1. Know your mid and long-term objectives and why you are in business in the first place.
Why does the business exist in the first place? If it is just about the money, you are going to have to search harder. It is no longer enough. You are not going to inspire anyone and you are not going to create anything remarkable enough to win.
2. Be clear about the business culture you are building
Your brand lives in the mind of the individual customers. Every customer interaction with your brand is an opportunity to influence your brand. If your team doesn’t clearly understand and align with your brand values, service delivery expectations, and tone of voice, you are simply not going to be capable of delivering on your brand promises and build the brand you want to be.
Your brand strategy is destined to fail if you do not have the underlying culture to deliver on your brand promise in every customer touchpoint.
3. Explore your brand personality
This sounds a bit like woo-woo abstract bull shit if you haven’t experienced it before, but let’s consider the definition for a second, “personality: the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character”. If the brand is ‘the individual’ in this case, it’s really not hard to now see how this is incredibly relevant.
What is the combination of characteristics or qualities, that will define your character? For example. How will customers interact with you on social media? What’s your voice? Fun, professional, pragmatic, to the point…? They’re all very different. They all influence your customer’s perspective of your brand and how they will talk about you, if at all.
4. Know your customer
Ah, the most important step in this process and yet one of the most commonly misunderstood or not understood at all. If you are not obsessing about what your customer wants, how they live, how they interact with your industry, product or service or how your business is improving their life you will have no ability to deliver what they actually want or care about.
As such your product or service will miss the mark. If you’re lucky you’ll learn this quickly and may have the ability to pivot. If you’re not lucky, you’ll sink tons of money or resources into your idea hoping to ‘build it and they will come’ and you’ll be dead and buried before you get started.
5. Your position in the market
Are you cheap, or are you expensive? Are you high quality, or low quality? One end of the spectrum is not necessarily worse than another. Nor expensive necessarily better than cheap. Better make sure though that you are choosing a position that isn’t taken or one you can win and hold. There’s no blue water, or profitability, among the crowd.