It’s interesting how much effort and money goes into companies with little thought to what their brand is. Actually, I believe that a lot of thought does go into a company’s brand early on – but then it falls aside to more important things like team building and funding. Its not difficult to build a strong brand – as long as you don’t let it fall.
I’ve been attending various entrepreneurship meetings over the past year – including the latest one at the Emerging Enterprise Center at Foley Hoag. In attendance were many financial(VC) and legal advisors – all eager to offer advice to help on the next greatest company. They’re focused on their expertise – so here’s mine.
1) Name the company something that makes sense, and come up with a logo. The logo doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but it definitely should be clean and professional. After all, you’re looking for someone to trust you enough to invest a lot of money in your idea. I showed an early design of our marketing kit to a client when I was debating the cost of producing it. She told me that if they saw that amount of pride and effort I took in my own company, they would feel confident that they would be treated the same way. It shows commitment and professionalism – both necessary to obtain funding.
2) Until you have a reputation, your communication tools make your brand. What your company does, and possibly what it doesn’t do is in your business plan of course. But stay true to who you are. How you explain your company, how you target your marketing, and how your web site looks all makes up your brand. Also – don’t underestimate the first impression a business card can make.