Your brand is your most important asset. This remains the same whether you are starting out in business or if you are already established.
Developing brands relies on an understanding of the marketplace and your position within it. You want to ensure that your strengths are clearly articulated and you know what other brands are trying to achieve. Also, all brands must evolve and it is vital to retain your heritage but at the same time be open to modernisation.
When you are starting out, I feel it is important that your brand is extension of yourself, that the mission, vision and values epitomise who you are.