July 7, 2015
Establishing a brand is one of the hardest, yet often most valuable parts of a business. Your brand is what your company represents and people take that to heart. Everything from your logo to the way you interact with your customers is a part of your brand. These touch points can make or break your business.
To understand the value of a brand, I reached out to Nathan Resnick of Yes Man, a lifestyle company focused around crafting products that empower people to do more with their lives. In the case of Yes Man, they originally launched a line of watches focused around their patent-pending watch buckle. This game changing mechanism got them initial traction in the marketplace, but they soon realized the true value of their watches lined in their brand. To further establish their brand, they launched a new line of watches, solely focused around the value of time; their core belief for Yes Man.
As your company evolves and technologies change, it is essential to understand what it stands for. When people think of your company, what do you want to be known for? Think Zappos for example—they are known for exceptional customer service. To ensure you are defining your brand, follow the three keys listed below:
Establish Your Product Line
When first starting your company, it is important to focus on being known for one thing. For Nathan and his team at Yes Man, they strive to create premium watches that empower people to do more with their lives. Though they have expanded to sunglasses and are sure to launch other products down the road, it is essential for them to be known for their core product.
Develop Social Media Channels
Social media has become an essential branding tool for any startup. If your company doesn’t have a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it’s time you sign up. These platforms not only enable you and your team to connect with people around the world but they also offer a means to interact with potential customers on another level. Every social media outlet has its own focus and a key to developing your following will be creating a vibe around your page. As an example, I looked at Yes Man’s Twitter page, which is primarily motivational focused with inspiring quotes from people like Albert Einstein.
Create Mailing List
Though many think email marketing is old school, the value of someone’s email has withstood the growth of incredible social media outlets like Facebook. Email marketing should be part of your branding and you want to ensure your emails reflect that. Simple text can go a long way—whenever Yes Man emails me, they always end with “Be a Yes Man”. When emailing, you should measure everything you can, past the open rate and into the conversion rate on your actual website. These analytics may be hard to setup at first but understanding the importance of being analytically driven to establish your brand will help you in the long run.
As your company grows, your brand will continue to be tested. Not everything can be brought to scale and you will need to choose your core competencies that you want reflected in the long run. At Yes Man, they are testing their brand with the value of time in their new Kickstarter campaign. Though they are off to an incredible start, who knows whether they will pivot into a company selling their patent-pending buckle. As a founder, you have the power to direct your brand. Do what you believe in and let the rest fall into place.
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