Have a plan! That may sound simple, but it’s really not. It requires you to think long, hard, and smart about what you want your brand to be when it grows up. It requires introspection, objectivity, time and most of all, vision. You may or may not want to hire an outside professional to help you craft this vision, but the important thing is that you dedicate the time to develop one.

Even if the plan isn’t perfect, it needs to contain some fundamental building blocks:

A summary statement expressing the essence of the brand, and hence the company. Everyone calls this something different. We call it a Brand Proposition. It should not exceed five sentences and can be accompanied by a few ‘supporting themes’. These short sentences should encapsulate the key points that add up to the overall value of the brand to your current and potential customers.

Get an assessment of how the brand is viewed today. An objective analysis of how customers, investors, partners, friends and other key stakeholders view the company (and the brand). Define a concept of how you want the brand to be viewed in the future. What do you want people to think of the brand three to five years from now?

Think back to the five brand permissions (http://www.hookson.com/the-five-brand-permissions/) – Access, Latitude, Recovery, Scale and Set Standards. Which of these is most important to you? How can you build a brand that will give the greatest level of permission you seek? Organise a plan to bridge the gap. The key actions you need to take, to change the perception – or indeed shore up the perception of the brand.

To-Do list for building a brand: 2. Be iterative. Coming soon… Sign up to be notified for the next blog here http://www.hookson.com/sign-up-for-our-eblast/