All startups have the desire to impact the world in obvious or even subtle ways. However, that doesn’t happen just overnight. Building an influential and authoritative brand takes hard work, perseverance, and a tireless and deft personal touch that will eventually propel your brand to global ubiquity. Sometimes, the practices that you have to employ will even be somewhat counter-intuitive. Here are some things - small and big - that you can do to ensure your brand becomes the authority in whatever industry you work in.
1) It Takes a Village - Collaborate.
Your first instinct as a small business or startup is to make sure you get a leg-up on the competition. However, that’s the very same practice that pushed the American economy into a downward spiral back in 2008. However, what most people don’t immediately recognize is that although ideas between “competitors” may be the same - the execution is different. You don’t own the idea, you own the execution. A lot of seeding and networking is required before your brand can grow so don’t be afraid to plant those seeds! Promote the good news of your so-called “competitors” and turn them into your partners. The more partners you gather, the more of a force you’ll become. With the help of your partners, you’ll be able to define the progress of your community and more.
2) Forge a Diverse and Broad Community - The Innovation Potluck
Just because your brand might occupy a high tech or biotech niche doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be talking to someone who exists in the space of fashion or design. Bump and connect to as many people as you can for everyone is limited and they have only so much ability and talent. The more people around you with different things to bring to the table. The more diversity in thought, background, and talent that you can acquire makes you all the more likely to succeed in making massive impact. The most enduring brands in the world are created thanks to cross-collaboration across vast swathes of industries, backgrounds, personality-types, and mindsets. Almost all of your problems can be solved by other people. You have to share what your problems are and people will help you. Remember, you own the execution, not the idea.
3) Be Failure Tolerant and Never Assume Success
Sometimes even an idea with the best of intentions can crack under the pressure of circumstance. Never be afraid to let a project fail. Positions of discomfort always leads to the most compelling takeaways that will enable you to find success on a different iteration of your venture. One method to minimize this potential failure is to never assume success. Operate under the assumption that the only value you will derive from your project is the actual act of doing it. Therefore, find something that you’re deeply passionate about because if you’re working on something that you don’t care about it’s going to be easy to become complacent and actually let it fail without thinking of some method to save it.
These three key practices lead to collaborative thinking. A kind of thinking that scales up the growth of your brand exponentially. Although initial growth may be slow and steady, it is only by forging an innovative community that you can embed your brand in a deeper and more meaningful narrative that can deliver huge impact.
Like this topic? Attend BEI Back End of Innovation 2014 in Las Vegas, NV in October! Learn more about the event here: http://bit.ly/1o4Dv78
About the Author: Jibran Malek is a Marketing Manager at MassChallenge Inc., the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support highimpact, earlystage
entrepreneurs with no strings attached.