Building a Brand Out of Thin Air

Sometimes the hardest part of building a new business venture for some people is the “Branding” aspect.  Branding your business is an integral part of the many foundations of a solid business platform.  Branding is merely one facet to one’s marketing campaign, and oftentimes sorely overlooked.  This is a key area that one cannot marginalize or fail to budget appropriately.  A business’s success or failure can ride on something as trivial as a poor logo design or the wrong color chosen.

We are going to examine a little insight behind Eco Mouse Industries branding campaign.

Sometimes the best ideas start as a “spark” or an “epiphany.”  That’s just the way this business was born.  However, it has been many years in the making and even tried in various small business forms.  Starting from a spare bedroom then later on moving into an actual office then a real workspace with store frontage.  But let’s not veer too far of track from the subject of Eco Mouse Industries.  This current opus of mine does have many years of experience behind the scenes leading up to the development, but the more focused ideal of what Eco Mouse has become was literally born only a few weeks ago from a simple “spark!”

When branding a business, it’s not often necessary to know the how or the why behind the idea.  Sometimes all you are going to get from your client is the future business plan wrapped up in a nutshell and maybe some kind of vague idea of a logo.  Since this mouse already has been in the advertising and marketing fields for the last 20+ years, I’ll admit, I’ve got a leg up on other entrepreneur’s just starting out.  This is why I’m willing to share my marketing techniques in real time.  You will see how Eco Mouse Industries grows with time and various strategies employed.

There were two key areas that lead me to hone my business idea from a sketch to a fully working business plan.  First, I want my work or ideas to be meaningful.  Secondly, I want to actually enjoy working.  I like the phrase, “One’s Vocation Should Be Their Avocation.”  (Your work should be fun, if not find a new career)  Now, I’ve always been a tinkerer and inventor.  I’ve got oodles of great ideas that I never did anything with because of self-imposed limitations.  On many occasions I’ve seen my sketches and ideas end up years later on the pages of Popular Science.  Only because I never struck when the iron was hot and the ideas fresh.  I always thought no one else would like my ideas, or it costs a lot of money to develop my ideas into something.  So, like many great ideas they just sat there, wasting away while the creative thought that was given to me as a gift, has drifted to someone else.  Perhaps someone who more easily recognized the inspiration and took risks and actually did something with it.  Well, that period of self-doubt and apathy is over.  It’s been many years since I first penciled out air pouches in the heels and forefoot of blown rubber soles for running shoes, only to become sorely disappointed, later when Nike first dubbed their “Air” line of shoes.  Just think where I’d be today if I actually had the courage to do something with that, or the hundreds of other things I’ve come up with since.  Sadly, I’m not the only one this has happened to either.

However, we live in a great time socially and technologically.  Right now I feel we have the right amount of technological know-how and ease of manufacturing capabilities to kick-start what everyone has been waiting for… “The Future!”  It’s 2012, where is my flying car I was promised?  How come I don’t have a Hover Board? Why don’t our cars don’t have a Mr. Fusion built into them?  Coming back down to reality just for a moment, I’ve come to realize that those things are literally within our grasp right now, if not just a few years off.  Full on computers fit into cell phones and holographic projections are already in alpha and even beta testing stages.  We can grow ears on the backs’ of mice, and we are finally cracking the human genome and stem cell research holds huge promise within the medical field.  We are literally on the cusp of a new generation, in both thinking and doing.  Since everything “Green” is in right now, both in terms of consumer products as well as a political hot button topic it only makes sense to develop a new business model with ecology in mind.  This is part of a strong branding strategy that will ensure a business’s growth for years to come.

But you say, “Isn’t that kind of a cheap shot to take advantage of current social climate for personal gain?”

I so “No,” and here’s why.  This is business… nothing is fair about business.  The goal is to make money and grow.  Altruistic visions and goals will never happen without money.  So if you want to save the world, you have to figure out how to do that.  It’s not free, and no one is going to help you get there without having a solid business plan that makes money.  Yes, there is a lot of bull shit about eco-this, green-that… I understand.  Sometimes those terms are thrown around just to make an extra buck on the backs of well-intentioned consumers and share holders.  However, that’s where Eco Mouse Industries is different.  The idea of Eco Mouse was made exclusively around earth friendly building materials and processes.  It can’t be marketing hype, not if I want to actually make a difference in the world, or at least a dent.  Integrity is important to me, and the products I develop need to reflect that.  I have a keen sense of how things are made and manufactured.  I’ve worked so many different fields over the last couple of decades and have seen first hand the kinds of waste that goes on in many industries.  Not because they were necessarily wasteful or evil companies, it’s just sometimes the economics of the processes involved.  There is always another way to create, build and develop products and ideas.  Oftentimes it’s just a simple as picking a different material or process that can help the environment.  Yeah, it takes a bit of extra research and sometimes the greener product is more of a premium price, but I know that with careful planning, downstream production can make up the difference.  Plus, since green products demand a higher price in the market, capitalizing on this trend isn’t all that bad, at least in the beginning.  It’s fine to ride the wave until the older process is phased out and green becomes the new status quo.  However, it doesn’t always have to be that way, it just depends on how greedy a company is in the first place.

I fully believe that if every company made an honest effort in acknowledging our planet’s limited natural resources and pollution issues, we can have a much brighter future.  Everyone has to kick the old habits to the curb.  I would love to see more companies voluntarily doing so, because it’s not only good for the bottomline but for everyone on our planet.

So, now we have a base understanding behind the branding of “Eco” in Eco Mouse Industries.  Why mouse?  Well, why not?  Every company needs a mascot or some kind of memorable identifier.  Whether it’s a cartoon character, or a swoosh it needs to be remembered by the public.  In my case, I’ve always liked the quote, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will come knocking at your door.”  Which is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but it’s more of a paraphrase.  He actually said, “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

Based on that the first scribbled idea for this business was called, “Mousetrap Industries.”  I even had a logo and everything… but it felt forced.  Didn’t quite jive with me.  Plus it wasn’t very clear as to what the company is about.  Did I build mousetraps, or what?  So I let the idea simmer for a few weeks, all the while tweaking and re-tweaking my business plan as well as funneling my ideologies into my mission statement, strategy and philosophy.  Which is how the Eco idea came about and then, “POOF!” I had my moment of clarity.  Ideas for Eco Mouse Industries just came so easily.  Everything flowed and clicked into place.  I knew I was on the right track when the logo just materialized onto the page as well.  When I have to force and struggle with concepts, sometimes I just take a step back and re-think things from different angles.  I now let the ideas come to me, and when I can visualize them in my mind’s eye I take charge and move forward.  I’ve always said, “If I can see it, I can do it.”

So now I’m doing it… Here goes everything!

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