June 14, 2014

In any industry or sector, in nowadays’ sophisticated and overcrowded business ecosystem, not only the rivalry has become fierce but the need to adapt a continually-changing business climate has become a constant challenge.

Believe it or not, arguably there are no truly genuine business ideas nowadays. That said, building a powerful brand is extreme important to differentiate yourself from the competition. Building a strong brand is not as easy as just having a creative logo with ambitious slogan, coupled with extraordinary office or in-store ID design. Regrettably to say, there are many Asian entrepreneurs and business owners whom I met share this common perception.

Remember … every sprouting startup should think about providing its unique experience to their target audience from the beginning.  

Branding is all about your unique story and personality that fits into the core theme and business vision, it is how your customers, partners and competitors see you. So start branding your startup with the fundamentals is highly recommended. Let’s ask yourself the below three questions before start doing your branding, rest assured that you will be on your way to crafting an extraordinary brand to the world.

Question 1

What is the ultimate goal of my brand?

Building an extraordinary brand requires you to accurately determine the business purpose and reasons for doing it. First, you should think about the emotion connection between your brand and your product or service with your target customers. Second,  you should choose a brand name that connects your products or services. Needless to say, your brand name needs to be memorable, easy to read, and available  for domain and other social networks’ registration.

Question 2

How does my brand differentiate itself from the crowd?

Let’s forget about the buzzwords like Malaysia No. 1 or Leading Company sort of thing … who cares? What people do care is what your brand experience and your marketable product or service differentiates from the entire nuisance. Ultimately, your brand makes your customers talk about it. Define and understand your target market is arguably key component, then address the problem and solve it better than any competitors.

Question 3

Who should my brand attract to work with?

I have seen many startups encounter the same thing where founders are told again and again to treat their talent as an asset but not a commodity; while investors often care more about the business or product than the teams. Yet many startups are daunted by the task of hiring and retaining the right talent.

Your first few employees will be your brand’s biggest promoters, every single word they say about your brand reflects directly what your brand does and represents. So he or she should be the one shares something in common – the passion and drive.

Besides, finding talent does not always have to be about your company making the first move, but creating an ideal environment with good working culture and policies (forget about the Chinaman type) that entices candidates to come work for you should be a supreme strategy.

In sum, a successful brand begins addressing the important questions that prove there is a need for its products or services, preferably a market that exists to buy, and it has the capacity to meet the needs and wants of the target market. Not forgetting by getting the right people to make it a success.

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