simultaneous, complementary themes.’ You need to align all departments, leaders, and tasks to your strategy.’ What comes next? You definitely need a magical tool kit to spread your vision to all shareholders. Your branding helps everyone belonging to your community to serve your strategy. This is your direction; this is everyone’s direction.
Seth Godin once said, ‘People do not buy goods or services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’
Here’s an example to illustrate:
Would you pay $3.000 for staying in a tent for a weekend? I bet you would not. What about this: while you are staying in a tent, you would be in the company of successful entrepreneurs that have high potential to collaborate with you and your business. At the same time, it would be an ecological experience in the middle of nowhere which is so instagramable.
Personally, I know many start-ups that do not have a complete product ready for the market. Despite this, they raise millions of dollars with a simple and a strong brand image. On the other hand, I know many start-ups that build amazing products yet can not manage to sell to a single customer.
Once you define all sets of rules rooted in your strategy and reflect that through all touchpoints, you can spread your wings and fly.
If you want to expand to a new country, find a new sales channel, acquire a company, hire the right team members, decorate your big new office; look back at your branding. For it is your fortune-teller.
Growing rapidly often results in confusing trade-offs that leave entrepreneurs wondering where to go next. When that next opportunity becomes murky, returning to your branding centers you back to reality. It automatically cleans up your wardrobe and organizes your clothes to give you a clear mindset.
All in all, Branding is an engineered methodology to realize your potential with your creative strategy.