When is the right time to start building your brand?
I need some expert help from entrepreneurs and small business owners: Are you deliberately building your brand? If not, why not? What would you like to learn about brand building? (I am developing an online course, and could use some input – both for the finishing touches and for the marketing.)
I think you need to start creating your brand from the very beginning! Of course it's extremely important to have a quality product or service, but I believe that there are a lot of people who have a good product/service but can't market it properly. The two really go hand in hand, and a good entrepreneur will have a healthy balance of both when starting their business. I've linked to a few sources below that talk about the importance of branding, how to brand, and the importance of an attractive logo or sign. Check them out if you're interested!
Hi Julie, I encourage you to begin building your brand almost from the point you begin to conceive a project. Frankly I find that by promoting the brand it will actually help you to define the brand. This may well be a process... because as you work on the delivery and / or development of your product you will identify the important ingredients / factors that will promote and build your brand. At the same time I believe that it is also good not to lose sight of your original goal.. what you set out to achieve...the purpose or reason why you started on this road. What is a brand if it is not to position your project with end user customers? So as you work with potential customers this will also help you to identify what is required of your brand. All the best...hope these thoughts are helpful...
It depends what aspect of branding you are looking at - the look or feel of the business or the product or service you are providing your customers. Both need to be looked at in different ways but both have to be consistent and so that your customers now that it is instantly a certain company they are dealing with. It shocks me how many companies or small business have a mix match of styles for their visual communication through social media, their websites and literature so the consumer is confused about what the business is about. The service and message should be consistent and always being looked at to see how it can be improved, and have as much in place as possible before the launch. Definitely have a business plan with a marketing strategy.
There is a time and a place for everything in marketing and that time and place varies by business. Depending on what you do, who your target market is, the size of your business, etc. For some businesses, brand is everything, for others it means nothing at all and, of course, most are somewhere in between. Which is reflected in the answers already here.
When you are doing well enough that building your brand will not take needed resources away from marketing your product or service and you see what value it can bring to your business, that is a good time to start building your brand.
The 1st day of business. And ever day after that.
I've been a business consultant, business valuation and business intermediary for the last 30 + years. I know from where I stand.
Best to you on your on-line course development.
The first day you decide you have a Brand is the day you begin to build it!
Yes, I am deliberately building my Brand. I learn about Brand building everyday. Everyone is different and has different goals for their business. I don't have an ideal client, so I build my Brand to demonstrate skills, knowledge and expertise which I use to attract clients. A product vs a service may differ in the approach, as will an individual vs a company. Stay in touch on your course, good luck!
odds are before you start telling people/put a product out.
Your branding assets and strategy need to already be in place by the time the idea is shared.
Hi Julie, Sounds like we are in similar fields and I would say that one of my most common observations is that entrepreneurs are often focused on product and think that a brand is something that can be tacked on to the end of the development process right before launch rather than a core set of values that defines the product development and tracks with the central value proposition at the heart of the venture.
Good question Julie - I'm an advocate of figuring out/building/establishing your personal brand first; this will of course natually translate to your company's brand/image and help differentiate. I think a course on how to build your personal brand would be well recieved.
The right time to start building your brand is when you start for educate your prospects about the products or services you have to share with them. You need to have a front-end informative product or services so you can create a back-end in a long-term relationship you'll have with them. Design your business model before you decide educate your prospects is very important for you can benefit from them to trust and respect you.
Having just started a new business, launching in September and researching since December 2011, the 'brand' evolved from the pre-launch research; it was simply an identity that arose from our positioning statement. I strongly disagree with some of the suggestions above about 'sorting your business first (Having made this mistake before). The boundaries between B2B and Consumer have blurred to such an extent over the last 10 years that business people identify with business propositions in the same way that they would with a consumer product .. so you need have that identity and positioning proposition clear at the point of launch. Look at all the digital businesses that have a clear brand/name/logo/statement from the offset .. half the time you know the brand before you know what they ACTUALLY do !
i think to start building your brand must be at first, when you idea is finish. Your brand must be already to communicate it to your clients.
Start NOW -- start conveying what makes you special and what makes you DIFFERENT THAN THE COMPETITION. Because that's what builds a brand.
Basically, every company has two choices...
Either convey your brand in the way you want to be seen, valued and differentiated in the most positive light -- or just leave it to chance and be swept out of the way by market forces. The latter is what most marketers do -- and then they wonder why they get no respect and are seen as nothing-special also-rans!
Hi Julie, As you are about to see, I have my own opinion on the answer to your question. This could have been "When is the best time to take your first step" and I would have said "When you decide you are going to walk"! I feel that you should know you have to develop a brand before you go into business, therefore you should decide what that brand will be and how you will go about developing it prior to starting your business. It should be part of your business plan. You do evolve your business as Brooks stated, however your brand and your business should evolve together over time so that in the end they become one and the same. Trying to build one without the other is a bad idea and will result in poor marketing. You market your brand and sell the benefits of your product or service. They come together to represent the essence of your business.
Julie, my simple answer isYesterday". I joked with my 21 yr old cousin recently that his drunk pictures posited on his FB account would impact his personal brand when he sometime soon looked for work or other more serious pursuits. Unfortunately for many people and companies, they don't worry soon enough and their lack of thought in fact creates a brand they don't want or can't get away from (like my cuz). If you don't worry about your brand from the get go, you also miss the opportunity to build the brand much like you would build a nest egg - invest whatever you can afford now so you can take advantage of compounding as well as the wisdom gained over time.
So...my advice to anyone with your posted question is "Just Do It"...and yes, I intend that to be both literal and an example of how important brand is.
This is a great question. I think many people make a mistake of focusing too much attention, too early, on building their brand, instead of their business. To me, a brand is so much more than just your logo or your name. When you look at the most successful brands, their logos are recognizable but they became a brand through their history of business, service, and signature products. That takes time. A truly recognizable and public reputaion is the result of time and consistant work. Marketing can help but in the beginning it will only encourage people to try a business. Marketing will not determine if a company executes well or not. Additionally, businesses evolve over time and many times, what a business offers or, more importantly, what people end up buying, can change significantly after a business gets established. I think that businesses should spend a few years building their business and their reputation, before spending too much time, "running the brand.'
Your brand is everything about you - what you do, when you show up for appointments, how you treat people... EVERYTHING.
Start right now.