The Wall Street Journal this week cited answers provided by a group call the “Young Entrepreneur Council” to the following question: “What tips can you offer for creating a solid brand?”
The answers were geared toward younger entrepreneurs, so it would not come as a surprise that the first of several answers to the question focused squarely on “tapping social media.” (I would encourage one to read through the strategies for tapping social media that the YEC offers.) The remaining answers, though, looked as if they could have come from an entrepreneurship primer from an earlier decade. “Understand your customers.” “Make it about the problem you solve.”
Not exactly revolutionary stuff. How could these seemingly “old school” recommendations be of any value to young entrepreneurs in 2011?
It’s simple, really. Generations of business owners have underestimated just how hard it is to really understand one’s customers and to make one’s brand message about the problems one’s organization can solve. Young entrepreneurs have only just begun to experience how hard those things are to achieve.
One of the biggest obstacles to the success of America’s next wave of businesses is going to be the lack of highly-capable salespeople and marketers who really know how to achieve understanding and to fully flesh out and develop customer needs. We hope that those young entrepreneurs who will read the YEC’s recommendation will take them seriously and act upon them sooner rather than later.