Your brand is an investment in your business
An IRA is an investment in your financial future. An exercise routine is an investment in your health. A regular date night with your spouse is an investment in your marriage (trust me on this one).
And, similar to the examples above, your brand is an investment in the future of your business.
Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s the sum total of your company’s mission, vision, and values plus the visual identity you present through all your marketing channels plus the experience your customers have with your company.
A base for growth
If you develop your brand around a solid mission, vision, and core values you have a great foundation for growth. These three elements are the base on which you can develop a visual identity, and your marketing. I explain more about mission, vision, and values in my post, “Your brand needs a message, a face, and a voice.”
However, if your brand is comprised of a $50 logo and some cheap businesses cards from an online vendor you don’t really have a brand. A quality brand requires you to know why your business exists, where it’s going, and be able to clearly communicate that to the world.
Direction and focus
Do you know where your business is going? Or are you bogged down in the day-to-day busyness of getting stuff done? That was my story for the first three years in business. When I finally lifted my head up from client work I realized I didn’t have a strong identity or a clear destination at which to aim.
A brand that is built upon mission, vision, and values provides a clear map for the direction of your company because it helps you see beyond your current situation and stick a pin into a future destination.
An identity for your business
A strong brand helps you solidify your company’s identity and understand your “why.” Your values are the boundaries for your vision; they keep you on target and help you say “no” to ideas and people that don’t share your values.
Knowing your company’s values will help you build a culture through which you can vet prospective clients, partners, and employees. Aligning yourself with people who don’t share your values will cost you money, time, and possibly your mental health.
Many entrepreneurs don’t develop their brand prior to launching their business (I certainly didn’t) but they typically back into the process three or four years into the journey. If you’ve recently lifted your head up from the day-to-day and realize your business doesn’t have a clear identity, you’re not sure where you’re going, and you can’t name any core values, let’s start a conversation.