Whether you own a start up with two women in a garage or 10 folks in an accelerator, it’s critical that you get your brand story straight – right from the start.
What is brand story? Well, it’s part of your brand. What’s a brand? Is it a logo, a name, a graphic symbol?
Your brand is all of that and more. It’s who your company is, what you stand for, what your goals and responsibilities include and how you expect to get there.
It’s your mission, vision and aspirations all rolled into one. And it’s crucial to the success of your venture.
I work with a lot of startups and small businesses in order to help them focus on building a brand story. Why is it so important from the get go?
Because it will help determine your path as you move forward. It will influence your investor pitch deck, your one pagers, your presentation and the way people perceive your company.
More importantly, it means that you, your partners and team agree on the company’s and product’s direction.
Because the last thing you need when you are starting off is to be running in 3-4 different directions, which will result in frustration, a waste of precious resources and even giving up.
How do you create a brand story?
Even before create a logo for the cool name you have come up, your founding partners and team players need to answer 4 questions:
- Who are we?
- What do we do?
- What problem do we solve?
- Why is our solution better?
The questions seem simple, and they are… until you ask everyone to answer them separately. That’s when the hard work begins. Because together, you need to come up with a single answer for each question agreed upon by the people who matter most. Once you do that, you can funnel your energy into a single direction with a focused set of answers.
Yes, you will have to make changes along the way. Yes, the market may force you to go in different directions. But as long as management and the team agree on these questions, change will be easier and smoother.
Now you can start on your brand story. The next step is to incorporate these messages into deliverables you will need to create. The benefit is that when you meet investors, they will be impressed by a team that is confident and agrees on the big ideas – giving them the confidence they need to help you move ahead.
To find out more about Brand Stories, and marketing communications, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Gerry is the former VP Global Corporate Communications for NDS and a Director at Cisco. He is a consultant and is proud to be working with Brooks-Keret.