When you begin the journey to begin a start-up business, you have no idea what turns you need to make. In fact, you make start to take one turn to simply go back and make another turn. However, this is part of the challenge and the adventure of it all.
Through it all, though, there is one thing you want to make sure that you are on point with it, and that’s with customer interaction. Research shows that 90 percent of consumers want consistency across devices and channels with brand interaction, but how can this be established and maintained if you have no idea where your company is going or where it is going to end up?
Why don’t we take a look at a business that has gotten it right so far? Apple. The company has launched products that have done well – computers to self-driving vehicles. Over about 20 years, Apple has gone from two men in a garage to an iconic brand that is known worldwide. If they can do, so can you.
So, here are five steps to build your own brand/start-up similar to Apple:
Step #1: Look at the Bigger Picture When Positioning Your Brand.
It is important to keep in mind that it isn’t your cool and awesome product that has your customers caring about. Instead, all that they care about is whether you have the ability to improve their lives. So, your brand’s promise must convey this message.
With Apple, the company enhances customer’s lives through technology and innovation. For example, computers that are free from viruses. iPod advertisements of people dancing until they drop. Bright and vivid slim MacBooks when the majority of computers used to be a dull gray and boxy.
Apple created sleek technology to improve the lives of their customers.
Step #2: Work to Define the Personality of Your Brand.
When defining the personality of your brand, you need to think well beyond tone and style. Consider your brand as a human being – it has a personality, way of thinking and mannerism. As you define the personality, think about the following questions:
Think about Apple as a human being for a moment. It’s easy to picture, right? He or she would be a very intelligent, cool and stylish individual.
Step #3: Take the Time to Develop Your Brand’s Visual Appearance and Feel.
Once your brand’s personality has been created, it is time to develop a visual appearance and feel. You need to choose a color scheme, font, etc. In terms of font, will you go with something refined or trendy? Will you allow your layouts to be airy and open or angular and bold? The choices you make will change the perception of your brand, so you need to take this into careful consideration.
Over time, the look and feel of your brand may change. In fact, it should. It sure has with Apple. Ultimately, your overall goal is to make sure that your brand is represented in a way that will resonate with your audience. Think about it this way: what was cool back in the 70’s or 80’s sure wouldn’t be the rave now.
Step #4: Choose Your Platforms.
Now that you have all of the above settled, it is time to decide where you are going to push your brand to potential customers. Your platforms are going to include your products, your website, social media, partner relationships, etc. Depending on the channel that you use, you will need to alter your delivery while still consistently conveying your brand.
For example, a 10-page product manual is going to be difference than a 140-character Tweet. However, they both must be all-encompassing of your brand. When it comes to Apple, they hit the nail right on the head.
Step #5: Develop a Charter for Your Brand.
Apple’s marketing department – can you honestly imagine how huge it must be? As a start-up, you won’t be able to match it, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t control things. So, what you need to do is to document everything and create a charter for your brand. While Apple’s may be fancy, yours does not have to be. However, the aforementioned four areas do need to be mentioned. This way you can evaluate all of your brand’s communications and then easily distribute it to all of your employees, partners and contractors.
In the end, as an entrepreneur, the important thing is that you avoid cutting any corners. You need to always keep your brand in mind as you build your business from the ground up.
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