by Upasna Kakroo
Officially, I started running my pilots and my brand site in October last year. It’s been a full year of excitement, ups, downs, questions, support and honestly, a lot of work. Building a Startup brand often takes hours of hard work, persistence and your ability to stay put, no matter what. From my personal experience, today, I’ll share the top 3 things you need when building a Startup brand!
3 Things You Need When Building A Loved Startup Brand
1. Make yourself boring. It’s okay.
This is not to offend anyone, but a real need. I will share my own example to clarify. For the past year, many of my friends, my husband and even my grandmother have wondered how I can keep working and not get bored. Sure, I could attend events each day and have an exciting life. But here’s the pit fall. I can’t be at a party, a networking event, and put my real business on auto-pilot. Even if you have a staff of ten and investor funding, each moment you interact with the customer, partner, and talk about your company, you need to practice, rehearse and manage quality. If you have a lot of time left, you probably are not pushing yourself enough. You may be lucky to get great publicity in the beginning, but remember branding is a long term initiative. It’s your dream. Do not let other people’s opinion of boring or exciting make you invest less time in creating something meaningful. Value your time. Don’t worry about events, choose the ones that you think will bring business. Everything else can wait, especially in the beginning.
2. Create an expectation that you fulfill each day, consistently.
Brands are built on consistency. I expect that Volkswagen would meet all the standards. I expect that AirBnB housing will be like real homes. When that expectation is set consistently, the brand value naturally goes up. If you break consumer trust, it immediately affects consumer mindsets and you may (in the worst cases) have to pay a very heavy price to reestablish brand trust. As a simple example, take Seth Godin. He’s a great marketer. He writes his blog posts each day at the same time.I often go to his blog like clockwork. And it’s there, day after day. I expect it and feel satiated when I find it.
If you run a blog, a Facebook site, a sale, a new product line, set expectations. Let people know what they can expect from your brand specifically. Deliver on the promise each day. Sounds simple, but takes a lot to be consistent.
Build something that people will look for, something that people will talk about, something we would miss if it were gone.- Seth Godin
3. Make every interaction count. Be nice.
Brands that win hearts and business are fair. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ashton Kuchter (maybe I will squeak) or someone with an unknown Twitter ID and 10 followers. You need to respond. There’s no merit in being a prick, even if you are the CEO of your brand. Imagine how you’d feel if you said hello to someone on the hotel front desk and they just ignored you in return. I am not recommending that you send beautiful answers to troll on social media. But don’t keep an firstname.lastname@example.org ID that no body ever answers. Do not have a non responding Twitter ID. It’s ok if you can’t be responsive on all channels. Train your customers and supporters to reach out where they know you will respond. Respect others. Every brand interaction makes a small difference in creating your brand story. Do not let the opportunity pass you by!
How are you creating your Startup brands? Do share your views with me on Twitter or in the comments below!
image credit: 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 Ann Arbor Michigan.