Like many of you, I recently read an article on Steve jobs and his impact on the Silicon Valley brand leaders. Startups and small businesses like to emulate their heroes to replicate success. It’s not uncommon for Startups to pitch being the “Uber of ABC, or the AirBnB of XYZ” in an attempt to create a brand perception. This could potentially be for an investor or a customer. But when you think about making your business stand out with such comparisons, don’t forget to think it through. Ask yourself some key questions before you make your valuable 30-section pitch. It happens once, make it worth someone else’s time!
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What Sort of a Brand Leader Are You?
1. How does the comparison with an established brand help you?
Before you go about claiming you’re the BMW of t-shirts, or the Uber of healthcare, think about why it’s a powerful brand statement. Does this comparison help your brand perception or is this just an easy way to describe what you’re doing?
2. What does your brand really create?
Talk to your product team, customers, friends or mentors. Try and ascertain their thoughts about the value your products or services bring. What do you really create? Postulate an original brand statement. Do not compare but state your thoughts clearly.
3. Have you thought about long term brand effects?
There are no perfect brands. Uber was recently criticized for its work culture, although it’s a strong brand. Do you by extension want to be known as a brand with such internal issues too? You can not predict what may happen with other brands. The only real control you have as a brand leader is how your own business performs. It may seem like a nice little idea in the beginning, but remember, your originality matters far more than a small comparison.
Take time to think about what your brand truly means. Stay true to your own brand positioning and creativity. You don’t need to lean in to other players or bigger brands in the market. Your customers will thank you for your thoughtfulness and authenticity.
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