Creating a brand is not for the faint hearted.
It takes courage, intelligence and planning.
It has more to do with your passion and less to do about your product or service than you think.
It has more to do with your enemy, the things you would love to change most and it comes down to three basic ingredients that every rebel, thought leader and disruptor can show you.
Here’s the recipe that moulds all great brands;
1. Stand for something to stand out
Steve Jobs never compared himself to his competition. He stood for his Vision! Understanding! Innovation! Perseverance! Expertise! Simplicity! He often spoke about thinking differently! Which eventually became exactly what Apple stands for.
Martin Luther King Jr didn’t believe he was a victim. Instead he stood up for the rights of men and women, beyond their color. He spoke about freedom and inspired his tribe by having a dream bigger than himself.
Great brands stand for something bigger than themselves. They don’t tow the line and do what’s expected, they dare to be different and they take a strong stand for what they believe in.
2. Define your enemy
All great brands have an enemy – and by that I don’t mean your competition.
- Virgin Airlines has its enemy: expensive airline tickets. Their entire business model is based on making travel affordable to the masses.
- Apple has an enemy: boring, unnecessarily complex technology (and badge boxes! Who remembers the eighties?)
- DHL has an enemy: slow, unreliable delivery services. Their business model is focused on “when it has to be there every time on time”.
At Creative Brew we have an enemy: business solutions that imply they have a silver bullet.
Growing a brand is hard work and anyone who implies it’s easy and says they will “double your sales in six weeks” or “increase you email list by 2000%” needs to be outed for the con men they really are!
You see what I mean right? As you grow your business think about defining your brand by looking inwards and identifying the thing you desperately feels needs changing. Your enemy will be something your brand fundamentally opposes. Depending on what you stand for it could be an injustice or a belief, an outdated way of working, a system different to yours, or simply an assumption.
If you’re a cafe owner it could be as simple as bad customer service that really gets up your goat. Think about becoming the thought leader in cafe customer service, write a book and change the industry. Why not, no one says you can’t!
3. Don’t dream it, do it! Go all out
Go all out and change something. Don’t accept that just because something has been done one way it is so. Stop walking in you competitors steps and start looking at what your customers really want. Challenge the way things have always been done. You are the CEO of your company, there are no rules.
Create an Experience
Have you walked into an Apple store recently? I did when I smashed my iPhone, I was choked, yet walking into the Apple store made me feel much better. The energy, the people and the overall experience were all consistent with Apple’s brand. I felt like I had entered another world – a special, exclusive community just for Mac users like me. I was in safe hands.
Start thinking about how you can create an incredible brand experience for the right people and begin chipping away at changing your industry. I am.