Build it and they will come. If only this were the truth, however it most definitely is not. This especially rings true in the business of Alternative Development where often our projects revolve around experiences that would typically not fall into the physiological or safety categories on Maslow’s pyramid.
This is part I of our II part series on branding and marketing for alternative development. When you are done here go check out part II, LINK.
As Alternative Developers, our reality is that most of our projects are more in the top spaces of the pyramid; love, belonging, self-actualization. All of which are technically optional to the maintenance of our basic survival.
Fortunately, we’ve evolved some. Our basic needs no longer require most of our waking hours to obtain. Good work humans!
That evolution has given us as humans more time to emotionally connect to things. Enter branding!
For many of us, branding is one of our least favorite soft costs, generally hanging around in the doldrums with insurance and interest.
Well, you’re about to have a mind-set adjustment.
My friends, we’re not hanging out at the bottom of the pyramid. As Alternative Developers we’re actually at the top. While it’s great to be at the top, staying here means we just may have to embrace some things we may not be so into.
You might be thinking “Great Johannes, branding is important. Easy for you to say – Radify has awesome branding!” (Shameless plug)
But in all seriousness, there’s nothing easy or mundane about branding. Alternative Development is a passion-driven business, if it weren’t, we wouldn’t do it. Branding is essential for us to enhance and enlarge our vision. And, because branding must be tailored to the vision of our projects, we can’t just hire someone to do for us (not completely anyway).
We are not selling the same cereal in a different box here. How our vision is deployed through what we build, operate, and basically bring to the market is essential to our success.
We have done our diligence, believe in our concept, and likely have a really good idea of how we want the experience to look. The question is this: How do we take what’s so clear to us and make it as appealing and clear to our ideal customers, clients and end users?
The answer is through branding and deployment of the branding through marketing, which we’ll cover in part II of the series.
This branding I speak of with bitter fondness is a fickle beast. It’s the tool by which we share our vision, it’s how we drive people to take action the same way we were driven to take action on the project in the first place.
Branding on an alternative development must start with you and your vision.
How do we do this? How do we relay this? How do we keep it aligned with our vision through the process of seeking outside help to build it? Here are two steps I follow religiously:
1 – Start by surrounding yourself with those who understand you and what you are trying to achieve. I go so far as to build a wall around my vision and guard the gate to the inside closely. For starters, be unabashedly dedicated to your vision, listen to critics with an equally critical ear, and choose wisely where you seek council and get advice. My intent by no means is to say don’t seek advice or to ignore someone who is truly trying to look out for you. It is more to be guidance on who those people are and how surrounding yourself with the right ones will ultimately have a dramatic impact to the actual deployment of your vision (i.e. brand).
2 – Look for those who have done it, those whose projects you admire, and seek their council. This is where your brand begins and will get refined in the right way, from there you will gain greater perspective and the right contacts. Also, you’ll more than likely gain some much-needed positive support.
I’ll be sharing a lot more on branding, positioning, marketing and team building in future content, so stay tuned.
If you aren’t sure where to start with branding, you’re in the right place. The Radify community exists to be a resource for Alternative Developers and is always a good place to start. If you have specific questions on this topic or others leave a comment in the comments section below or shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com
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