Being an entrepreneur is exciting. When an idea is planted in your mind it can take hold and grow to the point where there is no room left for any other thoughts. At that point, many people just leap into starting a new business without necessarily putting all the foundational pieces into place. Sometimes this means you don’t launch a proper website until your second year of operation (like us!), and other times it means you have your logo quickly done by your best friend’s cousin who did a graphic design course at uni and was cheap as chips to hire. Whatever form it takes, I can guarantee that almost every entrepreneur cut corners at the beginning just to be able to get her dream off the ground.
One of the main victims of this corner cutting is the brand’s strategy. While everyone is usually excited about developing a logo for their brand, very few people take the time or are even aware that they need to set out to create a solid brand strategy that will serve as the backbone for the business. The logo is merely supposed to be a visual representation of everything this brand stands for.
I often meet business owners who have been flying by the seat of their pants for 3 – 5 years. Invariably, a question I hear from them is: “is it too late for me to set a strategy for my brand? I’ve already been in business for years.” While it may seem like a step backward, the answer is no, it’s never too late.
The truth is that the foundation for a brand strategy is usually there within a business, and we as brand consultants have to go on mining expeditions to find it. We don’t ever create a brand strategy from thin air, but rather derive one based on the dreams and aspirations of the people who are building this business one day at a time. We crystalize those thoughts and formalize the approach that you may have unknowingly been following all along. So many times we have presented a brand strategy to a client and received the response, “THANK YOU! You put a voice to all the thoughts that have been swirling in my head without structure for years.”
We recently worked with a company that had been operational for over TWENTY years and had never done any formal brand or marketing work. The need arose because this business had slipped from being a top of mind provider in its industry to one that is not well known due to a lack of brand awareness with newcomers to the UAE. Without any effort put into developing a clear idea of what a brand stood for, there was no way to resonate with people who were newly interacting with your business and had plenty of competitors to choose from. The team will be applying their new brand strategy in a business pitch next week, and we can’t wait to see what it yields for them!
If a 20+ year old business can decide that it’s time to finally formalize its brand strategy, what’s stopping you?