by Upasna Kakroo | Featured Contributor
Recently a friend of mine, shared her predicament with me. She was starting a new business and was over-invested in product creation and funding efforts. This left her with no time to think about her brand. I realized plenty Startups go through this exact same issue. It is not because they are unable to come up with something creative for their brands, it’s just that usually they struggle with lean teams and no time. No matter how busy you may be, there are still solid reasons why you need a brand expert especially at an early stage. Here’s why:
3 Reasons Why You Need A Brand Expert
1. A Brand Is A Reason To Choose*: While as a Startup owner you are the one that clearly aware of the product story, you need to create that same perception in your consumer’s mind. Why should a consumer choose your brand over someone else’s? Even if you are a first-to-the-world product you need to share your story with the world.
2. Changing Brand Perception At A Later Stage Is Expensive: I actually have a big company example for this one. Samsung electronics launched in India and positioned initially as a “low-cost” provider of electronics to consumers, in comparison to Japanese players like Sony. After a while, they realized that India had a big appetite for luxury and they no longer wanted cost to be the primary buying factor. This meant a re-branding effort and investment in marketing and product strategies that cost them several million dollars. While, Samsung also represents 20% of the South Korean GDP (it is massive), this is also an indication to realize how changing consumer perceptions is a big effort. As a small Startup, you need to be aware of this. And while small businesses are more agile and flexible when it comes to branding, it is still important for them to start well and in a thought out manner.
3. Branding Helps You Differentiate: The competition is from the local blogger to Coca Cola. And you need to have a cohesive strategy that makes you stand out. Whether you use social media, content marketing or digital storytelling techniques, the point is you will need to know the hows, whys and goals that you set yourself up for. Creating a vision for your brand will help you achieve and reach that in a much more defined timeline.
How a Brand Expert Can Help You Create a Brand Perception: Brand experts can help you get an idea from an outside-in perspective. Apart from that, you are safer in the hands of someone who has knowledge of an area, rather than working with a string of interns who you spend a lot of training time on. Of course you need all kinds of staff and the energy of an intern too, but you need a guiding strategy owner to see the big picture or formulate the strategy clearly. The expert will be aware of industry benchmarks, best practices and will be a go-to person for all the tools and techniques you need. You will know why you did certain things and have a formulated plan/strategy which is usually better than notes in your little black book that you forget to check later.
Remember: be found, but be found well 🙂
(*quote by Cheryl Burgess) , Image credits: Flickr
Upasna Kakroo is the Co-founder of an online branding and content marketing Startup, Brandanew. Her previous experiences include, McKinsey & Co., Rocket Internet among others. Upasna has devoured urban culture, art by traveling in 30 countries, living in three and blogging about these for over 12 years. Upasna sounds overeducated having gone to school for her BS (engineering) in India, MS (telecom) in the UK and MBA (marketing) in Germany. She currently lives in Germany and may soon venture into her 4th land.