The New Brand: Taking Businesses from Baffling to Booming

Brand is a key lever of driving growth.

Keith Holdt

CEO, Equity Impact Partners

 

Build your new brand to last

All great brands belonged to fledgling start-ups once. So, if you’re launching a new business, don’t put branding to the back of your ‘to do’ list. This is the perfect time to think about who you want to be, what you want to stand for and, importantly, how you want your customers, colleagues and potential investors to feel.

So how do you think bigger about your brand, even when you’re small?

Ask soul-searching questions to build a solid foundation
When you launch a new business, it’s easy to start doing things straight away, without taking time to reflect. But if you don’t stop to ask yourself what you want to be known for, or how you want people to feel when they deal with you, you could send out the wrong signals. And that’s a sure-fire way of putting off investors.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your future shareholders will only care about spreadsheets. As Keith Holdt, investment expert, board advisor and CEO of investment management firm, Equity Impact Partners, said in our recent podcast, most people actually “buy on emotion and justify with logic.”

To find that emotional connection, Keith says investors typically ask themselves three things:

Does this company or product have a good story?

Do I like it?

Is it something I’d want to be associated with?

Your future shareholders will only be able to answer those questions if you can put your vision into words. If you’re a CEO, this is crucial. If you can’t explain why your brand exists, your sales people won’t be able to either. Your customers won’t know why they should buy from you, and your employees won’t know why they should stay with you. All of which spells trouble for your business.

So answer the tough questions now. They’ll give you the foundations your brand and your business need to grow.

Once you’ve cracked the big picture, obsess about the details
When you can explain what you do and why (in an elevator pitch, not an encyclopaedia), make sure everything you actually do, say, make and share lives up to that purpose. Is your reception clean and appealing? Do your business cards say ‘quality’ or look like something you’ve dashed off at home? If you’re creating websites, brochures, or other marketing materials, every word and image matters. Get them right, and your brand will make an impact on Day One…and every day after that.

 

Find the right partners
Your brand, like your strategy, will probably evolve over time. But if you’ve laid good foundations, it absolutely shouldn’t be something you need to refresh every few years. (If you do, it’s a tell-tale sign you didn’t have your story straight to begin with.)

Does that put a lot of pressure on your new brand? Yes, but you don’t have to build yours alone. In fact, sometimes a challenging outside view is just what you need to crystallise your thinking and turn your story into an identity.

So, if you’re on the brink of launching a new brand, and you want to make sure it truly reflects everything you stand for, get in touch.

How's your brand?

Feel free to get in touch for an exploratory conversation to discuss your rebrand needs. Of course, it's up to you.

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