In the lean startup / customer development era, companies are more focused on building tools, rather than brands. Find a problem. Create a solution. Unicorn Status.
The best companies, though, succeed by building brands on top of their utilities.
To build a brand today, you need to have an opinion on things that happen in your industry. You will not win by being a generic platform. What problem are you trying to solve? Get angry about the problem and at your contemporaries for not addressing it fast enough. Everything you write, your ad copy, your social media, your landing pages, your marketing materials, your whatever, needs to be colored by how passionately you want to solve this problem.
People will buy your product because they empathize with how well you articulate the problem. People don’t need another widget or another app. People want to buy solutions to their problems.
At Wall Street Survivor, we were selling financial education courses. But the truth is no one wants to purchase a course. People want to get out of debt. People want to retire comfortably. People don’t want to get taken advantage of. People don’t want to pay unnecessary fees or commissions.
The minute you stop selling products and start selling solutions to real problems is the minute your company moves from product maker to brand.