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When you first start out, it can be difficult to narrow in on a single ideal customer. It may also feel impossible to focus on one single offering. But that’s exactly what the most successful businesses do. They launch with a focus on a single product or service (also referred to as a minimum viable product), and work to perfect it.
Imagine investing in high-level branding and then realizing—once you “get your hands dirty”— that your branding no longer reflects the business, your services and products, or your audience. I can speak from experience that it happens, which is why I recommend building your foundation first.
In my work with Marbury’s clients and in branding workshops, I always recommend that entrepreneurs start with their why, and their brand positioning.
You can hone in on your why by asking questions like:
• Why do you choose to do what you do?
• Why does your brand exist?
• Why should customers engage with or buy from your brand?
• Why are you different from your competition?
Your brand positioning is about claiming a unique space in the minds of your target audience and marketplace. This is where your “go to market” focus should lie. You should be able to answer:
• What is the exact market that my brand falls under?
• Who is my ideal target audience?
• What really sets my brand apart from the competition?
If you feel stumped on questions about your why or your brand positioning, it’s logical to say that you’re not ready to go to market. And as a result, you’re not ready to focus on other elements of your branding (e.g. the visuals). You need to identify your why and your target audience before you even start your business. You can think of it a bit like starting a business without a business plan. And it’s important to note that no brand can be perfect before launch, so expect to adapt as your business grows.
Once you’ve gone to market and have been in business for a while, you’ll have a much better understanding of who your audience is, what they’re looking for, and what exactly you need from your branding. The simple truth is that you can’t know what you need until you get your hands dirty.
Once you begin actually engaging with your audience post-launch, you’ll be much better equipped to invest more into your branding down the road.
Are you stuck trying to find your brand’s position or identifying your why? I’ve heard from many creative business owners who are struggling with just the same things. For this reason, we’re now offering Strategy Sessions for entrepreneurs just like you. During these hour-long sessions, we can work together to find the approach that connects with your target audience, or to determine where you may be getting stuck in your positioning. These sessions are designed to give you the resources to move forward with your branding, and you can schedule a call today if interested!