February 23rd, 2012
I came across this image today, over at Brands for the People, a new online brand development company which is designed to help small business owners create new brand identities for reasonable prices.
It's an interesting concept - and one for which I think there is probably a pretty good market - but what really caught my attention was the order in which they've arranged their 6 steps to creating a brand identity.
You'll see that 'Naming Your Business' is the last step in the process.
As someone who's been helping clients create brand identities for 10 years now, I could not agree more. Too many times, I've worked with organizations which have spent all their time and money on creating a product/service, getting an office, hiring staff - and only then start to think about how they're going to go about marketing their wares. And of course it's hard to create a marketing strategy when you don't know what 'story' you're going to tell to potential customers, or where you're going to fit in your competitive set.
I was going to write a long explanatory piece here, but the more I look at 6-step diagram, the more I think it speaks for itself. (The only one which might need explanation is Step 3, because what they mean isn't so much "how does your supply chain work" but "how will we approach the way we get things done".)
The bottom line is that before you choose your name - or lease an office, or start hiring office managers - you need to know why you're different, why you're better, how you'll stand out from the competition and why people will care about what you're doing. Knowing all that will determine whether you name your company "Clara's Cakes" or "Baked Nirvana", and whether your brand identity will be home-country-kitchen or super-modern-cult. And knowing those things will determine where your office is and what it looks like, the type of staff you hire, and even your product offerings.
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