What Startups don’t get about Branding

What Startups don’t get about Branding

Why most startups fail the brand test.

They tell me:

“Branding is for big business, it’s Christmas adverts on prime-time TV, it’s your company name on Formula 1 cars, it’s the company name on Premier League Football shirts, it’s huge billboards at the airport that would cost our entire year’s marketing budget, it is nothing we should be concerned about yet, we are a startup!”

On the contrary my dear founder, it is everything to do with you right now!

Personal Brand

Have you ever met someone you have known for a long time , but not talked to each other for many years, when they ask you what you are up to now, they are really surprised as they still thought you had not changed since the last time that they saw you?

For example; I tried so many online businesses along the way to starting leads4biz that failed spectacularly. I call it life learning, but my friend assumed I had given up and gone back to my old job.

“I thought I saw you in the Butcher’s shop Alan”

I have not worked in a butcher’s shop for 30 years, but my brand to him was a lowly but cheerful shop assistant who tried to work online but gave up; so strong was my brand to him that his imagination saw me working with my straw hat wrapping up sausages!

Everyone has their own personal brand. Think of any celebrity and you will come up with your own description of them in one sentence that they may not thank you for. That’s the job for the Tabloids, to nurture this persona of them and we all swallow it. ‘Court the media’ they are told, but the Paparazzi always will, and in some sick way enjoy, ripping you apart as soon as they’ve made you famous

Business Brand

Your business also has a personality too. Humans struggle to understand things in any other way. They base everything on their own personal universe. I remember in school learning figures of speech in English and I remember ‘Personification’ as giving the human comparison to inanimate things, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. As an example:

‘The Skyscraper seemed to look down at me in the street and aloofly laugh at me’

If your business was to be humanised what sort of character traits would you think it would be given?

Think about Established Brands like:

Disney; I think; childhood, fun, happy, traditional, romantic, over-emotional, (well that’s my take of their brand).

Apple: I think; style, creative, innovative, expensive,

Microsoft; basic, reactive, necessary, inconsistent, reasonably priced,

(Can you guess from this what kind of PC’s I use?)

If you fancy stronger words use Presidents or Prime Ministers

Your business: Fill in your own words or ask a few people to give you honest feedback. You may well be surprised at what words people use to describe your business.

‘Brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room’

Your Brand starts from the day you have the idea!

Like my friend, who is convinced I still sell mince and burgers in a white coat and stripy apron rather than taking on the world with a global database and global sales leads, mainly because he is not an online person. There are many people now who only have a basic idea of what you do, if any idea at all. They will have even less idea of how that helps them, what the benefits are and what solution to an age-old problem you are offering.

Branding must be clear from the day you start, as in what do you want people to say about you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your company website and digital marketing comes under this heading and is a straightforward process for companies that have a clear idea of what they offer and who their target market is. All too often when I consulted businesses about their S.E.O. we wasted a lot of time trying to get them all to agree what their brand keywords were.

Many businesses do not have a clear mission statement. I think the story about Steve Jobs grilling people who were unfortunate enough to get stuck in the elevator with him, and then sacking people before they even got out the lift as they lacked the basic corporate compassion for Apple’s brand image, is hardly surprising to me. His company was completely different from anyone out there and he had to protect his baby from being diluted with people with no passion for creativity.

Be clear what you do, how you do it and make it very simple for people to understand.

Ask yourself what are your main keywords, the main customer centric benefits, and if your business was a person what would they be like?

Then once that is crystal clear and set in stone, you must set aside some budget for getting your message broadcasted. This is where so many startups will fail. They may have a world beating idea, but the one place you must spend most of your cash on now is broadcasting it!

Find an influencer with lots of steady real followers and real people on social media and a massive web presence and ask them to broadcast your business name and your brand message across the global internet. 

Then stay true to your core beliefs because you must understand branding is an eternal struggle and you must be in it for the long term.

What If Col Sanders gave up at his 1008th restaurant?

Why Broadcast with leads4biz?

We have 30,000 people every month who visit this site, we have budget to take it to 100,000 a month within 3 months, then we have 300,000 real followers and likes on Facebook groups and pages, Twitter followers, LinkedIn contacts as well as accounts on Instagram, Reddit, Mix, Pinterest at al. We have 40,000 subscribers to our newsletter that is sent out each week to share your business with.

By adding your brand to leads4biz we get the people to see you and know about your company. If your brand message and solution is strong enough then you will start to see a huge warmer improvement in the way people feel about your business and this is the trust you need to sell anything face to face or online. R

Remember, Branding is Trust!

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