You are your business, the star of your show and the heart and soul of your company. You are responsible for the finances, innovation, and ultimately making this happen. You have a considerable impact on the future of your business, what direction this takes and how you are going to move this forward.
Whether your vision is to build a big corporate global company that employs staff or whether you are looking to keep your business small, nimble and predominantly online, who you are and the culture you introduce into your business is a core part of what people see your brand to be.
Not every brand remains in the custody of its founder, some are bought out in the early stages, others further down the line and often by larger companies. How you incorporate your vision, mission and values into your business, will strongly determine the future success of your brand.
Strong performing brands are clear about where they are going, how they are going to get there and what they stand for and believe in.
A vision statement describes the overarching aspirations of your business, what the business has set out to achieve, your bigger picture, hence the word ‘vision’. It should be concise, no more than a few sentences or paragraphs. It is something your team clearly understands and can communicate. No matter how lofty is sounds, and how impossible you think it may be to deliver, particularly if you are the only person in your business at this present moment, start with your bigger vision. Over time with people and technology, what seems currently impossible, may be easily achievable.
Your mission statement illustrates the purpose of your company.
Brands have two primary external aspects:
* Visual identity – which includes your logo, brand colours and your brand typography.
* Voice identity – which incorporates your tagline, copy, tone of voice, the words you use and the way in which you use them.
These two elements are vitally important to making your brand distinctive. There is a third element that sets one brand apart from another, your brand values. Your brand values encapsulate your brand proposition, brand personality and your brand purpose. Your brand values not only make you distinctive, but also create clear boundaries for positioning your brand in your marketplace.
Think about how you would you like your customers to describe you and how you would like them to feel when they experience your brand. Consider brands you are most drawn to, those that have a founder that isn’t hidden behind the brand but leading from the front. What values and attributes do they portray? Some of these values may include
* clear vision
Five points to keep top of mind as you develop your brand:
Ensure you Stand for ‘Something’
When a brand is known for ‘something’, this ‘something’ is what makes it distinctive and differentiates it from others. It is your ‘something’ that resonates with your customers and makes them reach out to you as opposed to someone else. It embodies your passion, and how you communicate your passion to others.
Have a clear picture of what your brand will look like in the future, think long term, consider who your customers will be, why people will come to your brand over others and what problems you are solving for them. What purpose do you want to have in the world, and what difference do you want to make? This becomes your driver and your vision for your brand.
Your Big Why
Your Why needs to be big enough to carry you through the challenges you are bound to experience, building a brand doesn’t come without its set of challenges. Your Why also needs to be big enough to inspire and motivate your team and your customers to support you in creating your vision.
Create Systems and Processes to Streamline your Business
When you first start your business, there is so much you need to consider and to create. As your business grows a lot of these day-to-day decisions and processes can be systemized, saving you time and money. By introducing processes and systems, not only are you improving productivity, you are also making it easier for your team to support you in developing high quality, innovative products and services by providing them with a clear road map to follow.
Be a Creative Leader
As the founder of your brand, you are no doubt a creative thinker. As you build your brand you will come across changes in the marketplace, your sector, technology. As your business grows in people and turnover, continue to innovate and adapt to these changes quickly, and keep your brand current and fresh.
Build a Supportive and Inclusive Team
With strong brand values, it is easier to articulate to people you employ what you stand for and how you would like them to support you. As you grow in numbers, ensure that you keep your mission, vision and values consistent and clear, so that your team understands what is expected of them, believes in your vision and can credibly communicate this to others.
Whilst the role of being answerable to yourself as a founder can bring up all sorts of exciting opportunities, it also rests with a lot of responsibility.
Whether your plan is to remain in your business or to ultimately sell this on, keep these points top of mind as you build your business from a mere idea into an aspirational brand that people are going to reach out for time and again.
If you are looking for support with taking your idea forward, get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
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‘Janet is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. She fully understands the whole process of product development, supply chain and marketing. Janet has in-depth experience of toiletries and international retailing. I would recommend her to any company or client.’
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‘It’s been inspirational working with Janet. We are in the process of launching a skincare brand however have received conflicting opinions from so many people we were really confused. I am so impressed by Janet’s knowledge and experience in product development, marketing and retail and the way she explains everything so clearly. She is very motivating and positive, and so much fun to work with. I have much more clarity and confidence in how to move things forward.’
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