You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Managing Your Brand Is an Intangible Investment That Pays Off Big The only way to achieve a high level of brand strength is by making brand management a recurring part of your job.

By Andrew Cohen

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Pixabay

We live in a return-on-investment-driven society that is obsessed with instant gratification. Whenever we implement a new product feature, make a pitch to investors, launch a marketing campaign, interview a key job candidate or make a sales call, we want to see tangible and immediate results.

Our obsession with seeing measurable business results can make it easy to forget the most important intangible investment we can make: managing our brands.

When you do things to manage your company's brand (or your own personal brand), the investments tend to eventually pay off tremendously. Journalists start randomly writing about your company. You start getting inbound emails from investors. Your product goes viral because of traditional "word of mouth" rather than because of any of the social features you've been deliberately pushing. Or your 1 year-old startup can raise $100 million and buy a 100-year-old manufacturing company.

Related: The Secret Ingredients to a Successful Branding Strategy

The challenge is that the individual tasks needed to build your brand are often thankless. Collectively, however, they create exponential benefits. The only way to achieve a high level of brand strength is by making brand management a recurring part of your job. The following are some activities that can help you build your brand in the eyes of key people in your industry:

  • Skype (or have coffee) with your top customers often.
  • Write blog posts about your company's lessons.
  • Attend industry events (and be social).
  • Mentor other founders.
  • Mail free company swag to your top customers.
  • Be active on Twitter.
  • Introduce like-minded friends to each other.
  • Do favors for journalists.
  • Send handwritten thank-you notes after a key meeting.
  • Mail holiday cards to clients, partners and co-workers.
  • Host a dinner for awesome people.

While none of these activities produce immediate or measurable results, they plant seeds of credibility that tend to grow exponentially over time. Building a strong brand means getting people to talk about your company and spread the word on your behalf. These things may not seem like the most tangibly profitable way for you to spend your time right now, but much of your future success springs from having made these cumulative small brand investments over several years.

Of course, it's often hard for a CEO to make time for brand management when there are so many other tangible concerns that require our day-to-day attention. I, myself, can be guilty of forgetting to invest in non-measurable activities for Brainscape, especially considering that I teach a class on building a metrics-driven culture.

But I need to remind myself that the strongest brands do not build themselves with metrics alone. By investing in thought leadership and intangible personal relationships, we can set ourselves up to reap large tangible rewards down the road.

Related: Why Building Your Business Comes Before Building Your Brand

Andrew Cohen

Founder & CEO, Brainscape; Instructor, TechStars and General Assembly

Andrew Cohen is the founder of Brainscape, a web and mobile education platform that helps people study more efficiently. Brainscape originally grew out of a personal project that Cohen created to help him improve his Spanish, while working in Panama for the World Bank. It later inspired him to seek a master's degree in instructional technology from Columbia University and transform his pet project into a fundable startup that can help people study any subject. Brainscape has since raised several million dollars from top venture capitalists.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Travel

Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.