If my research and business studies have told me anything, it is that building a brand is very difficult and you have to play the long game. And like many things that are difficult to achieve, establishing a brand has tremendous upside. A brand brings increased customer awareness and positive associations that can be stretched across several SKUs. To give you an idea of how powerful this can be, pick a well-known brand…. Say BMW. Now picture how easy it is for BMW to launch a new car. As soon as new car is launched, it automatically inherits the BMW quality and performance regardless of actual features. See what I mean? Now obviously building a brand like BMW is a very farfetched example but it does a good job of highlighting the benefits behind building a brand albeit an extreme case. Check out the image below with a bunch of brands on it. I bet you recognise these brands so well, you even know the ones where the image is half cut off!
My approach to branding was to create one based on my first product. My logic was that once I did all the hard work finding a product, I had to leverage that with a brand that can then be transferred across to new SKUs in the broader market (when I’m ready to roll them out). On a superficial level, branding can be done in several ways: logo, packaging, pamphlet inserts, personalised cards with each order, etc. Let your imagination go wild on this one. I myself stuck to a logo, a name and a pamphlet insert for starters to get the product going quickly and on a budget. I created both of these on Word and went with a very simple design. You can of course get a lot more creative if you have the designer’s touch. The other option, often recommended by my mentors, is to use a graphics company such as 99designs. This company gets graphic designers from around the world to compete for your business. You can check this service out here. The good thing is you do end up with some pretty awesome logos and inserts through these guys.
Now here’s the hard part, building a brand means you have to stick to your brand message for a very long time, whether it be premium, value for money or intimate customer experience. Take my word that you will be tested time and time again to compromise your brand message to try turn an immediate profit or due to the effort required. In my short tenure selling, I’ve already second guessed myself a few times.
So in short, build a brand, it will be worth it. It will take a long time so stick to your brand message for as long as it takes to catch on. Easy right…..