Young: Enthusiasm will drive branding success

The social media revolution isn’t the only phenomena in our world these days.

It seems everywhere I experience a presence of the “ branding” syndrome.

Is it a disease? Heavens no, it is a significant concept in product, personal and concept design marketing that assists in the selling process.

I am besieged by the branding syndrome in my encounters with young entrepreneurs and small business owners.

It is with this abundance of exposure, I feel prompted to discuss with you this week the concept of  entrepreneurial branding to see if you can find a fit in your life’s journey in the entrepreneurial world.

With our unemployment still fluctuating like a roller coaster, company downsizing continuing to confuse, our economic future causing bewilderment in many Canadians, one topic remains constant— entrepreneurship is a hot button item on most lists.

Starting one’s own venture provides a means of making ends meet while doing what you love, instead of looking for outside employment.

Yes, although entrepreneurship truly does mean risk, it allows for creativity and autonomy.

Even with statistics highlighting apparent failure rates for a plethora of reasons, entrepreneurs who fail still have a better chance of succeeding at their next venture attempt, because they have previously gained knowledge, experience and an understanding of what doesn’t work for them.

Before I continue with some thoughts on establishing your entrepreneurial brand, I wanted to share a moment of what might be construed as a problem.

When any entrepreneur brands their product, business or concept, invariably that entrepreneur becomes associated with that brand—i.e Bill Gates with Microsoft, Steve Jobs with Apple.

That’s not a problem  until an entrepreneur decides to shift gears and consider a new and unrelated venture.

Folks, this is not entirely unlikely as we more and more become familiar with the serial entrepreneur concept that has people globally launch a series of entrepreneurial ventures that may or may not have a direct relation to each other.

But, it does pose this question: How does one open a new era of an entrepreneurial venture while still operating under an existing brand identity?

If the two entities are grossly unrelated, you will likely not be able to use your existing brand reputation to attract clients for your newest venture.

Another issue that is realistic is the possible loss of credibility with existing clients.

They may sometimes assume you are taking on a side job because your initial venture is not doing too well…hmmm, you may not be as good as you seem…ouch!

While your entrepreneurial spirit and energy should unquestionably be applauded, we are, unfortunately, a society accustomed to assume the worst when people take on extra burdens.

To establish a powerful brand in our entrepreneurial journey, always be authentic in your brand journey.

People connect with real people and generally can spot superficiality.

Stick always to your core values and beliefs and base your brand off of them. It does work, my friends.

In essence, never compromise your values nor the image you wish to project.

The devotees you may create will always have certain expectations about your brand and, if you disappoint them by falling off-track, you may lose them forever as loyal fans and customers.

Another entrepreneurial textbook item—be unique. Many other companies may be selling similar products, services or concepts that compete again st your idea.

“Distinct or extinct is an entrepreneurial management phrase highlighting if you don’t differentiate yourself as an entrepreneur, nobody will pay attention to you and your venture’s objectives.

Figure out what makes you different, then tell your tale to the marketplace in a compelling attention-grabbing fashion to create the magnet that will draw in your customers and…hold on to them tightly.

You must innovate constantly, another hallmark of the entrepreneurial journey.

Otherwise, you will find your grasp on the market slipping through your fingers at a rapid pace. And one factor I feel very strongly about, be around the right people.

Entrepreneurs need a strong support system of family, friends and business associates.

Surround yourself with people you like, trust and who are not toxic in any degree.

When we’re unique, we’ll stand out and shine in our industry which will attract new venture opportunities and certainly, when we surround ourselves with the right kind of people, will be blessed with the type of support to soar our entrepreneurial venture to the moon and back.

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