You’re expecting.

37 weeks pregnant, you’re eagerly awaiting your little one’s arrival.

Scratch that. You’re at the get-this-child-out-of-me stage. The when-do-I-get-my-body-back? stage. It’s-go-time stage.

This new soul, who was just an idea only nine months ago, is now ready to be part of the world.  And of course, you’re nervous: the sleepless nights, the countless diaper changes, the responsibilities that come with being a parent. How will you set them up for success? How will you ensure that they have a direction?

I’ve realized that being pregnant is so similar to launching a new brand. There’s the burgeoning idea, the waiting, the planning, and then launch when you release your new idea into the world. Afterward, it’s the sleepless nights, learning alongside your brand how to better guide it and introduce it to new people.

So, let’s look at how you can set yourself, your brand—your baby—up for success. This success isn’t just flash-in-the-pan success. You want to set it up your little fledgling brand for a lifetime of success and growth.

What’s in a Brand Name?

Your first task as their parent will be to name your child (or brand). Does the name matter? Of course, to a point. You’ll want to pick one that’s unique and one that has meaning. You won’t want anything too bizarre or too trendy. That would attract attention for the wrong reasons.

Most of the time, though, your baby won’t be judged solely on the name, so take a deep breath. Find something that makes sense. Pick a name that you like, and move on. We have more important decisions to make when it comes to your branding.

First Impressions

Dressing your baby is part function, part fun. Their clothes will tell the outside world a little about their personality and status. Some people do judge a book by its cover (or an interviewee by their Kate Spade dress), so their outward appearance can certainly help inform good first impressions.

A business is exactly the same. You might carefully pick the brand visuals at the beginning, but it will only inform the first impression. We’ll need to go deeper into your brand to make sure it is successful.

 

We still haven’t gotten very far in ensuring your child’s (or business’) success, have we? A name and outward appearance can help, but it certainly isn’t going to guarantee that they’ll be loved, respected, valued, and successful in this world.

We need to go deeper.

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Teach Them to Talk

When children are toddlers, conscientious parents make a point to read as many books as possible to their curious little one. Books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and The Hungry Caterpillar help children learn language. They teach them how to communicate their thoughts and feelings. The level that your baby communicates will have an impact on their future success.

Likewise, your brand needs to speak the language your customers speak. It needs to communicate clearly. Will people listen? What will your brand say?

Brand Personality

As good parents, you’ll be able to encourage your baby’s positive personality traits. Maybe they can command the attention of a room. Maybe they have a naturally warm and caring heart. Maybe they are quick to learn and integrate new concepts and ideas.

You’ll help your child temper weaknesses in their personality, too. You’ll help them manage their less-than-desirable traits to bring forward the best ones.

This molding of personality will help your child be successful. And of course, doing this for your brand will help your brand become a likable, valued part of your customer’s lives. As humans, we can sense a genuine spirit when we see it. Authenticity attracts.

Treat People Well

The way that your child treats other humans will play a huge part in how successful they are during their life. How do they make people feel? Are they consistently going out of their way to make people feel special?

Or are they the child that hits and kicks other kiddos on the playground and steals everyone’s toys?

The way your brand treats people plays an integral role in your customer’s brand experience and the overall success of your brand.

Nurture a Value System

The values that your child develops will play an integral role in their development. Values are the guideposts that steer their behavior towards jobs, actions, and way of life. Their values will attract like-minded people to them, so they are always surrounded by quality peers.

If your baby chooses to hide or minimize their values, they’ll find themselves in situations where they are doing things they don’t believe in. They might associate with people who pull them away from their life’s purpose instead of pushing them towards it.

Your brand needs a value system too. It will help you make decisions that are best for the brand and steer it towards your goals when you’re tempted to go in other directions.

Develop the Brand Vision

As parents, we aim to raise entrepreneurs, CEOs, teachers, doctors, artists, and engineers – not garbage truck drivers, hamburger flippers or custodians. By encouraging your child to dream big, they will see that success is within their reach.

It’s possible to thwart a successful future by dreaming too small or not daring to dream at all. Whether it’s a child or brand, you want one that is confident, equipped to go, and able to realize the greatest use of their talents. That is true success.

Don’t cripple your brand by ignoring the vision development piece. What is the greatest work that you can do in this world? How will you know when you’ve accomplished it?

What’s Actually Important

These last five areas are so much more interesting than the first two aren’t they?

It would be ridiculous to dress a child in designer clothes and then expect them to be a successful and valuable citizen of the world. You need to teach them how to communicate or instill within them a set of values. Their impact on the world and their ability to foster relationships will depend on a much deeper strategy.

You’ll need to encourage their personality, help them communicate their value, improve the experiences others have when interacting with them, and set them up to realize their great vision.

Taking the same care with your business’ branding is what will set you up for success and set you apart from your competition. Instead of beginning with the name and with a flashy design, you’ll want to start with your big vision, values, brand experience, and work your way backward. When you understand what true success will look like for your business, you can build a strong, durable foundation that will last.

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Do you see the similarities between raising a baby and “raising” a brand? What was your biggest takeaway?