Beyond sizing up your competition to determine what is unique about your product or service, there are a lot of questions to consider on your own when beginning to create a marketing plan. What are you? What is your business about? What type of personality and feel will it have? How do you want people to see you? I think of a brand as a promise – it’s a promise to the customer about the value they are going to receive. What you want that promise to be is up to you. And thankfully, there are so many ways to go about expressing that promise, from your name, logo, packaging, and website. A good way to start understanding how powerful a good brand and marketing plan is to think of some of the logos and names that stick out to you. If you want to check out companies that are the best at building brands, visit brandsoftheworld.com.
Before choosing a name and a logo, be aware of how your competition has branded itself. I try to understand why my competition has to chosen to brand itself in the way that they did. Because your brand says everything about you! It’s very important. I wouldn’t say it’s the most important, because great customer service and what you do with your brand after you create it are more important. Be sure to thoroughly test your potential names and logos on friends and family. What words do they think of when they see the images or words? What feelings does your brand conjure in them? It sounds silly, but you would not believe how much money is spent all across the world, all the time, on testing potential brands on consumer audiences. For better or worse, this stuff matters.
Make sure that all aspects of how you present your business – from how someone answers the phone when a client or customer calls to your website design – is in harmony. Brands work when they exude consistency and the promise that is offered is never broken or put into question. This will take some thought. Don’t rush! You don’t want to run out and design a bunch of business cards with a name that sounds a little too like something inappropriate… etc.
And finally, don’t make a promise you can’t keep!
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years. He is a board member of Accudial Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is the author of two books “One Simple Idea: Turn your dreams into a licensing goldmine while letting others do the work,” and “Once Simple Idea For Startups Entrepreneurs,” from McGraw-Hill. Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to education. Teaching inventors and entrepreneurs the skills needed to successfully bring their ideas to market.
One Simple Idea For Licensing is available in book stores and online book retailers nationwide. One Simple Idea for Startups Entrepreneurs will be available November 5th, 2012. Visit www.inventright.com to learn more.