There’s a fresh swathe of entrepreneurs investing time and money in novel ideas, innovative products and new services. However, developing a new offering, even if it is the ‘next iPod’ is not enough. Your target market needs to be aware of it, understand the benefits and be clear on how it can transform their lives, or their businesses, for the better. Getting your brand and communications right is therefore essential.
Building your brand from day one
A brand should be more than an eye-catching logo and witty strap line. Every line written about your company, every communication with the market and every comment to a journalist should be inspired by your brand, your messaging and the values your company is founded on.
Entrepreneurs will almost certainly have a great story that tells how they got to where they are today. It’s crucial to identify the elements of this story that hit home with your target audience. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to crystalise exactly what you are about and begin an engaging narrative that communicates why your target market should no longer want to live without you.
Once this story is developed, the next step is finding a representative in the company who can really bring it to life. Someone with a sound knowledge of the product or service you offer, but who can speak with passion and clarity is vital.
Standing out from the crowd
Whatever material you are generating, it needs to be inspiring and engaging. It’s important to recognise that all your marketing efforts must support and reinforce your core messages. Whether it’s a brochure, a keynote speech, a press release, journalist interview or tweet, it all needs to track back to your brand and your story. Keywords are therefore king.
Furthermore one crucial component in today’s communications armoury but often overlooked is SEO. Ensuring your content is search engine optimised is a must for every business, but is also a great way for entrepreneurs to gain ground on larger rivals.
Google is currently the most important business publication on the planet and everything you publish online should be written with two thoughts in mind: what will my target market think, and how will Google react? Ultimately, well-optimised content is what drives prospects to a website. It’s what makes product launches go with a bang.
Whether you’re a bright eyed grad with a killer app, or the CEO of an international conglomerate, if your business doesn’t have a great website, you will struggle to make your voice heard. It’s your shop window and should showcase exactly what you’re offering. It needs to be kept up to date with a regular stream of new insights and information. Commenting on developments in your market or reacting to breaking news are simple ways of keeping your content fresh.
David can slay Goliath
Entrepreneurs can be any age but they will always bring the exuberance of youth to their work. They are full of ideas and keen to get new ideas out to market as soon as humanly possible.
Larger companies have a tendency to pull good ideas apart as they attempt to ensure that everyone in senior management is happy and risk is minimised. Entrepreneurs can be bolder and more creative. They can take chances. However, if you are doing something original it will spark discussion.
People will always criticise new ideas so preparation is essential. Ensuring your key arguments are carefully crafted and your spokespeople are equipped with the necessary facts and supporting data will ensure you can stand up to opposing voices with confidence.
Building a recognisable brand is an ongoing process. However, there are steps that can be taken to firmly plant you and your ideas on the map. By keeping communications to the point, engaging and consistent, your relationship with the market will blossom. And as your brand recognition increases, so will your sales figures and business performance.