We’ve got a real love for branding — our love runs deep and it’s real. Over the years, we’ve been able to be a part launching numerous brands (including a few of our own). Along the way, we’ve learned a few things — things to do, things not to do. Whether you’re just getting started on building your brand or you’ve been launching brands like it’s your business since 2007 — here’s a couple things to keep in mind.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
When building a brand, it’s important to do your research. Okay, so you’re probably wondering — “What kind of research do I need to do?” Great question! First things first, you need to see if there is a market for the product / service / brand that you are creating. Are you fulfilling a need for someone or a group of people? Is launching your brand going to enhance someone’s life? Or make their life easier? Whether it’s sending out a survey to a group of people or polling your Facebook (Twitter, or Instagram) audience — find out how people are going to react to the launch of your brand’s product or service. Secondly, research any competition. Google it to see if anything else is being done similar to your idea, take time to explore on Instagram, scroll through Twitter — you get the idea, you need to scout it out. Find out if the idea is being done by someone else. If it is —critique how others are building their brand (product and service)— what are they doing good? What are they doing poorly? Then, like Steve Jobs said — “do it differently.” You can’t “look at the competition say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.”
2. DON’T COPY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE BUILDING
Remember what Steve Jobs said— “do it differently.” The world doesn’t need you to build a copycat brand — they need you to build a brand that is unique, original, and full of innovation. One of the most harmful things that you can do for yourself and your brand when starting out is copying what someone else is doing, building, and saying. Everyone is different, which means that copying how someone sets up their brand, builds their brand, and creates messaging for their brand just won’t work. In fact, it’s lethal to copy—because to copy is to stunt creativity and originality. Take note: just because a marketing idea worked for Brand A does not mean that it will work for you. You are different, your brand is different, your audience is different.
Build something that fits you, your brand,
your audience, and your vision.
3. DO INSERT YOUR PERSONALITY INTO THE BRAND
All that to say — the best way to create something unique, special, and fresh is to insert your personality into the brand. And THAT is what makes the brand so appealing and refreshing. So, here’s the question — who are you? What can you insert into your brand that is totally and uniquely you? Think on it. Then, implement it.
4. DON’T THINK A BRAND IS JUST A LOGO
Okay, so what even is a brand? Well, for starters — it’s not just a logo. It’s everything: the way you talk, the way you interact with people, the vibes you give off, the language you use, the visuals you create, etcetera , etcetera. As Forbes says, “Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.” So, your homework — answer these questions: 1) Who are you? 2) Who do you want to be? and 3) How do you want people to perceive you?
5. DO WRITE DOWN YOUR MISSION
Do write down your mission statement — what is the purpose of your brand? What is the heartbeat? What do you hope to accomplish through your brand’s existence? When you know your mission, it becomes a whole lot easier to build a solid and sustainable brand.
5. DON’T THINK EVERYTHING HAPPENS OVERNIGHT
One of the biggest misconceptions in our generation is that things happen overnight. Realize this: no webinar, no tutorial, no e-course will ever be able to teach you how to be an overnight success. Because there is no such thing. As the saying goes, it takes 10 years to make an overnight success. If you’re in this for the long haul, remember— it’s going to take hard work, dedication. Don’t be hard on yourself or set unrealistic expectations thinking that you need to be the next overnight success. Just be you. Work to the pace of your own beat and success will find you.
6. DO BE CONSISTENT
Which means, you’re going to need to be consistent. There’s going to be some days where you really want to throw consistency out the window— don’t. Keep going. Be consistent in producing, in creating, in marketing, in telling the story of what you do, and in building your dream.
Consistency is the foundation to
building a successful brand.
7. DON’T CREATE JUST TO CREATE
One of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned in our journey of creating brands is to not create just to create. It’s easy to get caught up with the whole “keeping up with the Jones'” shenanigans in anything in life — and business, entrepreneurship, and dreams are no exception. When you create just to create, you’ll find yourself sinking in a sea of pressure. You’ll find yourself “busy” with things that are not even satisfying you or fulfilling your brand’s mission. It’s important to create out of the natural overflow of you, your team, and your brand. If you’re creating to keep up with another brand or because you think it’s going to save your brand from going under — you’re creating from the wrong space and intention. As creators, it’s important to create because we feel it, because we believe in it what we’re making, and because we see how necessary our creation is to other’s lives. When you create out of the natural overflow of who you are and who your brand is— you’ll find that everything you do flourishes. And let us tell you, it’s so freeing!
8. DO STAY FOCUSED
Remember the mission statement you wrote down? Stay focused on that. Don’t get distracted with side ideas that don’t lead to fulfilling your mission. Keep your messaging simple. Keep your vision simple. Keep your action steps simple. If you’ve never read the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown — go order it on Amazon. One of our favorite things that McKeown talks about is focus and energy. It’s hard to create something great when your focus is split between a ten different ideas. But if you only have one idea that you’re working on— you have so much more energy to offer that idea. Right? So, here’s what we’re saying— if you really want your brand to succeed, narrow things down. Choose one (or two) things — start there, focus there. Don’t start off trying to be all things to all people.
9. DON’T LIMIT THE POSSIBILITIES
The possibilities are endless. Remember that, always. Never buy into the idea that there is a limit or that you can only go so far. You determine how far you can go in this world, no one else. You make the rules, wild heart. So, where do you want to go? Take the limits off — if anything and everything was possible, what would your ideal brand look like? What would it be building? Okay, now go create that.
Because, there’s no limit.
10. DO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE
If you haven’t figured it out already, life is one big balancing act. It’s important to embrace where you are now (as an individual and a brand), but it’s equally important that you dream about the future. In the same way that a train cannot go where no tracks have been laid, your brand and ideas cannot go where you have not dreamt. Take time to dream and lay down the tracks for your brand and ideas. Because, wild heart, you can take your brand and ideas anywhere you want to go.
You have the ability to create something breathtakingly wonderful — something that changes live as we know it.