On your journey of building a business that is just starting out, you might feel a range of emotions. And uncertainty can set in often. But, things become a lot smoother when your startup’s branding is done right.
A great brand identity has its own set of benefits for your startup. It is great to go to a theme party, knowing the theme. Isn’t it? Branding always comes before great marketing.
Your startup’s branding will give a clear message to your target audience, and differentiate you from the other competing brands out there. It will help to establish a strong brand image right from the start. A unique brand identity goes a long way. Because customers want to see, and know, what is different about your business. And why they should choose you over other brands.
Here is an insightful guide for effective startup branding
Before you start the process of branding your startup, you need to be clear of your business vision. What do you aim to accomplish in a specific time frame? What are your short term and long term goals? Where do you see your company in the near and far future?
The vision is a set of ideas and strategic goals that will define you and guide you, as you build your brand. It will tie all your efforts together, and give your branding a direction. Helping you to create plans and make decisions. You will also be willing to make changes in your business, according to the vision.
The vision is about you, but the purpose is about others. Do you want to build a brand that influences a lot of people? Then you need to figure out why your startup exists, what your startup’s purpose is. A startup that makes people’s lives simpler or better, can influence them and grow into a bigger brand.
Have a strong understanding of your target customers. Who they are, what they want, what they like, what they dislike, what their lifestyle is like. Know in-depth about the product/service you are developing or selling, and what problem(s) it will solve. Ensure you deliver and keep the promises you make, right from the start. Aim to become a well-perceived brand with a purpose. And more importantly, convey that purpose to the audience. Be fairly transparent in your dealings. And honest about how you are trying to make a difference in this world. They will notice it, and find it engaging.
A brand persona is a collection of human traits, characteristics, and emotions embodied by your brand. If your brand were a person, what would he/she look like? How would he/she greet people, especially your customers? What would their conversation be like? Think of all the physical and psychological attributes of this person. And use them to present your communication online or offline. In the tone, language, design, voice and other elements that would set your brand’s unique identity.
A brand story is like a starting point. All the facts, feelings and interpretations related to your brand align with it. It is a cohesive narrative that inspires curiosity or an emotional connection with customers. Try to make your brand as thoughtful and memorable as possible. That is how you make it real, and connecting. Working on your brand persona and brand story will help you realize where you fit in the market. And help your customers to understand and relate to your brand better.
The public will form an opinion about your brand, even before they interact with it. That will be from its visual identity and language. Aspects of branding that evoke certain identification, feelings and experiences with the brand. Such as your brand logo, typography, colors, graphic style and other visible elements. We all love to associate ourselves with good things, don’t we? The same goes with brands. People will love to be connected with your brand if you sell a good product/service and have a solid visual identity and language.
When done well, they will give information about your business, while also giving a feel of what the brand is like. Many brands have an emotional appeal in their visual language. It is always better to have your visual identity and language planned and designed by experts. Who know the craft, and can give meaning to it all.
Make efforts to standardize the way your brand communicates across all platforms. That will result in significant brand recognition and recall, which can help your startup big time! Establish your brand’s personality and use it across all your collaterals. Otherwise, your brand may come across as inauthentic. Without a uniform branding via the brand’s tone of voice or the colors used, a clear message can’t be sent to the public. Consistency is key.
Your customers form opinions about you through everything they see, read and hear from you. And through every interaction that happens. You can’t market without first having a solid game plan. Consider the information you are now armed with, work on it, and brand your startup for sweet success over time.