They say an idea is like a virus, once implanted it can only grow and spread. Bringing an idea to life is an exciting step and we’ve watched numerous of them develop into great brands. Capital is a scarce resource for entrepreneurs and as an entrepreneur myself, bootstrapping is an essential part of the start-up. So why would I budget money to develop my brand identity? Can I just draw something quick and whip it up as my brand identity?
Well, yes you can, and this will save you a few thousand shillings now, but how much more will it cost you in future? What is the true cost of a logo? Further, do you have the requisite skills to professionalize your brand?
My focus in this article is to show you how we guide the entrepreneur in uncovering their brand and see dimensions of their brand they were not able to see before. Once we deeply understand your brand, then can we articulate your ideas into a formidable brand identity using a process that eliminates guesswork!
Ever met an entrepreneur with an idea they can’t share? Because it is top secret, and the day it leaks their idea will go with the wind? I’ve met a lot and it is laughable at the least. The best ideas are copied in the world over and no matter how much you hold on to it, you will never be the one to implement it alone.
The best ideas are shared, and the sooner you get feedback, the sooner you know whether it works or not. Of course, there are malicious people out there but no one will implement your idea better than yourself… not everyone gets to launch M-Pesa, Google and Uber.
What is it?
What is your business idea? Is it truly fixing a problem? Entrepreneurs need to separate the belief that they are solving a problem versus the reality of solving a problem. Products have been launched using billions of shillings and in reality, the product did not solve a true problem. This is why many products or businesses thereof fail.
Does the problem you are fixing matter? Segway thought they were revolutionising transportation until they were hit hard with the reality of poor sales. They were not fixing a problem that mattered.
Severally we’ve been asked to develop apps for our clients but soon the conversation was steered to a different solution. The apps they wanted would have been part of the digital landfills of apps out there – totally useless for the problem they sought to solve.
Share your idea, get invaluable feedback. More importantly, answer the question why your solution is different or better than what exists in the market. How you do it is just as important.
Who does your idea or business live for? We’ve discussed this with entrepreneurs and the importance of defining their audience or target market well is beyond their scope. Who you exist to serve is crucial for you to understand then can you develop messaging relevant for your target market.
Sprite some time back did some research and found that their primary consuming audience was old ladies. They had to reinvigorate their brand to capture the youth… image is everything. Tusker did the same with “Stand Tall”. Safaricom is doing the same with Blaze.
All these big brands did so because no brand can have multiple messaging as this confuses your audience. Choose your primary audience and focus on them, this is the only way to maximise returns.
So, for this step, understand who your target market is then position your business idea for this audience. Positioning then leads to messaging and here we ask what key words your brand should be associated with e.g. Volvo – Safety, Coca-Cola – Happiness, KRA – (fill in the blanks, :))
Where will you Play?
Perceptions can be managed. Imagine a Porsche Showroom in downtown Nairobi. Well, let’s be specific, somewhere around Muthurwa Market. Chances are, the area will get an image uplift, but the brand image will be at stake. Decide where your idea will be brought to life hence where it will serve. Location does matter if you want to command a certain price range. The same piece of attire being sold for KES 500 at Eastleigh’s Garissa Lodge can go for 10-20 times the price at Two Rivers Mall.
The telecommuting age however also begs the question whether location does really matter. You can easily work from home and use hired offices and boardrooms as need arises. For us, when developing the identity, this is important so as to understand what perception you seek to give.
What do you Value?
As a person? As a brand? Values are best expressed by the founder. It is best to avoid superficial values. Great brands have arisen from values expressed freely by the founder. The Dot.com era brought about companies that shattered the traditional tall corporate structure. These companies defied the norm with extremely short structures, others with three layers i.e. management, staff and auxiliary staff.
Sometimes, these values expressed with transparency can be the very differentiating factor you need. Get to watch videos on YouTube with more than 1 billion views and see for yourself the differentiating manner in which these artistes express themselves. Your values matter to the brand and this helps us create a connection to the brand identity. Further, this connection creates a brand personality, a reflection of the you, the founder. Finally, …
Unless it is an invention, understand who your brand’s main competitors are and the industry pace setters. At times, you can look up to brands from different industries for inspiration. This is why we ask, other than your competition, identify other brands that simply inspire you.
The above is just a tip of the iceberg with regard to what we can uncover for your brand. Whether it is a start-up seeking a novel brand identity or an existing brand looking to rebrand, we at Pulsar follow a process that always deliver results. Have you uncovered your brand secrets?