Three Important Brand Management Lessons
Managing your brand is of vital important in a world of increasingly commoditized products and services.Â A well developed brand differentiates your business, communicates your value proposition, and conveys important information about what you do and who you are.
Here are some important startup brand managementÂ lessons to remember:
- Focus on Creating Experiences I recently finished reading B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmoreâ€™s paradigm shifting book The Experience Economy. Pine and Gilmore contend that to realize success in the modern economy, companies should focus upon creating innovative and enduring experiences rather than products or services. The authors credit the creation of compelling experiences for the growth and terrific success of onetime startupâ€™s Apple and the Geek Squad. The book got me thinking a lot about the importance of branding, since Iâ€™ve always believed that a companyâ€™s brand is a summation of customer touchpoints; itâ€™s the experiences you are able to create, the conversations you are able to foster, and the feelings you are able to elicit. To build your startupâ€™s brand, be creative in how you design an experience. As Pine and Gilmore point out, Apple was able to enhance its brand through innovative retail stores by analyzing the hospitality experiences of boutique hotels. The Geek Squad created a great brand by embracing elements of theatricality in its operations. Focus on designing great experiences for your customers and your brand will come naturally.
- Be Your Brand A simple Google search on â€˜brandingâ€™ will turn up a great deal of information on the merits of â€˜living your brandâ€™. Solid brand management principles should be ingrained in every companyâ€™s culture, but startups are in a unique position with regard to this philosophy. For a new company with a small number of employees, branding is as much about you as it is about the company. Youâ€™re the driving force behind your startup, so act as if itâ€™s an extension of yourself. Brand building is as much a question of yourÂ company’s culture as your external efforts, so train yourself and your employees to channel the brand in all interactions with customers. Remember, your brand is your reputation.
- Design Matters First and foremost, itâ€™s important to remember that good design cannot make up for poor branding. A creative logo or beautiful website become meaningless when not integrated into a cohesive brand management program. However, donâ€™t under appreciate the positive impact great design can have upon your brand. Creative and well thought out design elements help communicate key characteristics about your brand, which will increase the attractiveness of your startup, help foster engagement and start customer conversations.Â Â
A solid brand management program is crucial to the long-term success of your company. Focus on creating great experiences for customers, understand that your brand is an extension of your companyâ€™s culture (and by extension, yourself), and embrace the power of quality design to build a brand that resonates with your customers.
What are some other important factors you feel are important when buildingÂ a brand?