Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin group which controls over 400 companies, business magnate, philanthropist and investor is definitely an authority on the subject of branding. While startups have a myriad of important decisions to make, the issue of the kind of brand you want your product or service to have is of utmost importance if you are to avoid the time, effort and cost of having to re-brand later on.
According to Branson, there are three vital steps to creating a powerful brand. This article touches on them.
- A good brand name: the first step in creating a really powerful brand is choosing a really good name. Branson outlines four important considerations when choosing a brand name. The first is to go with a name that will appeal to your target audience. Second, be sure to keep your name simple: Virgin was a strikingly simple name, even though it didn’t immediately tell what the business did Branson said. The third is to make sure the name can still be used even when you branch out to other industries. It’s important to come up with a name that can be used far and wide. Finally, Branson advises to have fun with it! Naming his company Virgin defied the status quo and helped generate a lot of publicity – and they certainly had a lot of fun with it.
- Be different from the competition: The second nugget Richard Branson shared was that ability to get people talking about you is what sets successful brands apart from the rest of the competition. If your brand must be successful, you must present every aspect of it in a different way than the competition. Branson shared some advice he got from a mentor when Virgin was still in its early stages. He said: “Make sure you appear on the front page and not the back pages, you are going to have to get out there and sell yourself. Make a fool of yourself — whatever it takes. Otherwise you won’t survive.” Virgin group has been doing incredibly outlandish things over the years and gone places other companies would never dream to venture. And it’s served them well; writing our unique but encompassing story, which people feel part of.
- Be purpose-driven: The third tip for creating a truly powerful brand according to Richard Branson is to make sure you keep true to the purpose of your business. People will remember you better when you are known to create value, make a difference and impact people’s lives. Being driven by the purpose of your business will endear your brand to customers the more. This will give you that competitive edge you need to keep the competition behind you.
In summary, Richard Branson’s three fundamental tips for creating a powerful brand are to: focus on your business name, tell great stories that help people associate to your brand values, and make purpose part of your plan from the very beginning. Seeing how powerful the Virgin brand is, you would agree that Sir Branson’s tips can be leveraged to make for yourself a truly knockout brand.