Successful brands are built in three stages…
Building a brand isn’t easy – and maintaining it is even more difficult. But, by following these three stages, I think that the job can be made just that little bit easier…
Stage One: Creation.
Your brand needs to occupy its own space. Period. Unless you’re a rip-off brand, in which case feel free to muscle in one someone else’s hard built territory. But ask yourself this question – what will your consumers want: a rip-off or the real deal?
Be unapologetic while you create. Who cares if your space is turquoise rather than magnolia? If it doesn’t quite fit with the customary shapes we’re used to seeing? If it’s got nine points rather than eight?
Make your promises, create your vision, delineate what you will and will not do.
Stage Two: Inhabitation.
Live in your space. Don’t pretend that you’re something different if, in reality, you do things the same as everyone else.
Sure, the Starbucks model is a successful one. But if you say you’re going to be different, be different. Don’t just open a coffee house built on the Starbucks model with different signage.
Stick to the promises you made yourself while you were creating your space. Literally, live it. Be great. Be different. But be it all of time, not just on Sundays and public holidays.
Stage Three: Invitation.
A brand space with a population of, well, you, is going to be a lonely one.
You need to fill your space with people like you. Who think like you, who share your values and ideologies. People who get you and what you’re trying to do.
People, in other words, who’ll buy what you’re selling.
Invite the right people, at least in the early days. If you’re hawking a premium product, don’t invite the people who can’t afford it – that will only piss them off. If you’re trying to develop an aura of exclusivity, don’t advertise on every billboard you can get your hands on.
You’ll know who to invite and how to invite them in order to stay true to your creation…
And remember, once invited in, your new best friends might just want to inhabit that space with you. You’ve got to decide whether you’ll let them, bearing in mind the fact that they might want to co-create alongside you.
Your space, your choice. But I know what I’d do…
So – creation, inhabitation, invitation. Your thoughts, please…
Note: The above stages are much abbreviated – nothing’s that easy. But you get the general idea…