Do you have an idea? The Importance of branding to make it a reality
Eureka! I have a brilliant idea. And I have the dream and motivation to pursue it.
But what do I need in order to make the idea a reality? How do I do it so as not to fail in the attempt? How important is it to develop the branding? Then what? In this article I will share some reflections and advice based on my experience as an entrepreneur to increase the chances of success for your idea/company/dream.
- Make your dream come true
- Packing your bag
- Branding: a competitive edge
- Competition, be the best
- What´s next?
- TOP 8 tips
MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE
- Idea vs. Execution: there are many big ideas, but the difference of success lies in how to execute them
- The three things that you must do in your life (or so they say), are: (1) to write a book (2) to have a child and (3) to plant a tree. Add realising a dream / idea / project to that.
- Born entrepreneur vs. dreamer: the one who is able to successfully carry out any type of project or idea vs. the one that has a concrete and specific idea / interest / dream. I fall into the second category.
- Is your idea scalable? This will not only mark the potential but also the growth rate that you should have in mind for your Business Plan and resource estimates.
- Where there’s a will there’s a way. If you decide to go for it, get ready for an immeasurably valuable adventure that will have an impression on you for the rest of your life.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Michael Jordan
“Make your life a dream, and the dream a reality” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
PACKING YOUR BAG
- Nine out of ten companies fail within the first three years
- Therefore, do not go out on a trip without packing your bag with:
- Vision and direction: know exactly where you want to get before setting out. Prepare a good Business Plan, draw up a strategy and set yourself achievable and measurable goals in the short term and impossible goals for the mid/long term. Where, how, when, how much, who.
“Nobody told me it was impossible, so I did it” – Jean Cocteau.
- Team: setting out well accompanied increases your chances of success. Surround yourself with complementary profiles (minimum of 3 including yourself) who share the same vision but who provide you with a critical light so you can discuss and come to agreements with them. Share areas, tasks and responsibilities with them.
- Networking: a good network of contacts will level out your path and will make it easier for you to cross the desert. Do not underestimate them. Establish alliances if possible to share out your workload.
- Financing: especially while navigating through the first two years, do not forget that “cash (flow) is king”. Accurately calculate the initial investment, the recurring costs and the interests of funding.
- Determination and perseverance. Don’t start cooking if you don’t have the recipe. Make yourself aware of the change.
“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it” – Dalai Lama
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” – Steve Jobs
“I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend” – Freddie Mercury
“The battle of life is not always won by the strongest or lightest man as, sooner or later, the man that wins, is the one that believes he can do it” R. Kipling
“Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it.” Simon Sinek
BRANDING IS YOUR ALLY
- The product or service should be:
- Relevant: linked to a real need. The more mainstream, (constant vs. occasional), the more chance of success.
- Different: provide something extra or exclusive vs. the competition. You should provide a ‘better’ solution than the existing ones (e.g. convenience, nutritional composition, accessibility…) and your consumer should notice it.
- Consumer-oriented: In your development and offer, show that you know what your potential buyer/customer wants better than the competition.
“Give the ones you love (consumers) wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay” Dalai Lama.
- The economic resources used for the communication and spreading of your brand/product/offer are usually quite scarce. Therefore, take good care of your:
- Brand: the branding will make recognition and internationalisation of your offer easier. Find an easy name to remember and pronounce, always associated with the Brand Essence are building.
- Packaging: the logo and packaging are essential and work in the moment-of-truth – they will be your cover letter and more than 80% of your effective communication, so they should be treated with the utmost care. Failure in their development is a common reason for failure. Therefore, don’t put yourself on the line and find a trustworthy partner such as Little Buddha that will advise and accompany you in the creation process of your child.
“Design is the soul of a human-made creation” Steve Jobs.
“We’re not going to be the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best” Steve Jobs.
- Good products don’t sell by themselves. It is necessary to reach the consumer in an effective way, with a guerrilla marketing strategy (e.g. tasting, influencers, micro action, cross-advertising…). Remember that if you don’t communicate, you don’t exist. Foster the power of word-of-mouth, achieve the approval of the KOL (Key Opinion Leaders), find your place and make yourself heard.
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way” Napoleon Hill
- And don’t forget that,
“Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products” Jack Trout.
COMPETITION, BE THE BEST
- Stay focused. Don’t drive yourself mad developing products/services. Focus on securing your main offer and expand it afterwards. An excess of offers can lead you to complex management that directly impacts your resources, especially the cash flow.
- Your competition is an opportunity to:
- Establish potential commercial or co-development alliances.
“Our survival depends on our ability to form trusting relationships.” Simon Sinek
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” Sun Tzu
“Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” The Godfather
- Learn what works and what doesn’t. Your mistakes and successes are very valuable lessons.
- Look for other ways of competing. Pay attention to your competitor’s positioning, strengths and weaknesses. They will allow you to emphasise your competitive advantage and reinforce your Points of Difference.
“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” Sun Tzu
- Identify unaddressed market segments. Look further than the category.
- Grow the category. This will save you a large part of your investment in communication.
- Once the adventure has begun, I recommend:
- Innovation as a way of living. Real innovation is lead by small and medium companies. Small projects, products and services that are born with soul and purpose. Don’t stop shining.
- Don’t forget that beginning is an attitude. Stay true to your essence and course, and persevere.
- Be flexible. Every day is a new challenge. Face it with an open mind and energy.
- Expect the unexpected. The path is made by walking it and any unexpected turn can provide you with a new possibility, a new dimension for your project: growth, standstill, sale or closure, for example.
- And remember that whenever a door closes, another one opens. Never lose your smile, optimism and determination.
“The Universe conspires to help the dreamer” Paulo Coelho.
TOP 8 TIPS (SUMMARY)
The things that I succeeded and failed in and that I believe are highly important to have in mind:
- Good company. Find good partners, not only for capitalisation or for task sharing but also for emotional support. During hard times and difficult decisions, you will be grateful for a good partner.
- Never lose sight of your oil deposit (cash flow). The entrepreneurial motorway is full of cars with empty fuel gauges.
- Manage and decide by adequately using the three energetic points: intellect, emotion and intuition. You will need them all.
- Outsource production (if you are selling a physical product). Production will take up too many of your resources (time, money, dedication). Let someone else do it for you and focus on providing extra value.
- Your design/communication agency is your best ally. Having in mind exactly what you want, they will help you to successfully codify it in a line of communication (packaging, claims, mood…) so that the consumer can decode, understand and value your differentiated offer. Your packaging is your best cover letter. Don’t waste this success multiplier.
- Correctly choose your allies. Most distributors and partners will want exclusivity. Remember that exclusivity is something to be won and is not given in advance.
- Outsourcing staff. Choose freelance workforce with a success fee f possible. Avoid unnecessary fixed costs.
- Knowledge is power. Control information, it will make you a reference and will open doors for you.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and it has helped motivate you to beginning your entrepreneurial adventure, and why not, self-realisation.