I know what you’re going to say, your new product is brilliant, it’s a game-changer and you’re unbelievably passionate so it’ll surely be a success! Problem is, if you don’t have the right business & brand strategy in place, that passion often doesn’t translate into profits.
Starting your own business is exciting, but you’ll need to spend some time developing a solid business concept, business plan, brand and marketing strategy. We’ve put together a synopsis of how to create a successful brand and company.
How to Write a Business Plan
How to write an effective business plan is about being well prepared and having plenty of resources at your fingertips. Business plans typically consist of these sections:
Executive summaryThe major points of your business plan summarized in one or two pages.
Company overviewYour mission, vision, values, products, unique attributes, and the business opportunity you plan to seize.
Business environmentAn analysis of your industry, your marketplace, your customers, your competition, and how you stack up.
Company descriptionThe capabilities that give you a unique advantage over your competitors — including your management, technology, operations, distribution, service, finances, and marketing.
Company strategyYour roadmap to the future (including how you’ll seize opportunities and avoid threats), your growth plans, your marketing plan, and even your exit strategy
Financial reviewThe state of your finances, including your income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, profit projection, and budget
Action planThe steps and process' you’ll take to implement your business plan and meet your goals and objectives
How to Name your Brand
The right name can make a significant impact for your business. Arriving at that perfect name, is a challenge, and it seems the URLs for every four-letter word in the English language have long since been snatched up, making the process of finding something unique and legally protectable seem insurmountable.
Don’t be discouraged and don’t settle for something less than perfect! Your naming strategy should be carefully considered, as great names create a positive image in the consumers mind, can help with “brand play” and are unique and consistent with your brand vision.
As you search for the perfect name, try not to fall into the temptation of taking the “me too” strategy, as it won’t help your brand stand apart from the competition. Really, if there’s already BlackBerry are you seriously considering Grape?
If you’re stuck, we recommend seeking the help of a professional brand naming expert. They are skilled at the art of coming up with names that makes sense, are unique and more importantly… will help tell your brand story.
Once you have your business plan finalized, you’ll need to hire a Professional Branding Firm to assist in developing a brand for your business.
Before jumping into the process of searching for a branding firm, you need to have a clear understanding of what developing a brand actually involves. There are many companies who offer services such as; logo design, web design, business card design and so on, but that is not branding… a logo is not your brand.
Logo design, identity design and web design all have different roles that together, assist in communicating the brand message and forming a perceived image for a business or product.
Branding is the process or creating a brand name, personality, messaging, graphics and strategy around what your company stands for and wants to express. Branding is about building a positive collection of perceptions about your business in your customers’ minds.
Learn more about Branding [+]
Once you’ve established your business and developed a solid brand, you should be able to effortless express the brand value you are providing your customers.
Building your brand value begins with a powerful storytelling strategy and making a strategic commitment to put this core value proposition, consistently at the core of every brand communication. This means each time you interact with and communicate with your target audience, whether it’s in-person, through a brochure, on your website or through social media, you are expressing your same mission and brand promise of how you fulfill their need.
Brand value is a perception in the mind of the consumer, which like that familiar, well-worn route you take to your favourite coffee shop can also lead to habit — the personal, automatic, and unconscious behaviour you so desire for your new company.
Brand Building Resources
- Google for Entrepreneurs
- Canada Business Startup Checklist
- Financing for Business’
- Business Legal Requirements
- Branding Firm Services
Article by Rachelle Hynes
Partner & Creative Director at Straydog