Aktualisiert: 15. Aug 2020
What you aspire need to have a sense of purpose that guides all team members through the entire business journey and shapes a brighter future .
The time to rethink our path had generated new ideas, new opportunities, new talents and new ways to flourish again. Now, you feel ready to implement your business idea, make use of your entrepreneurial creativity and can’t wait to prove yourself on the market. That’s great! As entrepreneur and strategy consultant, I know how exciting it is to launch and develop a business. However, before you get started, you need to invest some time in refining the direction you want to take. In other words, it is worth defining first the enterprise’s vision, mission and brand. These building blocks you configure a marketing and operations plan as well as acquire clients effectively.
This initial step is fundamental for your company’s seamless development and sustainable success. Whereas a vision corresponds to the overall future intention, such as advancing gender equality, a mission sets the core values of your enterprise. What about the brand?
To enlighten this question, I have invited Karina Schwarzenböck, founder of Personal Brand Architect. It was a fruitful exchange of experiences that I would like to share with you.
Karina, you have specialized in the creation of personal brand for women entrepreneurs. What is a personal brand?
A brand is more than just a logo, a colour and a typography. A brand reflects what you are, as a person or company, and how you want to be understood. A brand helps you connect with your clients and resonate with them. It should demonstrate your unique strengths, your goals and your preferred approach.
There seems to be a correlation between brand, vision and mission. Do you see it the same way as I do?
In fact, the vision and the mission build the fundamentals of a brand. What you want to achieve determines your vision in the same way that a brand defines the type of service and the clients you want to work with. The key is to go beyond the elevator pitch and create a brand that make you irresistible to your dream clients.
Do you have the impression that entrepreneurs tend to misinterpret these terms?
Some people think that a mission is about making money or assuring the best customer service. For sure, profit and client satisfaction are important elements for sustainable success, but they don't tell about the values incorporated. Similarly, a brand is not a logo or a colour which clients should identify with. A brand reflects the answers to specific questions such as: Why are you doing this? Where do you want to go? Where is your market? What kind of product or service are you offering? What is the price range? Do you want to be approachable?
If a mission contains values such as authenticity, transparency and fairness, the brand should be able to demonstrate this to specific clients. Does it also mean that a brand gives information about the type of client the enterprise wants to reach?
Absolutely! This is why it is so important to spend time on building a brand that communicates this information effectively. If clients or business partners don’t know who you are, what you stand for and where you are going, they are unlikely to support you in your business adventure. To use an analogy, I would compare this with an excursion. If you don’t tell people that you want to climb the Kilimanjaro, you cannot expect to get the same preparation and support from your teammates.
"The key is to go
beyond the elevator pitch
and create a brand
that make you irresistible
to your dream clients."
- Karina Schwarzenböck
Branding is therefore essential in marketing, operations and leadership, because it assures the cohesion and tells how the processes should look like. Are there symptoms of a lack of branding? How do you notice that the brand has not been conceptualized properly?
When the logo or the website changes frequently or when the offer looks incoherent, there is clearly a lack of branding. People who don’t reach their break even or are not capable of raising their sales prices often have a lack of branding too.
Therefore, a brand helps entrepreneurs stay focused and find the strategy to perform well. Do entrepreneurs tend to think ahead into the future?
If entrepreneurs are constantly extinguishing fires or running in circles, they don’t have time and energy to plan ahead and consider future alternatives. The good news is that most entrepreneurs don’t work alone, but are surrounded by clients, suppliers, operators, investors and other stakeholders that force them to communicate where they are and where they are going.
"Every person who
has a passion and talents
should get the tools
to share them
with the world."
- Karina Schwarzenböck
What is your approach?
I start by finding out the elements that triggered the business idea because this source gives information about the matter and the direction. Moreover, I need to know what is offered, what kind of impact they want to create and what type of clients they would like to have. Then, we work on the enterprise’s vision and mission that leads to the brand definition.
What are your vision and your mission as a Personal Brand Architect?
Every person who has a passion and talents should get the tools to share them with the world. It is my mission to find out the magic in every woman entrepreneur and put it into a personal brand that reflects what my client wants to project.
Interestingly we both work as consultant and entrepreneur. Do you also see a connection in these two roles?
I have many business ideas, because I often find the gaps in the offerings. I have founded der Steinbock with the idea to give the opportunity to self-employed women to build an artisan business. I know how fulfilling it is to be independent and make a living with passion. With der Steinbock I wanted to put the Alpine region on showcase, so I built a business around the concept of regionally crafted products that are of the highest quality, support local families and businesses, and is sustainable for the long term.
It was a real pleasure talking to you. Thank you, Karina, for sharing your knowledge with us.
You can get access to Karina’s free brand guide the anatomy of a thriving brand.
👉 Don’t forget to read Karina's blog !
Now, dear entrepreneurs, it is your turn! How are you making the vision a reality?
Together we'll make it happen!
Mélody Roussy-Parent MBA
RethinkPath Creative Culture Consulting