We live in the age of Google, the web is what defines what things, brands, people are. This reality leads to a new way of living life or facing any kind of professional challenge. But to get to the top there are no shortcuts available, it is not easy and requires method and perseverance.

Entrepreneurs have a good advantage: they are driven by passion and enthusiasm without wear and tear in the face of a challenge set by a new business model. However, only 1 in 12 ventures manage to survive and become sustainable businesses. The main reason is that they are born into high-risk environments and cannot resort to traditional development models, which are more stable but slow. Taking for granted that their business model is adequate, that they have correctly balanced the variables between a good product, proven demand, production/service control and adequate financing, there is one more variable that they cannot avoid: the brand.

Branding for Entrepreneurs: Any Business Has a Brand

Talking about a brand is not talking about a logo, or packaging, or advertising. To talk about a brand is to talk about relationships, it is to focus on the emotional aspect that facilitates connections between people. Walter Landor said that “products are built in factories, but brands are created in the heart”. And in this sense, any entrepreneur should think that every business has a brand, whether it is part of a strategy or if it has not been planned. And they should keep in mind that for most entrepreneurs the best brand is their personal brand, which will prevail over the successes or failures of their venture. At the heart of any company, big or small, is its soul, where corporate branding and
personal branding
coexist. Today it would be difficult to separate Amazon from Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson from Virgin; It is no coincidence that behind the most prominent brands there are well-known people.

In the creation of new businesses, the mistake of developing and testing a product is often made, leaving the brand for the end of the process, thinking that it is only an element of identification. Serious mistake. Business and brand cannot be separated, they are two sides of the same coin and must be connected from the very moment of the original idea, perhaps the product can be copied or renewed over time but the brand is irreplaceable. Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, rightly argues that “if you are not a brand you will be a commodity”, and if you stay in the second place you will only be able to compete on price and you can be sure that there will always be someone cheaper than you.

From branding to branding

People don’t just buy products that meet their needs, they buy what they identify with and feel good about. Without a doubt, to succeed today it is necessary to sell something that improves people’s lives. To achieve this, we must make them feel that we are their solution, that we understand them, that we share their concerns, providing a meaning that makes it easier for them to identify with what we represent through a complete vision of the brand through a good branding strategy.

Perception management becomes a master key in branding, as it is responsible for achieving the necessary emotional connection between brands and people, the real cause of why they choose and recommend us. The key for these emotions to gain value is to integrate them into the very definition of the business, moving from promises to purpose and generating positive and memorable experiences. Everything should be connected and in this context, things should not be allowed to happen by accident. Branding is a structured process, in which a set of factors intervene that must interact in full harmony.

The 3 Pillars of Branding for Entrepreneurs

From both a corporate brand and a personal brand perspective, we find what Simon Sinek calls the Golden Circle: first it defines a why, then a how and finally a what.

Why?

In it lies the very raison d’être of the business structured through the brand. Why should anyone care? What is he in this world for? It is the basis for constructing a meaning oriented to identify with a segment of the population. No one can please everyone. The why is pure strategy for the business and is the very basis for the creation of the brand.

How?

How you address people, how you behave, what kind of relationships you build. In how you build your own culture, a set of beliefs that will be shared by everyone who is part of the company and by those who care. In the case of new ventures, it is usually closely linked to the personality of the entrepreneur. All the messages and actions that the brand issues are based on this basis and it is, therefore, a fundamental piece to avoid the loss of recognition of the essence of the brand.

What?

Finally, and in this order, there is the what. The offer that is offered, whether it is products or services. It is perhaps the least relevant part, although necessary to close the circle and that should arise as an answer to the previous questions, but not in the opposite direction. For this reason, it is important to understand that business and brand should emerge at the same time.

 

From the answer to these three main questions, a magnificent strategic framework is obtained, which will undoubtedly need a set of tactics to facilitate its implementation. Development of territories for communication, content strategies, channel planning, community creation… But none of them will be of little use if the business approach has relegated the brand to the mere role of a presentation showcase.

When you are an entrepreneur you need to pay attention to many variables, rest assured that there is no successful business without a good branding strategy.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock

This article appeared first on
Branders Magazine


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