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Accomplished businesses that have already generated their audience have to face the daunting task of keeping them interested (or should I say “pinterested”) in their brand.  However, with the vast amount of opportunities to do so, all that is required is a little bit internal evaluation, and motivation.

Let’s take a look at Pinterest’s latest venture into the social sharing experience. With the launch of their messaging feature having launched over a year ago, which allows users to send pins to each other, there was no feature for messaging or having a conversation.

When users that received pins from friends or fellow pinners wanted to comment on those pins, they would have to resort to responding to email notifications as a way to continue the conversation around things that were shared.

So what is Pinterest really doing by including messaging to their service? Are they going after Facebook’s model of Unbundling? It wouldn’t be unheard of with Product Designer, Tom Watson, formerly of Facebook.

Certainly it would be a logical step in the right direction to have a feature included which clearly was in demand, however there is much more going on at hand here.

What Pinterest is doing is what we call “successfully growing your brand”. A simple change here, a smooth push in the right direction there, and your users are sure to recognize. Personally, I feel we can break down the expansion of a brand into 5 steps:

Step 1: Evaluate your brand

Take a deep breath and really evaluate what your brand is all about, this should be done after you have a good amount of users that are engaged in your company. Evaluate what service you really provide (break it down into a word), and make sure that the future experience users receive correlates with that.

Step 2:  Keep users engaged

Let your current users know what changes you are making to your product/brand. How can you scale without getting a positive response? It’s critical that you don’t create a huge divide in responses or you might want to rethink your efforts.

Step 3: Understanding the Cost

Focus your efforts on a venture that will provide the most profit from the least promise. Don’t go all out into a product before testing the market.  If you can potentially expand your brand, make it even more important that you evaluate the return vs cost.

Step 4: Soft Launch

This falls hand in hand with Step 3. What I mean by this is, test your waters.  Set up a quick Facebook page to gauge the interest in a new venture. For less than a couple Benjamin’s you can create and measure your new project’s potential success.

Step 5: Back to the Future

Take a look at previous competing brand’s expansion efforts. Do they fall into the success category? While it’s always a great feeling to want to expand into uncharted territory (I’m looking at you Virgin Galactic), is this something that can provide you with a feeling of security in knowing it’ll succeed? Analyze all areas of your brand, and really get down to what you do best. If you narrow down and focus on your core strengths, you’ll have all the growth needed to really expand into that new territory.

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