9 things you learn when building a new brand
Just over a year ago I decided to create my own brand. In part to put into practice all the work I’ve undertaken to develop and grow other people’s brands throughout my career, and also because I genuinely wanted to create something new to resonate with the people I truly admire. For me these are people who are; thinkers, creators and instigators.
Last summer I did my own thinking about the brand, this was invaluable and helped me refine my vision for my brand. At the same time I set-up my Jackson Concepts marketing consultancy, and as soon as that had bedded-in it was time to focus on my new brand.
Just about every spare minute of the last six months has been dedicated to developing the brand - Bionic Iconic. In eleven days time it goes live, and when this happens a whole new chapter in the brand journey will begin.
So this is the perfect opportunity to share with you some of the things you’ll learn when you embark on building a new brand.
- A vision is truly valuable. Ultimately this is what drives you and your brand. So don’t skimp on developing a vision that is true to what you want to achieve with your brand. It’s also really useful to keep revisiting your vision as you develop your brand to help keep you on track. I’ve written a couple of posts about vision, feel free to check them out to help you develop your vision.
- Being authentic is critical. I can’t stress how important it is to be authentic from the outset. My post: 8 reasons why your brand should be authentic, explains why and it really is a lesson worth taking onboard when you develop a brand.
- You need to trust yourself. Information, advice and support are invaluable, however at the end of the day you’ll be making lots of decisions to bring your brand to life, and you need to learn to trust your own judgement. Ultimately, over time you’ll know there would be things you’d do differently given the opportunity. That’s part of the learning curve, just remember that no one has perfect judgement, and always see this an opportunity to improve your brand.
- Know who to listen to. I have a small “trusted circle” of people whose advice and feedback I trust implicitly. They are a wonderful group of friends and an invaluable support system for me. It’s important to learn to accept and act on honest constructive feedback from people you trust. Don’t let your passion for your brand cloud your judgement.
- The visuals are just the tip of the iceberg. How a brand looks is the exciting part of developing a brand. However, don’t underestimate how much work is needed to build solid foundations for your brand. Logos and photographs can be quick and easy to generate, yet if this visual collateral doesn’t relate to a fully considered brand they won’t be working to deliver the right message to the right people for the right reasons.
- Keep a focus on the details. Learn to become detail obsessed. Taking care of all the small things, including the things people don’t see all support the effective delivery of your brand. This mindset will also help to ensure you will be creating a brand that you will be truly proud of.
- Persistence pays dividends. One of the most important brand building lessons is the need to be persistent. You will have the longest “To Do” list ever, but don’t worry about it just keep going. Even if you are outsourcing elements of your brand development or employing a team, you are still the architect of your brand. It’s your passion and drive, based on your vision that are essential, and you will need to be persistent to ensure you successfully create your brand.
- Plan and manage your activity. With so much to do, it is essential to put in place a robust plan. People have different ways of working so it’s hard for me to be prescriptive on this point. For me, what works well is knowing on a daily basis what I need to achieve that day. So at the end of each day I list in my notebook what needs to be done the next day. I find this a simple way to manage and prioritise my work.
- Adore your early fans. When your brand starts to break cover the first people to engage with it are simply wonderful. They’ve noticed what you’re doing, they like it and they’ve made the effort to tell you. On a daily basis people are messaging me about Bionic Iconic and asking when they can buy products. This is before the brand has gone live and the full product offer revealed. Experiencing this level of positive interest is hugely encouraging and it’s reassuring to know the brand is resonating with people from the outset.
No two brands are the same, so of course you may well find you learn lots of other things when you build your brand. Of course once the initial brand build is complete a whole new chapter begins, one where your brand is there for people to see and experience. And guess what, there’s a lot more to learn when you open up the next chapter. This is about to happen for Bionic Iconic, and It will be a time when I get to learn what people truly think about the brand.