Brand Management: How To Stay True To It As You Grow
Picture this: Your small startup with an equally small set of employees and customers has now grown. More people want to work for you and your customer base is larger. This means changing some things to keep up. Perhaps it’s hiring more people, using different tactics to bring potential customers in (more focus on social media posts or something that made your brand heavily popular), or doing a full overhaul on your brand.
In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this and in fact it’s necessary for a brand to change as it grows. Without change and growth, your brand and business will never experience full success. But there’s also a downside to it, and that is that your original premise gets lost in all this change. You’re so busy trying to maintain growth that it’s hard to recall why it grew in the first place. Maybe you don’t even realize any of this until you start reading or hearing complaints from customers that your brand/company was much better before everything changed (be that employees, overall environment, different areas of focus, etc.).
Thankfully, all you need to fix this problem is some good old-fashioned brand management. According to an article written by Derrick Daye on Branding Strategy Insider, the main components of the brand management process include “identifying/defining your most important customers,” and “understanding what motivates your customers and what could cause them to choose your brand over [others’].” Brand management is also about coming up with a strong brand promise, having strong brand messaging (with an “elevator speech, tagline, campaign themes, proof points, etc.”) and making sure you stay consistent, Daye states.
While all of that is well and fine, the question you’re likely asking is how to keep up this basic premise as you grow. Well, here’s how:
First, always stay true to your company’s culture.
Your company might have 350 employees working for it now, as opposed to the 35 you started out with. Of course this is going to change how everyone interacts and works with each other. But, that doesn’t mean the culture and environment you always had should change. As the Forbes Communications Council states in an article they wrote, “don’t just write a mission statement, live it. Don’t just say you have core beliefs, abide by them.” It’s important that every new employee you hire is told about the company’s culture and emulate it while working with you.
Next, remember you’re here to please your customers.
You would never be where you are today if it wasn’t for your loyal customer base. Therefore, no matter how big you’ve gotten over the years, your goal is to keep them happy. This means taking their feedback into consideration, always help them when it’s needed and even interacting with them on social media. The more you let them know in any way possible that you’re there for them, they will pay you back in kind and your business will thrive.
Stay grounded with medium-term goals.
Every business has goals they want to carry out in the long and short-term. But, what about the middle-term? Anything you want to carry out there? You should, in the form of what’s known as medium-term goals. According to an article written by Henry Hsu on LinkedIn, these are “the 3 to 5-year milestones and goals that serve as the stepping stones to [your overall] vision.” Having these goals between the ones you want to set for your business in the short and long-term will keep you on track and keep you growing at the right pace, before you get too big to handle everything.
Always sell your business and brand’s story.
Your business might be obsessed with going viral or trying to keep up with popular trends. But, as Elaine Reed writes in an article on TalentZoo, “going viral doesn’t matter if the story isn’t there to back up the content.” Your brand and business wouldn’t even exist if there was no story surrounding it. Marketing is all about storytelling. Make sure your story is present in anything and everything your company does.
Contact us for more information about brand management and how to keep it going as your business grows.