Think about the Brand You Want to Build

I went to the store to buy an appliance today. I’m not knowledgeable about appliances, and I wanted to make the purchase and get on with my day. There were a ton of options. I narrowed it down to two or three based on price and features. In the end, I picked one based on the brand name. It was a reputable brand that’s known for making quality products. I got it home and tried it out, and it worked great. I’m a happy customer and will likely buy another appliance from that brand when the need arises.

Brand is important to a company. It’s what it’s known for and how people perceive it. Establishing a brand takes time, so early start-ups usually don’t have much of one. However, founders should be thinking about their brand from day one. How do they want to be perceived by their customers? What do they want to be known for? They should try to align their actions and strategies around the brand they want to build.

I’m not a marketing-minded person. I didn’t spend much time thinking about brand in the early days of CCAW. When I did, though, I knew we wanted to be known for quality products and exceptional service. At the time, we were selling some entry-level products of inconsistent quality that were difficult to warranty through manufacturers. These products weren’t aligned with our desired brand, so we stopped selling them. Our customer service satisfaction went up and our warranty claims went down, both of which did align with our brand.

If you’re an early founder, start thinking about the brand you want early on and reinforce it through your decision-making. You’ll be much more likely to build a company and brand that others respect and admire.