1. Know your market and then transcend it
“When people say I’m in a boy band, I say “Yeah, I am but I’m in a cool boy band.” (Zayn)
Build a deep understanding of your competitors, your audience, the lexicon and the platforms where your customers already are and would expect to find you. Then find your point of differentiation and focus on that.
2. Create an identity that develops as you do
“When you go on tour, the outfit you choose is the outfit you’re stuck with” (Louis)
Your identity should not be an afterthought. Your core values, and how you look, speak and behave should be defined from the outset. They will help you make crucial decisions about how to grow your business, where to invest, who to hire and how to expand across touchpoints. Most importantly, your brand can help you say ‘no’, without making it personal.
3. Your fans are your promoters
“A small group of british girls, became a huge group of british girls, who then turned Europe into fans. American then stepped in. So in the space of months, the girls had got the whole planet to support One Direction.” (Simon Cowell)
Start small and reward those customers who are loyal from the beginning. Make them feel part of the team by asking for feedback and giving them insider info. Give them collateral (photos, videos, pro tips etc) that’s easily sharable and let them feel that your success lies in their hands.
4. It’s a 24/7 commitment
“We’re on a 131 show world tour. There’s no rest. Just go go go” (Zayn)
Your brand is a living, breathing thing. Once it’s out there, its perception is built as much as by the public as by you. Just because you’re asleep, doesn’t mean your customers are. Just because you’re not on Instagram doesn’t mean your brand isn’t. And just because you don’t want to talk about something, doesn’t mean your competitors and nay-sayers won’t. Setting up proper monitoring and measuring to keep on top of what’s being said and where, and having processes in place to allow you to react quickly to feedback (both good and bad) is crucial.
5. Keep it real
“People say “you’re famous”. I just struggle with the word. It just gives you no substance”. (Harry)
Numbers aren’t a measure of success. Having one million Twitter followers doesn’t necessarily mean you have high sales. Stay true to your values, deliver a great product, and connect with your customers in ways that are useful to them and you won’t just be known for your name, you’ll be loved for having a real place in people’s lives.