As a new business arises, many entrepreneurs do not have a clear understanding of the importance of branding their business.
Branding isn’t the products or services that a business offers, it is more about how the business is offering their products to their customers.
Branding means to create an image, story, or personality behind a business that will show customers, or potential customers, how they should perceive the business and its practices.
What adjectives do you associate with businesses such as Apple, McDonald’s, and Toyota? Often times, the answer to this question is words like innovative, delicious, or sleek. This is due to the tactics these businesses employ to showcase their brand. I wanted to outline some tips to help a new startup begin their branding adventure.
Develop Your Idea
Just like any other business, the planning stage involves a great deal of research. Within this planning and research phase, the idea of how the business will be branded should always be a priority. Do a vast amount of research on the market that the business will be joining, and analyze the potential competitors, and understand how your business can capitalize on the opportunities that other business are missing out on.
When it comes to branding a business, it is always vital to develop an idea that is unique. If the startup can’t be showcased in a way that is unique and valuable to an audience, then it will be much more likely to fail. This is where branding comes in. It will help a business set itself apart from the competition, and help a business add a value proposition to their overall name. It is important to analyze the potential customers and come up with a branding practice that they will see as valuable.
Create a Visual Personality
This is the part that a majority of businesses miss out on: creating a visual personality that individuals will associate with the business. This means it is important to create an intriguing logo to stamp on the business. Color schemes, fonts, and graphics should all show consistency throughout all aspects of a business – the website, business cards, and throughout the office.
It is equally important to study your target audience to find what types of products they are using throughout their day-to-day life. Find out what exactly the customers want to see, and how they want to see it, and deliver this to them. This will allow a business to offer a version of these products that showcases the company logo directly on it. This can create a sense of unity between an individual’s life and the business.
The biggest thing to remember when branding a startup is consistency. Sending out mixed messages on what the business is doing or straying from the branding strategies will only confuse customers, and can shed irreversible negativity to a business’s brand.
Everything that is done to brand a startup – the idea, the visual personality, the logo – should create a unified brand experience throughout. Otherwise, there will be loads of wasted effort on the branding campaign for the startup. Ensure that all employees and partners are made aware of the branding tactics in place, and ensure they are supporting these endeavors as well.
Along with branding consistency, it is important to be consistent with the business’s merchandising. This study by Market Force Information This study by Market Force Information shows that the implementation of well-thought-out merchandising can be an enormous win for a startup because when a customer comes to you, they will be consistently made aware of the products and services being offered from the business. Creating an overall sense of consistency to the business’s brand in the customer’s eyes.
Learn From Failures
There is one major thing that needs to be kept in mind when a business is branding itself: Not everything can be controlled, and something will more than likely fail. Remember those companies in the introduction? How did you come up with the words to describe them?
Perhaps they came from television advertisements that you’ve seen, maybe you have purchased their products in the past, or you may have even come up with the words based on what others around you have said about those brands. The point I am trying to make is: at the end of the day, a business’s brand ultimately comes down to how the public perceives that business – and these businesses have had many branding failures throughout their lifetime, but they bounced back.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t brand the startup, it just means to consider what message your branding efforts are sending to the customers. It is vital to keep your word with any branding endeavors to ensure the business’s is being shown in the best light possible. Align all of the business’s departments when it comes to branding, and make sure that any promise created can be delivered upon.
Thank you for reading. Let's continue this conversation on Twitter! How have you successfully branded a startup?