Branding for Bucks: what every entrepreneur should know

Icons are important for brandingThis is more than a single blog. I envision a series of about 12 to 14 different posts before it�s all over. But don�t worry: for the most part they will be posted each and every day so those of you on the cusp of beginning a business or launching a product will get a pretty intense and compacted set of guidelines to developing a strong brand right from the start.

That�s why the title. What I mean by that is two-fold.

First, everyone knows by now the importance of a brand that differentiate your business from your competitors. People won�t buy from you until they know you. A good focused brand will help that.

Second, and hand in glove with the first, the faster you have a stand-out brand, the faster the cash will flow. And we all know how important getting cash flowing quickly is all-important for a new business or product offering.

So I�ll start this series off with some thoughts about the entrepreneurial mindset.

There is a tendency to look at branding with a nice-to-have-but-I-can�t-afford-it-yet attitude. I believe a successful entrepreneur will realize that from the get-go the brand will help accelerate the business. Not only that, I think putting a brand in place before you even look for seed money will enable you to get that capital faster. And maybe even more of it. The brand in itself will help sell the concept of the business. And just as important, it will demonstrate marketing/branding savvy.

And another tendency of first-time entrepreneurs is to do it yourself. Please don�t, even if you have a very artistic high-schooler at home, get professional help executing names, logos, taglines and graphic standards. If you wish to appear professional and substantial, invest in professional counsel and talent. It pays off, both for the long run and the short. It means not having to change things that might be confusing to customers and prospects a year or so into the business just because the initial foundation needs to be re-worked.

So that�s today�s blog. Tomorrow I�ll focus on the very first step of the branding process. Hang in there.

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