2020 Differentiate

You’re an expert in your field – there’s no denying that. It’s something you’ve trained hard to do, or something that you are passionate about. But how are you with people? And are you a good salesperson? These are some of the areas that can catch a lot of great entrepreneurs and businesses out. You know how good your product or service is, but that doesn’t mean anybody else does, because you might not be quite so good at explaining it and selling it.

That’s where a brand strategy comes into play, and investing in that crucial early part of any start-up can be make or break for a new company. Here are three reasons to invest in a good brand strategy.

1. Introducing the ‘Why’
The ‘why’ of a business is something 2020 is passionate about, because it is the simple question that needs to be asked and answered in any situation in order to understand it. If people don’t understand your brand, how can you expect them to buy your products or take an interest in it? Again, it is often the case that the expert in the field has the most difficulty explaining what it is they do and why they do it. It’s well known that experts often make the worst teachers, because the simple things that need to be taught first seem irrelevant or common sense to the expert. If you asked a computer science technician to explain what makes computers interesting, they would most likely start talking about the technology and science behind computer systems, instead of assuming the person they’re talking to knows nothing. In that case, the better answer would be, ‘you can write, draw, ask questions, use a diary, and it’s all there again when you need it the next time’. Brand strategists will come into your company in the same way. They will want to know everything, starting with the most basic explanation of what you do and why. From there, they can start to build a strategy, which involves explaining to non-experts (ie. the general public and your consumers) why and how you can help them or make their lives better.

2. Distinguishing your brand
We’re talking here about differentiating your brand from the swamp of competitors, and that includes right across the world. Branding and competition has become very different in the past decade. Many people would still remember having to buy everything locally, from clothes and food to technological equipment and home essentials. Now, consumers can search the web and order clothes from China, a laptop from the US and their business cards from Holland. The world of branding and business survival has never been more competitive. And that’s why you can’t just sing to that same old tune of, ‘we sell this’, because there are far more competitors selling that same thing than there used to be. Instead, your brand needs to distinguish itself from the rest and make consumers take an interest in finding out more. This is especially the case for a start-up because many of those competitors already have their customers. For you to get a slice of the pie, you need to appear different in some way. This is something a brand strategist will help you uncover or develop.

3. Aligning the team
Starting a new company or brand is a very exciting time, and generally involves a number of people across different departments. It’s great to have so many passionate minds in the one operation, but often, communication can be an issue. Without a clear strategy to align the team and make sure everyone is on the same page, it’s impossible to send out a succinct clear message to the world about your brand. The CEO might believe customer care is the absolute number one priority for the business, while the technical mastermind behind the operation might believe the only important thing is the quality of the product. All of these things are extremely important, but what is just as important is branding the company and having one clear consistent message carried across all touch points!

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2020 Brand + Marketing Visionaries