I would like to invite you to take a look and reflect first on your brand. There is a high chance that very valuable information may be hidden there.
Isn’t the brand the last thing I should check?
You might have something going on in your mind like this:
“The brand? No, you don’t understand what I mean. I want to innovate (or to create new products and services, or to reach new niches and people, or to increase sales).
Isn’t the brand the last thing I should check? When I already have everything figured out?
I heard that the brand is like the “clothes that you wear” so they can get a feeling of who you are, and perceive the value, and connect with them?”.
Well, if you are talking about visual brand identity, yes, that is correct. But to be able to express something visually, first, you will need to know what it is that you want to express. And the platform, the strategy, the foundation is the brand. Brand means value. And everything that you do in a company is part of the brand. So it makes sense that it should be the first thing you need to check on: what is the value and impact I want to offer to people?
The steps to find and bridge the gaps
Once you are very clear on the strengths, impact, and value you want to give to customers, you will know what to do next, and which gaps need to be bridged.
Ask how to make it possible
Once you know the final result and picture in mind, it will be easier to identify what you can create as a service or product that will help you to deliver this value or to create that impact. Once you have it right, you turn to the “how”. How will you deliver it?
Structure the business to deliver it
Next, it will be the moment to have a closer look at the business, to the operational and organizational side to see what you need to adjust to be able to deliver the value (Not just the product) you want.
The next step will present itself
Now that you know what you need to do to set up and create this system (business), you also know what you already have, and the difference between the two… the next step will be so clear that is impossible not to see it.
How designing a brand strategy can help you to build the company of your dreams
A brand is the “way of thinking” of an organization. It’s the unique logic process that you create that will give direction to everything and everyone in your business.
When you know how to think, you know which paths, decisions, or answers are the right ones to take. You will have an inner guide to know which products or services will benefit your business and your customers.
What kind of innovation are you looking to develop? How should your company be run? What do you expect from employees? And which type of organizational structure you have to create to support your plan?
The paradise and the car: an analogy
I created this analogy of the paradise and the car that explains how important it is to have a business and a brand aligned, and how it could be very harmful to the business life to think of both of these aspects separately from each other regarding the sustainability of the company.
Somewhere out there exists a promised land, a paradise, an ideal world where everything is just right from your perspective, where things and people are just the way they should be. We can call it a vision.
A vision is when you can imagine things in the future differently from what they are now. The brand vision should be the greatest reference for every decision made inside the business. It is like the lighthouse that sets the direction where the ship should go.
After acknowledging your vision, you must be aware of the lost travelers!
Hun? What? Lost travelers?
Yep. The lost travelers are people just like you, that also believe in this promised land, that this paradise, in fact, does exist. They are all looking for this land, but they have no clue how to get there.. they are just walking around. That is the reason why they are lost and the reason why they need you to help them to get there.
Now that you know what your vision or the paradise will look like, and you are aware of who and where your lost travelers are, it should give you quite an idea about how the road ahead will look.
The essential step now is to look back at your business (the structure, the system, and operational aspects) and think about it as if it was a car.
This is the car that you will use to drive on this journey. Would the structure that you have now support the length and challenges of your journey? Or will the car break down in the middle of the road?
You want to make sure that you have a car that will support the whole journey until your paradise. You don’t want a car that will break in the middle of the journey.
Now ask yourself: “How can I adjust my car (business), choose the right tires, gas, screws, size.. so it will take me where I want to go?”
Help the lost travelers to get to your paradise, and you will succeed
Your mission will always be to help the lost travelers to get to your paradise. But for you to be able to accomplish your mission, first, you will need to know 3 things:
- What does your paradise look like?
- Who are the people that want to go there?
- Do you have the right car for that specific journey?
There is no blueprint for this because paradise is different for every company. Even when the competitors’ brands seem to have similar stories, if we look at them closely and scratch beneath the surface, we will see that there is always a huge difference between them.
If you find it hard to differentiate from your competitors it means that you have no clarity on your vision and how your brand paradise looks like. When we don’t have clarity it is hard to communicate, and it is hard for people to understand the value you offer, that’s why you become a commodity and struggle to know what is your next move for your company to keep developing.
What is your perspective on this topic? Share your insights in the comments 🙂