I’d like to discuss the concept of building your brand as you build a business, and doing that correctly up front. One of the mistakes that many small business owners make is they wait too long to start marketing and branding. They say, “I have no resources. I’m a boot-strap start up brand. I don’t have start up capital, so I’m going to just get this thing out into the world and see if it works and then I’ll rebrand.” The problem with that is so many start ups don’t see past the prototype stage and don’t have that ability to survive because they haven’t created that connection beyond the focus of the business. They focus entirely on building the business and almost nothing on the brand.
Successful Brands Focus on Brand Development and the Relationship with their Audience
Most small businesses rush into marketing and messaging that’s chaotic and not in alignment with what their target audience is really seeking emotionally. If that business makes it through into success or out of the prototype stage, they then start to build the brand and the business at the same time. They grow teams, systems, and their organization but also then re-tool the brand so it’s based on strategic alignment of their market’s emotional connection. Successful brands that are up and running focus their marketing budget almost entirely on brand development, brand connection and deepening the relationship with their target audience. They study their target personas and evolve with them. They craft and fine tune their messaging continually so that their resonance continues to grow and shift and evolve with the relationship. You need to do the same thing.
Small Businesses Should Start Branding as Soon as Possible
I’d like you to learn from the big successful brands that put all their focus on branding. The business takes care of itself because it’s up and running and bring that over to the start up phase or in the re-brand phase where you’re up and running. You are generating revenue and you have customers and now you’re looking at the brand. Start doing that as early as possible so as you’re developing the business you’re developing the brand at the same time. Don’t make the mistake that so many start ups make, which is just focusing on the business. Then it becomes: “Oh, I have to throw that whole thing out and I have to re-brand?” because the brand that got you there is not going to be the brand that gets you further.
Kerri Konik is a seasoned senior branding executive who has committed her focus and expertise to bringing big agency strategies to business owners and entrepreneurs to achieve next level growth. Kerri is the CEO of her 5th venture, Brandscape Atelier, a women-owned boutique agency specializing in strategic branding for small business. They develop brand strategy, identity, messaging and marketing that ignites emotional connection, increases sales, drives growth and profits, resulting in sustainability and achieving a greater impact in the world.