By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker
Looking into the past, businesses focused on their business plan and assumed their brand would follow. They would focus on the financials and then figure out an advertisement to run on television or radio. These were simpler times. They were not concerned with building a brand. Today branding is a key to success. If you have a brand everyone can recognize just from the symbol, you have leverage for your business. Of course, you still need the capital to back a business, but entrepreneurs are focusing more and more on developing the brand before starting into the financials. So what does a branding plan entail? The branding plan is the umbrella under which marketing, sales, and product development fall. It details what each of these groups need to do in order to make the brand successful. Any good brand should start with a vision. What do they stand for? It needs to be a specific mission so they can have a plan of attack.
An excellent example of someone who has mastered branding is Elon Musk. He truly understands the emotional side of branding. Now, most of his products are out of a lot of people’s financial reach, yet, people are the world are still highly interested in his companies. People argue that he doesn’t have customers, he has followers. People are connecting with his mission. He creates brilliant products that are environmentally friendly. Instead of just sitting back and talking about solutions, he’s creating them, which is why people are connected with his brand. Musk’s brand is also big on transparency and accountability. When there were issues with Tesla’s catching on fire, he personally authored a blog post addressing this issue. He took accountability and people responded positively. He defended his brand. Often we see a lack of transparency or heads of companies just use the same buzzwords in apologizing for issues, but he made it personal. Elon Musk has shown what the power of creating a positive brand can do. It gets people excited about future possibilities. And more importantly for a business, when people are excited about your brand, the profits increase. So if we harken back to simpler times where businesses were concerned with the financial aspects first, we see how important it is to develop a strong branding plan. Having a specific plan goes hand in hand with improving profits. It’s something business should never leave up to chance.