Most brands start with a single step. The idea that even huge brands like Disney, Mcdonalds and Nintendo started out fully formed is ludicrous. Brands evolve and change over time to fit ever changing markets and trends. The above brands are strong as they have evolved over decades (and in the case of Nintendo, a century – seriously, they used to be a playing card manufacturer), so expecting too much of your own brand early on can lead to disappointment.
Your Brand Journey can be long and arduous, fraught with challenges, trials and tribulations, as well as victories and triumphs. Starting out can be a humbling, daunting task and even those already on the path can feel overwhelmed enough to turn back.
As with any journey, it’s important to prepare yourself before you start on your epic adventure. Preparation will look different to every adventurer, but there are some common themes and aspects that all should be aware of. Luckily, we’re here to help be your guide. The brand Gandalf to your business Frodo.
1 – Map your Journey
We don’t mean on a physical map (though this may help with visualising it), but you need to plan your route through the branding wilderness. Firstly, think about where you are going – you’ll need not only end goals but also smaller objectives t help give a sense of achievement along the way. Next, think about how long it’s going to take to reach each of these points. Don’t just have an end date in mind without breaking it down into more manageable mini-deadlines, as you’re likely to get close to the deadline without realising how far behind you are.
Additionally, think about the stops you’ll make along the way to review the process so far. Place these at key markers to ensure you know when to take a look around and enjoy the scenery.
2 – Provisions
your brand journey? The provisions you’ll need tend to be more mental than physical. An open mind is key, as the road may twist and turn ahead of you in unexpected directions. Being able to look at ideas you may not have dreamt of objectively will help your journey continue more naturally. Mental resilience is good too, allowing you to take on challenges as they arise without wavering. Bring all the creativity you can muster and don’t be afraid to utilise it.
And don’t forget a method to take notes. A phone, laptop or tablet are great, but you can’t beat the feeling of a pen and paper (or a quill, if you’re feeling particularly fancy).
3 – Pre-Journey Prep
You have your map and provisions, but these are not the only preparation you need. Think about the challenges you may need to overcome along the way, and come up with plans as to how you may overcome them. These may only need to be loose strategies for now, as the challenges may differ to your initial assessment when you reach them (and you will), but you’ll be glad you thought ahead! It’s a great idea to have already done some market research at the very least before you start your journey, as this will help you draw your map.
4 – Travelling Companions
The brand journey can be long and lonely, so why not bring some companions along with you? You may have a business partner as the obvious choice, but think also about those companions who may come to assist on the journey. Designers, web developers, printers and merchandisers are evident choices, but also think about the other businesses you’re partnered with. Accountants, coaches and marketers make for great partners to help ease your load.
Remember, that not just anyone will do. Make sure to pick companions who share your brand values, or at least align well with them. Build your tribe around you and look after them – they’ll be the ones who sing praises of your brand to your audience later down the road. Don’t be afraid to cut out partners who’s business ideals you don’t align with.
4 – Setting up Camp
Sometime people get so involved in the journey that they forget to take a rest, and can head off down the wrong path. At your key markers, take some time to stop and rest. Review your brand to this point and re plan your route where necessary.
Resting gives you a clearer head and may help you see a route around a blocked path that no amount of grinding will help you see.
Getting started on your brand journey can be daunting, especially with so much to consider. Overlooking the journey as one step will make even the most seasoned adventurer pause, but breaking it down into smaller goals makes it more manageable. Plot your route, plan your stops and rest when you need to. It’s a long journey, but remember, it all starts with a single step.
Ready to answer the call to adventure? Book in here for a meeting or contact us at email@example.com if you have some burning questions.
If you want to learn more about what you can do to start your brand journey, download our free ebook here.