Are You Ready to Make an Investment of a Lifetime?
by Katherine Teske, The Millennial Girl for Soulsight
Last month, my husband and I became first-time homeowners. I’ll never forget the wave of emotions that came over me as we walked out of the closing, new house keys in hand. Pride. Joy. Gratitude – lots of it – for the village it took to get us to that monumental moment. From our realtor to our parents, to our team of financial and legal experts, we had a built-in support system that made every step of what can be a daunting process, go smoothly.
Now that the dust has settled (literally) and we’re in the midst of making our house a home, I can’t help but draw parallels between the steps we took to find what we hope will be our forever home, and the steps we take at Soulsight to build forever brands. Whether you’re scouring the market for a new address or new business opportunity, consider how the following questions can help you make a more informed decision.
Question #1: What needs are you addressing?
When my husband and I first made Zillow our Sunday morning habit, we weren’t planning to move tomorrow. We were thinking about that “one day” when we’d be ready to trade in our city loft for suburban greenspace, and wanted to be prepared when that day would come. And while my husband was tiring of his three-hour daily commute north, our timeline remained somewhat nebulous – until the day we found out we’d become a family of three. Suddenly, our “one day” had arrived.
As we began our housing search in earnest, we had clear needs driving us: more space, a better school district and a more convenient location. The same idea holds true for anyone exploring a new business opportunity. In order to build a relevant brand, you must identify a tangible human need or tension that you’re solving for. What does your offering bring to the block that neighboring competitors do not? How are you meeting the specific needs of your target’s non-negotiables or pain points?
Question #2: Have you done your research?
By the time by husband and I found “the house,” we had gone to several weekends’ worth of open houses, not to mention a dozen or so private showings with our realtor. Tack on the hundreds of homes we looked at online, and you could say we were pretty familiar with the market in our area. And while our Zillow hobby-turned-habit became somewhat comical to family and friends, that level of due diligence made us all the more confident that we had found our home – in the right place at the right price.
The same goes for any team at the onset of a new project. As you begin outlining your business objectives and market opportunity, conduct an audit of competitors inside and outside the category. Your findings help ensure you’re aware of key trends that can inform everything from innovation pipeline and brand positioning to packaging and activations.
Question #3: Do you have room to grow?
While we didn’t have a set square footage in mind, my husband and I were hoping to find a home that would fit our needs now and in the future. Whether we continue to expand our family, add four-legged friends to the mix, or host our many relatives over the holidays, there were numerous factors at play in our attempt to “future proof” our final decision. Keeping those factors top of mind ensured we didn’t settle for a house that we’d soon outgrow.
As you map out your brand’s future, how can you attempt to stay two steps ahead? Consider ways to build a platform brand that’s able to stretch into adjacent categories to shift with changing consumer needs and tastes. Will there be room to put an addition on your brand in a way that preserves the integrity of your flagship offering, while accommodating new users? Can you update the façade of your brand to maintain curb appeal? Building your brand with short- and long-term relevance in mind will help make it a destination for a lifetime.
Whether you’re about to unlock the doors to your new home or a new market opportunity, a few simple considerations can ensure you walk into the next chapter with a sense of closure that’s nothing short of priceless.
Soulsight is a Chicago-based iconic brand design agency. Our mission is to propel brands to unlimited success through strategic design that drives consistent relevancy. We are known for delivering inspiring, category-leading creative and insights-driven strategic guidance for some of the world's best-loved iconic, global brands. We're a team of 60 multi-disciplined, strategic creatives who believe in the power of consumer-centric, design-driven branding. We build Soulful brands through strategic design. We are Soulsight.