A quick search on Google for “branding advice” throws up hundreds of articles on the topic, with many of them sending across conflicting messages. In such a chaotic space, where can entrepreneurs turn to for useful advice? Why, the experience of others, of course! It is said that learning from the mistakes of others is the best practice, and many entrepreneurs and business leaders have gone through their own branding pangs on the path to success. Heeding their advice, which often comes from years of experience, is one way to get a headstart on doing branding right.
Here are some words of wisdom borne out of experience stretching across years, and entrepreneurs would do well to heed them to get their branding right:
“So that’s the whole process of building a brand, right? And I say there are no boring brands; there are only tired brand managers.” – Lucas Watson, Intuit
“With the right tools, anyone can learn to tell brilliant stories. Time and time again, I have seen people who didn't think they were storytellers learn to tell stories and see their audiences become transfixed by their newly developed stories.” – Esther Choy
“Before the world wide web, brand storytelling was through word of mouth and other mediums that needed dollars to create stories. However, the internet has changed the face of traditional forms of marketing, expanding a brand’s reach, both globally and hyper-locally.”– Sumeet Singh, Info Edge
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.” – Geoffrey Zakarian, Restaurateur
“The moment people see a watermark or logo, they switch off. You think about the way that you consume imagery and content. Try and put real things that can build an emotional connect: that’s really the key. Instagram lets you turn your passion into a business.” – Tara Bedi, Instagram
“Building a successful brand is a very complex process and requires intellectual capital from all stakeholders.” – Sameer Desai, Brand Launch Centre by Seagull
“People don’t like being sold to. It’s a discomforting experience, so the challenge for content marketers is to make sure the entertainment value of the content outweighs the discomfort.” – Mike Clear, Digitas
“Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty.” – Ian Spalter, Instagram
“It is not only enough to state what your brand stands for, what is important is to do that consistently and repeatedly so that your brand endures.” – Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital
“You have to create a consistent brand experience however and wherever a customer touches your brand, online or offline. The lines are forever blurred.” – Angela Ahrendts, Apple Inc.
“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.” – Elon Musk
Image: By USA White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
“When you get one good employee and offer him a chance at growth, you automatically enhance your brand in the eyes of other employees.” – Sagar Daryani, Wow! Momo
“Brands that do not see the future coming usually do not have one.” – Jean-Marie Dru, The Ways to New
“You have to stay true to your heritage; that's what your brand is about.” – Alice Temperley, Temperley London
“Define why each stakeholder should choose your brand over the competition.” – Meeta Malhotra, Varana Design
Use the knowledge distilled in these words to guide your own journey as you go about the process of branding your startup. Remember, building a strong brand is a process that takes years, if not decades, so be ready for the long haul! Good luck!