So what’s the difference one might ask. Obviously, for a typical business mindset, it is advisable to simply forget about it, this very moment. Because for them it seems crucial to first build the numbers, gain the traction, increase profitability and get into a comfortable situation which in turn might then allow one to focus on a rather unimportant activity called ‘brand building’. To some this might also seem nothing less than just an over expensive, luxurious state of affairs, which either yields minimum or no impact at all. And for those of the few who have understood it just right, here’s an ode to building a sustainable brand name that goes beyond its people, performance, or profit. It goes beyond doing business in the first place.
We are in a highly competitive world today and it just gets even more challenging with every passing second. With technology playing a massive role in the way businesses function and how they connect with their consumers, it is becoming extremely important to gauge consumer perception every moment. What’s new right now is becoming old pretty much sooner than what it would have been just a decade ago. Business ideas are becoming stale even before you seem to have understood it properly yourself. Your competition just seems to keep increasing multiple folds and getting better every time you tend to make a note of it. And before you know it you seem to have already been thrown out of the race. Then all that remains in your control is to keep doing business, ensuring you do enough to fuel what you do and retain what you have in your kitty. It is then that you realise that while you were busy with the process of scaling your business and calculating the numbers, you might have missed out on making yourself visible to those that matter, both in the arena and around it. And as the age-old saying goes: out of sight, out of mind, you realise you have become obsolete no matter how good you might have been.
It is important to make a profitable business grow with the continuous support of a strong, readily identifiable brand built alongside. And it doesn't happen on its own or just by accident. It takes a concentrated effort to build your brand alongside your business and you need to be willing to make sacrifices and concessions whenever necessary to balance the two out. Yes, you heard it right. Your business and your brand need to be built together, not one after the other. You begin building your brand the day you set shop. Brand building is a continuous exercise and it keeps growing bigger and better just like your business does. There is a prevailing misconception that brand building and communication are the same. Let’s make it simple to understand. Communication is an informative exercise that most often then always revolves around the activity of selling your product, service, or idea. It is a functional activity aimed at bringing in desired results if done right. Brand building is the much larger canvas with communication being one part of it. It is about building awareness irrespective of whether you have anything to sell or not. It is about being known irrespective of whether one needs you or not. And it ideally begins even before you decide there’s a need to communicate at all.
Let’s look at it a bit differently. Let’s say you need to step out on your first date. So, what’s on your priority list? After all, it’s about making a lasting impression, isn’t it? So, you need to be sure of how you look. What personality do you want to portray? How should you talk, what should you say, what should your tone of voice be? Should you sound too easy or be a bit controlled? What colour do you think looks best on you and why? Should you look formal or casual? The list goes on and with every question, you realise that there’s so much that goes into making that one single impression, meant to take you a long long way.
Now, say we apply the same logic to your business. So, what do you think? How far would your business fare? It is extremely important to have answers to all such relevant questions when it comes to making an impact, especially while building a profitable business and more so if you intend to build a robust brand. All these answers will continuously ensure your business knows how to remain on top of the charts forever. A concentrated and cohesive brand-building exercise will always ensure your business gains on valuation year on year, irrespective of whether the numbers go up or down. When you invest in a well-planned, continuous brand-building exercise you are investing in building a name that goes beyond the numbers, the charts, and the profits. In fact, it goes much beyond your business and above all, if I might end it the way I believe it to be, it goes beyond you too!