Join Eddie Davila for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and managing your brand, part of Business Foundations.
- What would you say if I told you that Coca-Cola is coming out with an electric car? Or that Starbucks was going to have live punk rock bands at their largest locations? Did you know that Apple is going to open a chain of Mexican restaurants, I'm kidding, of course. None of those companies would likely invest in any of those ventures, not because they couldn't necessarily make them successful, but rather, because of your reaction to those announcements. Coca-Cola manufacturing an electric car? Consumers would wonder, "Really? What do they know about cars?" Would I want to tell people my car is made by Coca-Cola? How about Starbucks having live punk rock in their stores? That doesn't make any sense.
That's not what their customers want. Even if some customers like punk rock, that's probably not the reason they go to Starbucks. In all of these cases, these major companies are limited by their brand. Coca-Cola is a world-class beverage company. Starbucks is a global coffee chain. Electric cars and punk rock just don't seem to make any sense. At the same time, though, their brands define them. Their brand will also inform customers about the expected quality level.
It will help them launch related products and services. If Coca-Cola announces a new fruit-flavored beverage line, or even if they come out with a Coke-flavored line of desserts, some of their present customer base may be interested. Each product has a relationship to something Coke already does. Similar product lines, similar flavors, and these would be products that would likely be sold in the same place other Coke products are sold. And how about Starbucks, besides coffee, what defines them? Their colors and the logo, the decor and ambience of their coffee houses, the care taken in taking your order and making your drink.
That is part of their brand. If Starbucks announced new drinks, a new line of home decorations, a relationship with a charity, or live in-store music, a Starbucks customer might be intrigued and perhaps in most cases, they would trust that Starbucks would understand what their customers expect. So we can see how Starbucks' very powerful brand creates opportunities for growth and expansion, and to a certain degree why the brand may also be limiting.
As your company grows, consider your logo and colors, your employees and facilities, your website and advertisements, and of course, your product and service offerings and where you choose to sell them. Every decision in those areas begins to define your brand. A comforting and consistent message to your target market might result in customer loyalty and opportunities for growth. Mixed messages in advertising, product quality, and the stores where your products are sold may confuse or alienate your customers.
So today, I want you to consider your favorite brands, or maybe, Google most popular brands, or most valuable brands. Consider a few of your favorite or maybe least favorite brands on the list. What does that brand mean to you in terms of product quality, corporate values, customer service, the types of customers they attract, the places where their products and services are typically sold. Consider products and services, you could see them develop in the future.
Now ask yourself, is your company's brand just as easily defined. Is your company's message consistent? Does your company's brand limit growth or do your customers trust your brand to develop new products and services in the future? Your brand, it's your identity, it carries messages to customers. Make sure you take special care to develop a brand that defines what you are and what you desire to be.
He also reviews the basics of the people side of business: managing employees and developing customer relationships. Last, he covers the financial and information management aspects of business and provides a basic explanation of economics, so that you can understand the relationship of your business to the bigger picture.
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- Understanding business goals, stakeholders, and resources
- Developing a product or service
- Selling a product or service
- Raising capital
- Managing employees
- Managing customer data
- Understanding finances
- Managing resources
- Understanding economics