Welcome back. If you’re just joining now, then get yourself up to date by checking out my previous two posts. The starting point and Grow and Scale.

A story about entrepreneurship (3/4): Build your brand

Where were we? Ah yes, building a brand. Your Brand is probably the most important thing about how much you grow. Building it on strong foundations is more important to your survival than you might think.

So, what is a Brand?

It’s a living organism. It has a personality and lifestyle. In fact, it’s a person! And an intelligent one at that; speaking with all your clients on your behalf.

How can you create a Brand?

To build a brand, you need these two things:

  • A brand asset – this is the only reason your customers come to you. It’s also, the one thing that best suits them. And it is ONE.
  • A brand personality – it’s your voice in the world.

Creating your Brand Asset

You must ask your clients two simple things. 1. why did they come to you? and 2. why do they prefer you to your competition? The answer you receive will give you your brand asset. And guess what? It’s usually something different to what you believed.

Finding out that your brand asset is , will help you deliberately repeat what you’ve successfully done, by mistake, in the past.

Creating your Brand Personality

Now it’s time to create your brand personality. This will become your strategy and policy. It will help you become exclusively known for what you’re doing. As such, you should mold it to love it! Ask yourself these questions:

  • If he/she was a person, who or what would he/she be?
  • How would that person speak?
  • What would that person do and say in any circumstance?

How to use your Brand

Congratulations, you’ve built your brand. How do you use it? Just simplify your processes and your target segment. Why? Because simpler is easier for your consumers to remember!

How to narrow your target segment

Initially, look for people who’ve been excited about your product. You’ll know them when you find them. It’s those people who, with their heart pounding in excitement, will want your product before you’re finished with your presentation.

Make a fan base out of them and keep them happy. It’s these people who’ll become your personal army of marketers, your ambassadors. Work at constantly improving this customer profile and see how much better things become.

How to build your fan base profile

Ideally, you can adopt a radical approach to profile them. Get out into the world and go where they are. Learn about their needs and requirements. Sam Walton did so shortly before the Walmart store chain succeeded. Apple does it for every release.

The questions you need answers to are these:

  • What do they think about your product
  • And what do they think about your competitors’ equivalent products
  • What was your customers’ experience with all these products

Constructing the right message

You need to find out why your customers prefer you. I’ll let you in on a secret at this point. More often than not, a customer will not come to you for what you’re offering. They will come to you for its dynamics.

For example, think about your occasional visit to your local gas station. Is it what it looks like? Do you really need to buy gas, or do you just need your car to keep moving? By now, you’re starting to realize that maybe you never wanted to buy gas. And you’d probably never buy any, if your car could move on an empty tank.

From this, we understand that what matters to you most, are your customers’ intentions. And it’s on these intentions that your message should be constructed upon.

Use your message wisely

Limit yourself initially. The message must be simple, especially if you’re just starting up. So, don’t use:

  • multiple messages for the same target segment. You’re creating confusion
  • multiple messages for different target segments. This will destroy your brand personality
  • any one message that is generic. In essence, it has no real value for anyone

What’s next?

I’m glad you asked. Startups are wrongfully accused for overworking people, with long hours and exhaustive product road maps. This, however, is usually not the case.

Starting small should be easy to evaluate and improve, step by step. You need is a methodology to go with it, altogether. And that’s the topic for the fourth and final part of this series.

Stay tuned for next week’s grand conclusion.


Panagiotis Sarantopoulos Panagiotis Sarantopoulos

The Starttech Ventures Head of Content Marketing. Studied Science of Computing at the University of Huddersfield in UK, specialising in Animation for Multimedia Systems. He has worked as a Multimedia Author for IBM Hellas and as an Adobe Certified Instructor and Support Technician for Adobe Systems software at Anodos SA. He has also worked at various Advertising Agencies, as a Web/ActionScript developer.