Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

Five common branding principles we seldom practice

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Apr 25, 2012

Undoubtedly, we know huge. Today knowledge, any kind of it, is more pervasive than any time before. In this age of knowledge brokering and free knowledge movement, information is no more a scarcity rather an abundance. However, what we lack is practice. For a very inexplicable reason we do practice very little of what we discern. We know that, to build a world class brand we must give best, we must be omnipresent, we must solve problems people care about. Whatever reasons we often do opposite. We give second grade services to our customers, we take care our customers in a worse possible way, and we always remain busy in doing our mediocre jobs instead of listening what customers to say.

However, time has changed. Now if you don’t listen to your customers then they will tell your blunders to the world. So be careful. Building a startup brand in a small niche is comparatively less gruesome if one stick to some common rules. I will tell you some of them here. These rules are no imperatives, and not only rules but these are proven.

Set right expectation. You know this rule, even you heard about it many times before; that’s why I named the head line common rules. This is not for teaching you about rules of branding rather to reinforce your knowledge. Under promise over deliver. Don’t tell something that you cannot give. When you set over expectation and deliver under your promise, it squanders your brand value and deepen a negative brand image about you in the mind of consumers. Best is, set right expectation by promising less than you can deliver and deliver more. By promising less and delivering more you gives way to customer delight to persist.

Stay relevant. Every day I receive at least 10 events invitation on Facebook from my friends and community and I know it’s common for many of us. But we don’t accept most of these invitations because most of those invitations don’t meet our requirement of relevancy. Staying relevant to your target customer is first step of getting noticed and attention. The first step of staying relevant is to understand what people care about. And second step is act on that. Deliver exactly what people care for. The insight is, for almost all products and services people emphasize on some features over others, to get closer to your customers you need to emphasize on the features they care most. Say for example, when people buy a camera what they care most is quality of picture and you must deliver exactly that to stay pertinent.

Communicate conviction. Communicating your benefits is no more effective because it is easy to say some bla bla advantages, because everybody out there is also doing the same. What everybody out there is not communicating is conviction, faith, trust. To stand out in crowd, to outperform competition you need to communicate conviction of delivery, superiority at the first place. And one way of communicating conviction is through delivering higher values.

Set standard. I really meant it. You are going to be the standard to follow. Let other to talk about you, to put your example as industry standard. There is no secret of success but pushing yourself to be on top. It is not easy to set standard, it takes a higher level of commitment from people in the organization.

Focus long-term relationship. Control your instant gratification plea. Give first and think long term benefit. If you can afford giving in short term you will be benefited in long run. Most of the time we focus on today, at best tomorrow. As a result we have a tendency of sucking customers whenever they enter our shop. Take control of your remote.

The power of control has shifted from the hands of producers to customers. Branding is no more an act of exaggerated promotion but action. Due to advent of social media access to information is no more restricted for people who creates them rather everyone affected by those information has equal share in the pie. With social forums and rights movements, now consumers can easily prevent any deregulation by brands. Word of mouth is now click of mouse! This speedy world has both advantage sand disadvantages because like bad news it also circulates good news at the same speed. The matter is what we choose to do.


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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