The digital age, globalization and many innovations, especially in IT, have brought dramatic changes on the way we do business. Today consumers have (too) many choices, they are very informed, engaged and connected, while they tend to share their experience with others. With different tools and media, they can do it very effectively, so effectively, that one negative review, comment or post might even bankrupt your business. They are also more and more demanding, even to the point to become co-creators of the products and services they buy! Their overall experience, from the first moment they have heard about your brand, about your promise to them, the moment you bought it, used it, serviced it, and even get rid of it (ecological perspective), should be satisfying, or better unique. It means they can identify themselves with your brand, and that the brand has met their initial expectations, which leads to their recommendation, loyalty and repeated purchase.
But, do I have to do all these activities? To inform, work with social media, communicate, collect feedbacks, prepare a story?!?
Unfortunately, the answer is YES, you have to do it, to hack your growth or even survive. With all changes described abovethat affect customer behavior, you need to start managing your brand. Today, whatever you do it, or don’t do it, leaves an impression, a message to you potential customers! A message whether you “care” for them and their experience, or not, because they mostly want to be engaged, informed, and heard. They want to co-create your brand! So branding has become dynamic, and long ago evolved from initial visual elements and simple advertising, to the level of relations that need to be managed. Because relations are not static! So to brand or not to brand it’s not more of an option. Branding is simply happening all the time, irrespectively of your activities, and it’s just a matter whether you manage this process or not!
OK, let’ start branding! But how to do it? Where to start?
Well, we have developed an easy- to-follow framework, or even a better tool, we named Startup Branding Funnel, shortly SBFUNNEL that will help you to understand, develop, implement and maintain strong brands that deliver a unique customer experience. You will need to start actively manage your brand, from the vision onwards, if you have not started your business yet. The core of everything is still a good product that fits to the market, but this is not enough for today’s success. You might help yourself with the lean methodology to develop it, but you need to go further and develop your brand market fit; including a story, that will reflect your unique advantages, and be evident in your visual elements. Then you need to spread it within the company, communicate it to your customers, and deliver your product to customers. All the time you need to validate and evaluate the elements with customer’s experience and feedbacks. You might use different metrics for this. And this is a never ending story, since you might get new competitors, trends in your industry might get changed or your customers change some preferences, which will force you to adapt or even change some elements of your brand. Try to use our SBFUNNEL for developing, implementing and maintaining your brand. We are sure it might help you to hack your growth. Good luck and give us a feedback how you are doing!
P.S. Why a FUNNEL?
To remind you that relationships (and brands) mean two perspectives of the same coin. The narrow, customer’s perspective, that is focused on the unique experience he gets by using your product from the first moment he gets in touch with it and yours, entrepreneur’s perspective, a much broader one, which includes all the organization’s activities, such as technology, finance, marketing and others, that customer’s don’t care about, when they buy, use or recommend your brand.