Laura Busche believes that what is needed today to build a brand is a little less faith and more scientific method. This method is what Busche tackles in her book and what led to the idea of a Lean Brand
What is a Brand?
Busche says this about what a brand is: “a brand is the unique story that customers recall when they think of you.” The problem with this is that consumers these days have increasingly inserted themselves in such a way that they have become active players instead of merely passively listening to what your brand is. It’s important to be what Busche calls a “ chameleon brand”, a brand which changes to meet the customers needs and desires. The old theory of building a brand goes directly against this and is what Busche calls “dinosaur brands”. Their focus is on consistent messaging over time so they are consistent with their customer.
The Lean Methodology
Lean thinking is all about minimizing waste and increasing quality. It is easy to see how this can apply to production but it isn't as easy to see where this can apply to businesses or startups. However, instead of merely being a smaller version of a company, Steve Blank points out that a startup is an entirely different entity to a large company. A startup is all about minimizing waste for the future. Minimizing waste that shouldnt be created in the first place.
How Can A Brand Be Lean?
The most important reason to have a brand is to be able to command a higher price over other competitors whose brands are less powerful than yours. The reason to invest in a brand is to help you make more money. Therefore everything you do with a brand should be able to be demonstrably proven to make you more money.
How do you test?
The most important elements that all good test should include are:
- A statement you believe to be true, a hypothesis
- An indicator that you measure to validate it
- The level of that indicator that we expect to see in the result
- The actual level that indicator ends up being
- A comparison between the expected result and the actual result
Here’s an example of a possible test
- Hypothesis: Our brand positioning statement A is better than brand positioning statement B.
- Measurement: We will measure the conversion rate on a landing page based on the two separate messages.
- Expected Result: The conversion rate on brand positioning statement A will be at least 10% higher than brand positioning statement B, and statistically relevant.
Then you start the experiment. Using google ads or some other software, positioning it so half of people see statement A and the other half see statement B. Ideally eventually you will have a clear winner to which one makes your business more money.
Part of this idea is recognizing that you might not be quite as good at intuitively branding as you might have thought. That you might need something more than intuition. If that’s the case, creating a Lean Brand is the path forward