Brand building isn’t the top of every entrepreneur’s list. Startups are busy figuring out how to get their product ready, and UX perfected first – and I totally get it. But it should be topping your list. At the very least, one of the top 5 things on your list. Because when you do it right, brand building helps you with everything else you need to do to get to market.
If you’re not convinced that investing in your brand is important, nay – necessary, here are a few little truth bombs that might hit home. (And yes, I said “nay” – that’s how serious I am).
1. Your competitors are investing in their brand
Businesses who understand the true value of investing in branding understand they’ll get a return. If your competitor is investing, they’ll have a real edge over you. And if they’re not investing? What a perfect opportunity to make the first move.
First mover advantage is a legit marketing strategy. Proper brand building helps you identify these types of strategies and more, to leave your competitors for dust.
2. You’ll increase your brand value
Think of your brand as something which has real value, like any other asset. The value of your brand isn’t determined by you, it’s determined by your customer. The way they perceive, feel, connect and act as a result of your brand – this is brand equity. Investing in your brand will allow you to tap into these value-driving elements.
3. You’ll shore up your positioning
In case the first two points aren’t compelling enough on their own, investing in brand building helps you identify where the gaps in the market are and how you can differentiate. Differentiation means the difference between a customer choosing you over your competitor. It’s the difference between getting funding and not. It’s the difference between being flash-in-the-pan versus a long-term legacy.
4. It’s kind of half-arsing it if you don’t
You can get away with figuring out this stuff as you go. It doesn’t mean you should. Figuring it out as you go means shooting in the dark when it comes to your communication efforts. Defining your voice, style, and audience up front means more cost-effective marketing spend. It means less guesswork. It means you’re playing by strategy like the big kids.
You can do it. Put your back into it.
5. You’ll both look and act the part
Putting all that amazing work into your product is only one part of the puzzle. A solid brand and marketing strategy is the roadmap which will guide you to making that amazing product a success. You can get a logo done for $5 and it will do. You can create copy without brand guidelines. But building your brand from the start is a surefire way you’ll be taken seriously by your potential customers, important stakeholders and investors.
6. Your bottom line will thank you
A brand is an intangible entity, but getting it right will impact a whole bunch of those tangible metrics you’re probably losing sleep over at night. Leads, cost per acquisition, website traffic, followers, sales, referrals – they are all impacted by your brand. It’s all connected, which means having a clear brand proposition, story and identity are all connected to how profitable you are.
Think about it… you don’t think the Apples, Nikes and Cokes of the world are successful just because they have the best product, do you?
Despite what you may see across the web, branding isn’t just about the feels. There’s science behind it. There are journal articles written about it. They teach it in universities. It’s kind of a big deal.