Branding vs selling. Which one should come first, and whose “advice” should you take when you’re a new business just starting out?
Long story short, and to paraphrase from a friend’s advice, you need to sell your stuff first before focusing or listening to brand consultants that you should (pay them and) work on your branding first.
Take Michelangelo for example.
If he took your typical thirsty brand consultant’s advice to build up his Michelangelo brand first, without selling consistently good products, will people buy into his “brand”?
It is only after he consistently produced good products (and sold them) that he had a “brand” and people knew of his name.
If you’re new, then focus on doing and producing good products to sell first. Remember, if you don’t sell, you don’t earn, and you don’t get to eat.
There are many theories on branding, but this is my interpretation:
Branding is what your customer sees, hears, feels and thinks about you. It is what you do consistently that makes your customer think that way about you.
Just spare a moment to think about it. Think about good fried rice in Singapore, and you’ll think “Ding Tai Feng”.
Think good, fast and reasonably priced fried rice to take away, and you’ll probably think Wok Hei.
Both brands cook their rice consistently well, and the taste and quality is also consistent.
Think about McDonald’s. They have consistent mainstay burgers, colours, and decor.
Your branding is what you do consistently, whether you do it well or not… and people will only know about your “brand” based on how much you sell and how often you make a sale.
But remember, if you don’t sell, you don’t eat… so consider carefully who you listen to.