While watering plants last Spring, I stumbled upon this fledgling sprout in a hanging basket. I immediately thought it would make a good stock photo, but soon realized how it also taught a great lesson in brand building.
Yes, those mighty maples in my yard have been protecting my home from nature’s sudden turns, much like a well-nurtured brand provides cover from market uncertainties.
And, the same way in which a business should propagate its brand through strategic outreach, those maples were maintaining their own seasonal ritual of proliferation, sowing whirling seeds of distinction within, around and beyond my property line.
If your branding efforts aren’t branching out beyond your customer base, you’re missing an opportunity for it to take root in areas where it can add real value to your business. Potential investors, career-seekers, local media … they each should know who you are and what you stand for.
Your brand and your business should matter to all of them.
If you want to stand out from the rest of the forest, sow your own seeds of distinction as broadly as you can.
The tagline is not about who you are or what you sell. It’s about them: your target audience. So, you better make sure it’s concise, direct and memorable, so they recall it the each time they hear your name.
The bankruptcy courts are full of great ideas that were undermined by ineffective branding and promotion. Build it and they will come? No, they won’t. Not unless you make them really want to. Or, better yet, need to.
The more experts you keep in your circle, the better you’ll be at determining your next great move. And, the better chance you’ll have that your crew will follow and grow with you.
So, if you find yourself continually restating your promise or steering your audience away from false perceptions, then it’s time to take a step back and see where things have gone astray. And, that might just require the objectivity that can only come from outside of your organization.