For new business and startup owners there is nothing more exciting than jumping into marketing. Naming, logo development, your first retail or business sign. Don’t forget leasing space and buying furniture and equipment. Picking carpet maybe. It’s a flood of exciting choices.
The excitement is not unlike buying a new car. All you want to do is drive. No time for the owner’s manual. That is often reserved for a rainy day.
Well when it comes to start-up and new businesses owners, the single most common error is putting off strategy development. Brand strategy development. Because brand strategy undergirds all marketing efforts. And everything is marketing. From the product or service name, to the logo, retail experience and everything all the way to your first announcement ad.
But few new owners start with a paper strategy; something that acts as an organizing principle for all decisions. Brand strategy first should be in every business book.
Many of my customer engagements begin after a company has been around for a while. And that’s okay. Everyone needs to get organized. Everyone needs marketing obs and strats. Better to get organized later rather than never. So, in the brand building business there is a lot of retrofitting going on. But it’s always best to plan up front.