Have a plan. A good plan.
Way too many businesses fail within the first two years. There are many reasons this happens. One very key cause is not really understanding what the brand represents and how best to leverage the power of a brand.
The brand is a result of, and an ongoing reminder of what the company or organization stands for. It's the core sum of the parts. If a brand isn't directly tied to a good plan, the brand will fail.
Not having a good business plan and subsequent marketing plan is the main reason businesses fail.
The best way to go in the right direction is to ask a series of questions.
What am I doing this for? How will I do it well? Who is the audience and buyer? Who is the competition and where do I stand in the mix?
All this seems kind of fundamental on the surface. We run into many situations where the understanding of the brand is very broad and considered from the internal perspective and not the audience. The people buying or looking to buy, need to know you're talking to them with purpose and on their level.
Good marketing stems from a good business plan. We get a huge sense of accomplishment when we help and send a business sailing along with smart and effective marketing tactics.