How much of a brand founder's values, mission and vision are still in play years—even decades—after the brand's initiation?
And what role does the brand's founder play in a brand's direction, in perpetuity?
No matter the course you expect your brand to take, you, as its founder, will play a massive role in its future. So what will you bring to your brand? How will you affect the imprint it leaves and the impact it makes? And why does it matter?
Let's talk about it.
From Brand Culture to Consumer Impressions…the Founder's Role in a Brand's Identity
When you first read the title of this post, you likely thought The Brand Founder's Role? It's to start the brand of course.
You're right, but there's so much more than that. You're not just the guy or gal putting up the money (and putting in the work) to start a new business. You're not just the decision-maker or the problem-solver. And you're not simply a figurehead.
You are, in many respects, the heart and soul of your brand.
And let's be clear: not every entrepreneur and brand-builder can say they're a 'brand founder'; however, the ones who can (and whose brands are still moving forward with their values and vision) have these things in common:
Not every brand that demonstrates these traits is still run by its original founder; however, if the founder did it right, that brand culture 'stuck.'
Here's how you can fulfil your complete role as brand founder, so that your vision, mission and values will be carried on by your brand, well into the future:
- Identify your Unique Qualities and Incorporate Them. When a brand is known for something unique, its audience will hold onto that and use it when they talk about the brand. It will become the brand's key identifier, which attracts new customers and keeps existing ones interested. When you start with uniqueness, your brand will grow upon that, ensuring that your legacy is not only an integral part of the brand, but a significant contributor to its success.
- Have a Vision that Reaches into the Future. When you can look ahead ten or twenty years and picture precisely where you want your brand to be, whom you want it to serve, how much revenue you want it to generate, what differences you want it to make in the market (and in the world)—and remain focussed on that vision—then your vision will become the brand-wide vision, and you will be present in the brand's culture…far into the future.
- Know your WHY and Incorporate It. Your WHY is the big reason you're building the brand you're building. What's your purpose? Why are you dumping your blood, sweat and tears into this thing? You should be able to articulate that WHY and share it with your team, affiliates and customers. If they're all meant to work with your brand, they will adopt that WHY and work toward fulfilling that purpose—for you, for themselves and for one another. Before you know it, your founder's mentality will be woven throughout the tapestry of your brand.
- Systemise your Brand Processes. As you build your brand and its processes, take note of those tasks that you complete over and over again—and then develop systems for each, in order to reduce the time you're spending and to increase the quality of the resulting products or services. This will not only improve efficiency, it will keep your vision and legacy alive by giving team members a brand map to follow.
- Maintain a Spirit of Innovation. Keep your eyes open for new problems—especially those that result from the solving of other problems. Watch how consumer trends affect how your brand is accepted and needed. These types of changes (and others) are fabulous opportunities for innovation, and I suggest you grab them before the competition does. Obtain patents. Exercise your copyright. Trademark your ideas. This will ensure that your brand legacy is safe and
- Value you Team. Who are the ones who will adopt and propagate your founder's mentality and legacy? It's the team members whom you will hire and train. Firstly, only hire people who believe in your brand and share your corporate values. Reward them when they build your brand and in general, make them want to be part of something great. Show them that they're appreciated and always give them credit for helping to build your brand.
No matter where you see yourself in ten or twenty years (still running your brand or lying on a beach somewhere after selling it), you can choose to imprint your founder's mentality on the brand culture. Follow the advice above, and be sure to share your experiences and ask your questions in the How to Build a Brand Facebook group. Not a member? Join today. It's FREE!