Written by: Tameka Bazile
There is a common misconception that every great business begins with a great idea. Something that you are sure other humans cannot live without -- a service that others haven’t yet realized they needed or a product that is sure to revolutionize human efficiency. A great idea is certainly the jump-off point of an incredibly lucrative business, but what makes a business sustainable, marketable, and great isn’t the idea…
It’s the branding.
If there’s one thing I’ve realized is seldom discussed on “LLC Twitter” and “Biz Ownership IG” is how a lack of uniform branding or no branding is a direct contributor to the failure of many businesses. When starting out, many entrepreneurs make the jump from business idea to brand identity -- focusing on creating a logo, finding brand colors, and starting an IG or Twitter page to market their offer, only to end up discouraged after they’ve invested more time and money into their business than a return.
Not to mention that you were under the impression that all that was branding. So where did you go wrong?
Your branding is the blueprint and outline for your business. Without a fully outlined brand strategy, most businesses risk their own demise through inconsistent marketing, not having a clear understanding of their ideal buyer persona, and an inability to settle on a brand position. Failing to understand how these concepts contribute to a sustainable brand is why most entrepreneurs extend resources to areas of their business that don’t necessarily need it when starting out.
So how do you get your great business idea to actually make you money?
1. ESTABLISH COHESION BETWEEN YOUR BRAND IDENTITY AND BRAND IMAGE
Your brand identity is comprised of elements that speak to how you want your brand to be perceived by your audience. This is a fundamental understanding of how your physical branding (logos, colors, image) compliments your brand’s core values, taglines, signature products, and more. As well as how these are recognized by your ideal client/consumer. This cohesion requires an in-depth understanding of some key aspects of your business idea:
-- Who exactly are you marketing this product to?
-- What problem are you trying to solve? Do your signature offers directly address that problem?
-- How are your competitors currently serving your ideal client?
Just because you want your brand to be perceived in a certain way, with a certain set of values and benefits, and a perceived advantage over your competitors doesn’t mean your market agrees. Your success lies in your ability to attract your customers in a way your competitors are not and that requires a very deep understanding of them.
2. GIVE YOUR BRAND A LIKEABLE PERSONALITY
Think of your brand as an individual all itself, your ideal client has to make a decision as to whether or not this “individual” is likable, relatable, and trustworthy. Brand personality -- and all its inclusions such as imagery, language, values, and themes -- influence how your target audience perceives you. You want them to connect with you, your brand’s mission, and your ability to solve their problem. A brand’s personality is ultimately responsible for shaping your audience’s connection with your brand -- make it a personable one!
3. WRITE DOWN AND KEEP TRACK OF YOUR EFFORTS
If you’re going to start a business, then start a business. Businesses require organization, methodology, research, and execution to flourish. This means you will not be able to make money from your business until you begin monitoring your efforts to determine what is working and what isn’t. This also helps you create a strategy to continue employing what you know works, ultimately contributing to more regular success. You’re never going to make money trying random business and marketing tips -- success requires discipline.
Your business does have the potential to thrive, increase your income, and support your ideal client but that success requires refining your vision. Are you ready to be more intentional about your success?