Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

Commodity & Brand

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Dec 26, 2012

Selling is no easy task. Getting attention is becoming more and more difficult. Due to availability and access to much more options customers are now more choosy. Nobody pays attention to commodity because attention is scarce and limited. And attention to anything mediocre is a waste of our precise time. We understand that and consequently we don't bother about things that don't deserve our attention.

Without attention nothing can survive. But what it takes to get noticed, to have attention, to sell? According to Seth Godin, it depends on how remarkable your creation is. Remarkable is something on which people remark. And the ability to have remark is what draws segregation line between brand and commodity. Commodities are available everywhere. And nobody remembers a name of any commodity. Commodities are easily replaceable. Commodity does not win our heart. On the contrary, brand stand opposite. A brand is something that wins our mind and heart. That is not available everywhere and cannot be replaced on will. As a start-up you must know the essence of brand, and you must allocate sufficient attention to build your brand. And all these must start with a clear understanding of brand and related issues.

To me a brand is something that tells story, ignites conversation, celebrates trust, inspires love and living. It tells story that is relevant and that inspires action. It ignites conversation that is interesting not banal, that is sustainable not anything fad and that stays around our head. My definition of brand never rob off its customers but its customers pays double, almost always, for having it. They stays awake whole night in line to get it before somebody else.

The idea of brand has changed forever. It has changed the day when internet bring the choice of buying anything from anywhere around the world to our doorstop. The idea of brand has changed with the advent of the opportunity to pay online, pay via credit card and so on. The idea of brand has changed when information become commodity. When access to community become a click and a facebook account. When news become something TV channels do not telecast but social media outlets do.

Do you believe your product or service is remarkable? Does it tell story, ignite conversation or inspire action? If not, have you thought what you can do ?

What do your want: Producing or creating commodity that can be replaced easily or creating a brand that will stay?


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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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