Branding can make or break your start-up. Don’t rush through the process to simply check off an item off from your to-do list. Take branding your start-up seriously. Branding requires purposeful preparation, execution, evaluation, and adjustment. The ability to make the time to avoid the following 3 startup branding fails will save you time, money, and heartache.
1. Rush Fever. The decision to start a business may have been years in the making or over a lunch date. Whatever the case, there is the intoxicating excitement that follows the decision of starting a business that is to get everything done as fast as you can to start your launch. Slow your horses. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and although online businesses can, doesn’t mean they should. Take time to create a time management schedule to investigate the elements of branding a start-up. Schedule an hour a day over two weeks to review the research. Take the research in one day at a time. Digest the research. Think about how the strategies may or may not align to your business vision. Keep a journal of the research, brainstorm strategies that align with the research, and note examples of brands that you admire and why.
2. Templates Make Life Easier Syndrome. Yes. Some templates do make life easier, but a template for your brand is like saying you don’t care to be unique or value the time and effort of creating the brand that supports your vision. This is not to say that all templates take away from originality. No, application advancements, drag and drop capabilities, can easily transform a skeleton of a template into a work of art. However, keep in mind that those actions to get to that point require creativity, thought, and direction that aligns with the vision. If you can balance your vision with the tools that are out there, then make your life easier with adding your brand to the template skeleton.
If you struggle with that and want to view templates for logos, images, websites, or content, it may save you time to research those areas and get a better understanding of what each is and how you can build your own or come up with a clear enough vision that you can hire someone build it for you versus window shopping for hours or days trying to find a template that you like, only to purchase one because of being tired of looking and letting your ego speak that you need to rush the process. Templates can be speedy, but they can also miss the boat in regards to establishing your unique brand because it is the design by someone else that had no intention of your business when designing it, but you see in that moment it “fits”. If it truly does fit, great. If it doesn’t, it will only be a matter of months and you’ll be doing this process over again, and hopefully learning from the lesson. Meanwhile, the time, money, and resources spent to just get it up and going are gone, and you are feeling a variety of emotions toward trying to get it right this time.
3. Perfection Stall. There needs to be a fine balance between not rushing for getting it done sake and stalling a launch till it is perfect state. Branding can fail because of a variety of things, and waiting for perfection is one of those fails. It is exhausting starting a business, and even more exhausting for entrepreneurs that do not have the creative bug to design the brand or to explain their vision and be disappointed by the lack of a match. The branding process most certainly takes time and effort, however, stalling a brand due to a personality trait of perfection can also become a branding fail. This doesn’t mean to not strive for perfection, but what it does mean is to not let perfection stall you to the point that your launch passes by. The conditions are never perfect, neither are brands. Even the most recognized brands are not perfect. If the branding elements align with the vision and reputation desired, start to make magic happen and adjust along the way.
Branding takes time, practice, and energy. Save yourself the headache of experiencing the Rush Fever that makes you think you must hurry up and get something out there that you miss the point behind building a solid brand. Templates can make life easier, however, it isn’t always the case, especially with branding. Lastly, perfection is a mindset, but don’t let it derail a brand launch altogether. Know that even the most admired brands are not perfect, but are committed to sustained efforts to support the brand alignment with the company. Branding isn’t a one stop shop and you’re done, it is a sustained effort and understanding this from the get-go is essential.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
Copyright 2016 by Viral Solutions LLC
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