At some point in time you’ve probably imagined building a house. You’ve pictured the design, the atmosphere, and the life you’d lead in your imagined space – a home created just for you.
But a house doesn’t spring from the ground like a daisy. Homes must be budgeted, planned, monitored and assembled – and all that’s before the unexpected ‘surprises’ crop up. Like brands, building a home is always more involved than you realise. It’s also just as rewarding.
Two questions. What do you want to achieve? What can you afford?
Sally wants to build a house by the sea, but she only has enough money for a home in the suburbs. She thinks smart: purchasing cheaper land in the suburbs, short-term. After investing time and money into renovations, she sells for a profit. If the profit is great enough, Sally can buy her dream real estate. If not, she’ll do it again – this time for more.
Steve wants to sell dresses from a physical store, but he only has enough to start online. He works hard to build a virtual presence – investing time and money into a website and social media marketing. When Steve generates enough income, he’ll move onto a pop-up. Pretty soon he’ll have enough for a shop. Maybe even a franchise. Same principle, different situation.
Sally and Steve’s process is involved – but certain. Both construction and branding involve assessing the risks, limitations and scope of each new project. If you can’t fork out for all the fancy trimmings at once, make like Steve and Sal and begin with the basics.
If you’re looking to establish something that lasts, you have to commit. Good things come to those who wait – and also to those who are willing to work for it.
It’s imperative to understand that the foundation of your business must be set on the right soil. Homes built on unsuitable bases are vulnerable to instability, contaminants and major damage. Some simply collapse.
Contextually, the ‘soil’ is your market. In identifying the most strong, fertile audience for your product or service, you should hone what your brand has to offer that is new or special – and why this demographic should support you unfailingly.
Ted’s TVs isn’t going to market to newborns. By focusing on people over 2o (who live independently, have money, and can actually raise their heads) they’ll soon secure a solid brand establishment in stable soil.
A good market supports the foundation of your brand, keeping your business upright through heavy weather. If you just advertise to the most convenient group of the moment, deep cracks will start to materialise. Get a solid grasp on who you’re building for, or prepare to hit a rocky patch.
Determining the look and feel of your dream home is an exciting venture. But knowing what you want in the long-term doesn’t equate to knowing how to achieve it.
Dan knows he wants his home to let in a lot of natural light, but living deep in the forest makes this a challenge. After careful consideration of Dan’s wants and needs, Emma the architect develops a blueprint that optimises Dan’s available sunshine. Then it’s up to Bob the builder, who makes physical adjustments to improve unforeseeable issues. Here mutual team trust makes for an excellent final result.
When undertaking a significant project, seeking the consult of another party is always recommended. Though you may have experience in graphic design, construction, writing or architecture, fresh eyes will offer something you can’t.
Seeking additional assistance is never a sign of weakness. Rather, it demonstrates a resolute commitment to your goal. Enlisting professional help shows that you want your venture – be it building or brand – to last.
Property requires maintenance. There are the small things that need attention every few days (dirty plates, full bins), the moderate chores every few months (dusty shelves, polished floors) the inconvenient surprises (a leaking sink, missing fence palings) and the big spenders (clogged septic pipes and sinking foundations).
Like beautiful homes, successful businesses stay successful through routine maintenance. This could be as simple as posting to social media every second day and loading updates to your website, or repairing something that isn’t working – a sales strategy for example.
To everybody who isn’t Nostradamus, premonition is purely science fiction. But physical and virtual research into similar circumstance is not. It’s possible to identify and prepare for a myriad of potential problems simply by observing the experiences of others.
You wouldn’t build a forever home to just ignore it. By tending to your business regularly, you’ll ultimately save a lot of time and money in the future. Who knows? It may even become the brand of your dreams.
Still looking for some concrete tips to apply practically? These are our main ‘musts’ when brand building.
- Always hire a qualified professional.
What you save in cash on cheaper labour will be lost in the long-term on renovations, repairs and rebrands. If you need it, we’ve got some handy people handy.
- Don’t cut corners.
Quality trumps all else. If you wouldn’t compromise one room to build another, don’t sacrifice your brand collateral the same way.
- Maintenance is key.
If you don’t take care of it, it won’t do you proud.
- Understand the commitment.
To build something truly special, you’ve got to be very involved – for a very long while. Account for the time you think it’ll take and then quadruple that.
Your team wants to do the best by you – but they can’t if you’re not open with what you want. Discussion is healthier (and cheaper) than disappointment.
Both builders and branders are simply working to make your dreams come true.
If you’ve succeeded, so have we.