So, you have an idea for a business, now what? It’s time to hit the drawing boards. The best brands come from a solid business plan. They know who they are, what they offer and what makes them different. They start with a vision, develop into a plan and blossom into a successful business that makes an impact in their field and inspire change in their environment.
While Instagram has taught us that aesthetics are everything, when it comes to your brand looks alone simply aren’t enough. With so many different brands and companies already competing for your target audience’s attention, you’ll need to bring actual substance to the table.
Your Brand is More than a Logo
Your brand is a representation of who you are as a person or business. But it’s not just a visual representation of who you are. It’s your ethics, your integrity, your voice and your character as an individual and even more so as a company. It’s no secret that making a good first impression counts, but what about a lasting impression?
While the appearance of your brand is important, equally important is the meaning behind it. It’s going to take more than just a pretty logo to build trust, encourage engagement and support lasting growth. The worst thing you can do when building your brand is become so consumed with the appearance that you lose sight of the structure. Thus, creating a hollow a brand.
A hollow brand is a brand that has a strong outer appearance, but lacks brand integrity and depth. It’s a brand that looks great on the outside, boasting a solid logo, offering a great product and sparking a high expectation but delivers a sub-par result. In this ever-changing digital environment, these brands simply aren’t going to make it and the biggest contributor to failure is lack of integrity.
The Importance of Brand Integrity
Having a strong sense of brand integrity is crucial. If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for whatever comes your way. Having brand integrity takes courage and heart, it means saying no to the things that don’t align with the foundation of your vision and mission. But in order to say no, you must first build the foundation that your brand will be built on.
Even when Let’s Bee Social was in its first conceptual stages, I knew from the beginning that I only wanted to work with small to medium size businesses, local business owners and entrepreneurs. I have a heart for helping these individuals and I’ve always been a big supporter of shopping local, supporting upcoming brands and pouring into making other people’s visions and dreams a reality.
As a passionate individual, I knew I wanted to work with others who were passionate too. In this conceptualization stage, I was asked, “If a big-name brand or business approached you, would you work with them?” I firmly answered, “No amount of money could convince me to stray away from my vision to help small and local businesses.”
If you’re starting your business for the purpose of simply making money, you may be thinking that’s a stupid answer and that’s your opinion. But the truth of the matter is this, there is no amount of money that can define you, your purpose or your happiness. So, why would you allow it to control your brand?
You’re going to be tested time and time again, you’re going to face many tough choices, but if you decide from the beginning that you will hold true to your vision, you will master the art of brand integrity and you will gain loyalty and trust in the process.
Making an Impact
When you’re building your brand, remember that at the end of the day people are going to associate your logo with your impact. What’s your legacy going to look like? Write it down, and let’s get to work.