In this 5 part article you’ll learn to avoid the most common mistakes people make when they start their business.
The Truth Is…
Running a business is precarious at any time. No mater how large your company or how many years in business, its never really easy. Many of us entrepreneurs find the constant excitement and daily challenges exciting and fun. However, when starting a business simple mistakes can prove deadly. Just like doing all the right things can get you flying high, making one or two thoughtless errors can result in a fatal crash. The good news is that many mistakes are avoidable. Research dictates that most failures occur because businesses are treated like hobbies or are underfunded. These are actually the two main reasons why businesses fail but what about those businesses that just seem to lip along… Are they failures?
The number one biggest mistake I see with businesses is that people don’t take the time or invest the money to develop a solid foundation. A business, like any other structure, needs to be built on something strong. Whether brick and mortar or virtual company, a firm foundation needs to be there to support it all.
So, how does one build a foundation that is strong and steady enough to support growth?
This is where branding comes into play. The process of branding is the single most important activity that a business owner can invest in, hands down. In fact, Coca Cola considers its brand to be it’s most highly valued asset. They believe their brand to be in excess of all their bottling plants, distribution centers and fleet of vehicles. All physical assets combined don’t equal what their brand is worth. You see without the brand they would not have the multi-billion dollar co-branded and co-marketed relationships that fuel their bottom line. Imagine what Coke would be without McDonalds, Walmart, Disney, American Airlines, and the thousands of other fortune 50 companies worldwide, that place Coke the hands of their customers.
Spanning the Globe With a Coke in Hand
Some places that I visit, I travel all through the country and never see a Pepsi. Maybe they’re there but I don’t see them. The Coke brand is so strong that people don’t even think about Pepsi. Now that’s a strong brand!
Its gone way beyond being a drink and to being fun. Speaking to us on emotional levels, sometimes we are reaching for it when we are looking for the feeling of excitement. I have an deep emotional attachment to it and while I’m aware of the health risks, I have to have in on road trips. As a child we didn’t have soda in the house. It was too expensive for our family budget, but we would have it on vacation. So for me, Coke was and still is a big treat. In my mind, it’s about new places, exploration and adventure.
Bring on the Emotion!
When a brand transcends its actual function and develops an emotional relationship with the customer that binds them to a product then you have it. This does not happen without intense focus on the brand and without working through a well defined process. It does not happen by chance!
I suggest that in order to fully understand why branding is so important, educating yourself is imperative. You must at least get a handle on what you don’t know because, what you don’t know in this area can dramatically affect your success.
The process of branding is such that you need to have help with it. When properly conducted the process enlists a series of questions and answers that stimulate deeper questions and answers that continue deeper until the essence of a brand rises to the top. It’s virtually impossible for a company to do this alone.
In this post I have included a list of my favorite books to READ before you decide that you might not want to have professional help to create your brand. Even if you have a brand, you might still want to read these books to help you enhance your existing brand.
Emotional Branding by Marc Gobe
Brand Sense by Martin Lindstrom
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
I’m here to help
If you need help getting your idea off the ground, are serious about success and can make decisions rather quickly, give me a call. I might be able to offer the help you need to make it happen….
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