How well do you know your brand? DO you know your brand? Actually, “brand” is an uncomfortable topic for many startup founders and small business owners, simply because they weren’t thinking about their brand when they started. It’s not a knock on them. Every entrepreneur has a vision of how their organization can change the world and how they can make a lot of money. But very few enter into the world of entrepreneurship intentionally considering and planning their brand.
But don’t worry! It’s never too late to establish your brand—though you may have to re-establish that brand because the market has told you what your brand is, instead of the other way around. Once you intentionally create your brand, then you can set out to make sure you hire and partner with people who uphold and support your brand, and then build your brand into everything about your company.
In the meantime, try this simple 4-step exercise to see how well you – or your employees – know your brand. Answer each of these 4 questions in the form of a tweet, using 140 characters or less. Add an image if you like, if that helps illustrate your brand, but the 140 characters should also stand alone.
- What are your core values? Here’s a great recent example.
- What industry or market problem are you solving? Hint: Start with “why.”
- Who is your optimal customer and how do you reach them? Here’s how to find them.
- Describe your business. See what Guy Kawasaki says.
Per Mr. Kawasaki’s advice, you and everyone who works for you should be able to spout everything in these four tweets verbatim. It’s not a memory game, but a culture game. You hire people who uphold the values on which you created the company, and then you bake it into the culture each and every day, with the understanding that your brand is everything you do.
Also, this isn’t anything new, but perhaps more people are talking about it. Way back in 1994, Charles Brewer started Mindspring, which eventually became Earthlink, one of the largest ISPs in the business. He built the company on what he called “CV&BVs” or core values & beliefs.
Now that you’ve completed the exercise, share those tweets! Tag us @GA with your answers!