On branding: your business isn’t your twin

We’ve learned not to care about what others think, but in business you should care and try to control what others think and feel whenever they encounter your business.

Even though you would like to do whatever you want, you are not your customer and to get them you need to please them, or at least convince them they need your business to function more effectively and efficiently, or have a better life.

By default, 80% of your business design, processes and outcome will resemble you. I leave the remainder for when you have to answer to someone else or it’s run by a board that can make decisions without you.

If you are a blue person, chances are blue will be a major theme in your designs and graphics. If you hate red, it’s very unlikely you will ever use or approve red. When decorating your business space, you pick out furniture you like, paintings you like, and even when you have people in charge of getting things done you still ensure everything is according to your taste before it becomes a part of the business.

In essence your business is your reflection. Businesses often tend to reflect the personality of its owners and though that might look good if you’re such a great person; self-centeredness just never lasts! Being objective is the best skill a business person can acquire.

In the branding process there is a step known as company culture. It’s the personality of your business and because you are not selling you, your business should be allowed to have an identity of its own.

Reason 1

You are just 1 out of the zillions of potential customers for your product because everyone is uniquely different. You loving it 100% isn’t a surefire way to get others to love it. You have to give your business an identity that stand on its own and meets the needs and uniqueness of a good portion of the market (Target Market).

Reason 2

Do not use your colours. You like blue and we agree it’s a great colour, but does it reflect the personality of your business? Colours have strong messages and people think and feel differently when they see blue, yellow or black. You should pick colours based on what you want to awaken in potential customers not what you think looks great. That includes packaging, cards, office space decoration and other graphics.

Reason 3

Do not use your personalized time zone. People often say am a night owl, day person, weekend person and whatever that means, but your customers wouldn’t care except those who fit your time zone. Because you prefer working in the mornings, doesn’t mean the crust of your business activities should be mornings. Work with your customers’ time zones and because each segment is different, you will need to work at night, noontime and evenings.

Reason 4

Do not hire people who are like you. Have you heard the saying there is beauty in diversity? Research has shown that companies with inclusive and diversity hiring policies have a higher chance of succeeding. You might be a great idea developer but a terrible copywriter. You may be a Harvard graduate, but there’s something the scrapper knows that you didn’t learn at Harvard. Let go of control and let their diversities shine through your business and you will reach more people. Your company has enough of you already; it’s time to spice it up with other personalities and backgrounds.

Reason 5

Do not say no because you do not ‘like’ it. Only say no because it does not fit the people you want to sell to. Customers are a priority not your emotions.