Today I am reviewing everything I've done over the last 13 year. On April 1st, 1999 I was in a position to start-over to start fresh and create whatever I wanted. This is the day I officially started my company full time. I was 27, and I am now 40 years old. In the early days I was on-fire and excited to make my way in the world. I wanted to create the top design firm in the world… but what does a 27 year old know about that?
I did as most business owners do. I figured I'll make it up as I go along. I was lucky in some ways and unlucky in others. I was lucky in the fact that I understood how to create marketing collateral. I didn't however know a damn thing about running a business and this was part of the downfall for the growth potential of my business.
How does this tie in with why branding fails? Well here is the deal, as with my company, most companies excel in one area, but they also have problem areas that are holding them back. What typically happens with small businesses is they want to create a strong brand, but they just don't have the capital for it. Worse they do not have the commitment to stick with one thing for the long haul. Branding takes time. Branding takes money. These are items most small businesses have very little of.
Branding is all about consistency. Consistency in design is what most people think of (logo, colors, signage, collateral). Honestly though it is much more than the design. It is consistency in messaging and how you speak to your customers and prospects. It is consistency on the level of experience you create and the consistent quality of the product you deliver– reliably time and time again. Branding is the customers gut feeling. It is meeting and exceeding your customers expectations each and every time.
This is why branding fails for most business owners. Owners are a bunch that get easily distracted by the shiny object, they jump on the next thing that grabs their attention. This type distraction takes them away from what they are good at. What is keeping you from building your strongest brand?
To keep this article short… I am going to end here. I'll push this idea further, but do so in a few articles so stay posted!