While a business must do many things right to secure the deserving valuation, the branding programme is an underrated but potent factor. It can communicate a much-desired sense of lasting order while ably demonstrating imagination and innovation. As a logical outcome, investors get enthused about sustainability and differentiation, which are directly correlated to investment appetite. Here are the 10 most important things a brand can do correctly, in my experience of course.
- Cutting-edge design language — From the logo to digital interaction, the designing must be top-class and inspirational. It costs the same to get good or bad output from a professional design house, so do take care to hire the right guys and give them unfettered freedom.
- No spelling mistakes — Each time you spot a grammatical error or a spelling mistake, it has an undesirable multiplier effect on the creation of perception. It can be interpreted as a surrogate for sloppiness in the business idea itself, when in truth it is just a departmental oversight.
- An in-built inspiration quotient — While purpose is an often-abused word, inspiration is truly a valuable asset. As long as it is effortlessly connected to the business model, there is mammoth value to be unearthed, as we are itching to latch on to the higher order, especially in the post-pandemic era.
- Integrated stakeholder strategy — Not just the customer in the immediate line of fire, be it B2B or B2C, the brand must talk individually yet cohesively to every person who crosses its path. There is no such thing as prioritisation in intent as the law of gestalt works hard to make the business robust.
- Employee-first forever — Charity does begin at home as does the demonstration of sustainability. A motivated, talented and mainstream employee base is the key foundation for the manifestation of work culture.
- Create a sensitivity checklist — The world at large is becoming sensitive by the day and this includes movements like Me Too, humane working terms and a genuine bias for inclusion. It is necessary to include these tick marks in every fledgling organisation and thus secure its progressive stature.
- Build a personal brand for the founders — It is vital for the founder brand and the company brand to enjoy a collaborative and reciprocative duality, even if it is a difficult tightrope. While the company brand focuses on customer engagement the personal brand must thrive on aura creation, whatever be the chosen route. The skill for managing this can be outsourced or in-sourced, but is certainly unavoidable.
- A genuine impact on society — There are a plethora of causes circulating in the universe and the brand must pick just one that is closest to its core reason for existence. Then, build an outreach programme that insists on genuine and scalable interventions, in action and in media.
- Don’t talk, be talked about — Whether it be a PR strategy or a social media plan, it is important for others to talk about you, whatever be the extent of the relationship. Desist from investing in ‘promise’ campaigns and instead focus on testimonials of delivery.
- Build case studies — It is rewarding to have an early stake on legacy even if the company is a truthful start-up and case studies offer a simple way to execute this strategy. Collaborate with academicians, journalists and think tanks in order to build a world-class proof of concept and once again, it is a function of commitment not funds.
In sum, I wish to insist that investing in hard-nosed business acumen is a necessary but not sufficient variable in the gladiator game of corporate valuations. A robust brand strategy is a formidable ally as it can unite the right and left brain intuitively and structurally for a larger profitable cause. Invest in your brand from Day One if you wish to make the money you deserve and if you still have doubts, do write to me.
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