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We are done with branding

This company was a larger Start-Up on their way to becoming a Scale-Up. They invested significantly in building the brand. Investors and the C-suite felt “done” with spending resources (meaning time, money, and people). Continuing building the brand was complete in their minds so they all agreed to finish this brand-building “project.’

Accordingly, company leaders pulled the working resources dedicated to building the brand. The twist is that building a brand is not a “project” and, as you might guess by now, it is never “done.”

Think of it like this–only pay attention to the things you want to keep. That is a good life philosophy in general and, specifically for our purposes, a good working business philosophy.


Building a brand is not a “project”-it is an ongoing process. If you see your brand as a project that will end, your Start-Up will lose its identity in the market. Your brand represents who you are, what you stand for, what your customers and employees should expect from your brand promise, and is the basis of customer perception of your Start-Up as a company.

Your brand comprises two parts, brand identity is your logo, tagline, visuals, tone of voice, etc. Once established, you may only need to touch up your brand identity from time to time. For example, when your company goes from Start-Up to Scale-Up, you may need to uplevel your brand look and feel. However, that part of your branding is a project that will have an end point.

The second part of your brand image. This is the more “squishy” part of branding in that it is about the public perception of your brand, including others’ interpretation of your Start-Up’s beliefs and how you do business.

Brand image means how your company is recognized in the market, your reputation, how trustworthy your company is considered, the impression it leaves on people in your market, and understanding of your value.

Building your brand image will be ever-evolving and a continued focus for the lifetime of your company.

Brand image is not relegated to being a marketing activity; instead, it is a company-wide activity that everyone should contribute to in their individual and team roles. It’s a bit like customer success-every member of your team is responsible for customer satisfaction, not just the employee who answers a customer phone call.

Unfortunately, brand image building often does not get the attention it deserves from Start-Up’s in terms of resources and employee buy-in. And yet, it is often directly connected to your capacity to retain customers and employees, meaning it is directly proportional to-and can reduce-the degree of churn your company will eXperience over time.  

When you develop your brand strategy, make sure you include a plan for building both the brand identity and the brand image. And make it a priority company-wide, backed by some level of resources.

*Bloopers might be real or fictional

Image credit: Photo by Balázs Kétyi on Unsplash