Find out how to develop a branding strategy right from the start of your business start-up process.
We welcome you to the dynamic world of start-ups: we guarantee that there will be many exciting moments and others that are more problematic, and many experiences that will change your life.
But in addition to growing and developing, like all start-ups, there is a recurring element that can help you maintain the focus and integrity of the business, and this element is the brand.
What exactly is a brand?
According to marketing guru Seth Godin, the brand is:
“The set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, considered as a whole, push the consumer to choose one product or service over another.”
In other words, your brand exists in customers’ minds and is the result of all the aspects they remember about your business.
Far from being a superficial matter of colors and design, a strong brand is the DNA that makes your business unique, reflects and harmonizes your values and procedures, and is the reason why you started your business journey. .
Here are 7 tips for companies that are thinking about the brand for the first time.
1- Prioritize your brand right from the start
When you are in the early stages of your start-up, branding strategy may seem like a non-essential thing as you focus on selling products and generating revenue to show investors you can do it.
But as these branding tips for small businesses explain, the nature of your brand is not an element to be overlooked, especially at the beginning.
Brands tend to emerge and evolve spontaneously unless you make the effort to consciously define and control them. And it is much easier to do all this when the business is just starting and your team is small and open to new ideas.
Developing a consistent brand isn’t just about building a future-proof business, it can also help you get noticed in a crowded marketplace and make your business more memorable to prospects from day one.
2- Define the elements that influence your brand
Your brand represents the personality of your company, and as in the case of human personalities, it expresses itself in many different ways. This variety is found in your logo, brand colors, graphic style, and tone of voice. Then there are the brand values, that is the traits that characterize your way of doing business and the thoughts, perceptions, and behavior of you and your collaborators.
Of course, you are not a robot, and this means that the brand is diverse and bound to change over time, reflecting the people and personalities that make up your small business. It can be helpful to think of your brand as a summary or description of who you are at your best, rather than a set of rules about who you should be at all times.
Here are our tips on how to make your brand culture work from the inside out.
3- Think about your target audience
Your brand has both an internal and an external role. Internally, it serves to standardize business objectives, giving staff a sense of connection and motivation. Externally, your brand determines how your business is perceived by your target audience.
If you’ve recently come up with a business plan, you probably already know what types of people are interested in your products and they will form an important part of your target audience.
However, there are some groups that you may not have thought of. For example, people who would like to work for your company and who may be interested in how your company operates and the skills you seek more than your products. Then there are the journalists, bloggers, and influencers who may want to talk about your company in a story or collaborate with you to create content.
There are also recipients that you may not have foreseen at first. Additionally, customers may find ways to take advantage of your products or services that are different from what you first conceived, so it’s important to keep an open mind and listen, to get an up-to-date picture of your different target audiences. your brand.
4- Evaluate your brand objectively
Objectivity is an important quality for start-ups. It’s easy to fall in love with the idea behind your business and overlook any other reactions people might have. For example, confusion (“what is it?”), Lack of recognition of the advantages (“why do I need it?”) And distrust (“who are these people?”).
To do things right, it is essential to focus on the entire brand experience, including the product concept, sales, and interactions with marketing channels.
At MOO, we have the privilege of providing print services to a huge range of creative, start-up, and independent companies, and this allows us to have a broad view of the various approaches to branding and design.
5- Connect branding strategy to marketing
Your marketing strategy and brand are complementary, so we recommend that you develop them in parallel from the start. From this point of view, small businesses have an advantage since the number of employees is limited and they are much more agile than larger companies. For example, it’s easy to get all the staff in the meeting room.
Working together with your team, you will need to think about the marketing channels to use, such as social media, email, site, event, presentation, or content marketing, and what role they will play in business plans. Each of these channels will express your brand and offer useful information on the perception of your business by the recipients.
Marketing can influence the way your brand is perceived in a number of ways. For example, the design of marketing materials, the frequency of communications, such as emails or tweets; the topics to be covered in content marketing activities, such as blogs or video channels, and the tone of voice you adopt.
Marketing channels can also play a role in brand management. Often, new companies set themselves the strategic goal of increasing brand recognition, that is, the level of understanding of your brand by consumers and their interpretation of it. You can evaluate this by listening to your target audience via dialogue channels such as social media.
6- Differentiate your brand from those of the competition
Even if your brand reflects the identity of your business and is therefore unique, in certain sectors a common branding language tends to emerge in which certain colors, fonts, illustrative styles, and even the tone of voice are found in the brands of various companies.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is important to keep this in mind in order to make informed decisions. In particular, you need to decide if you intend to follow the branding trends of your industry, or if you prefer to break the mold and create something unique.
Also, keep in mind that if you offer design services, you will take care of your clients’ brands and interpret them with your own style. To help you find a balance between your style and that of your customers.
7- Conduct audits to keep your brand in tip-top shape
After developing your brand and after a period of operating, we recommend that you carry out a brand audit every six months or annually. The brand audit is an internal procedure that allows you to monitor the degree of consistency of your brand, how much it corresponds to the way you operate, and how it is perceived by your customers.
After all, the brand reflects your way of doing things and hopefully, after a year in business, your start-up will become bigger, bolder, and more famous.
Branding Tips for Start-ups Final Thoughts
I hope you found this list of branding tips for start-ups helpful, and that you will be able to build a memorable and awesome brand.
If you need someone to take care of your branding in a professional and productive way and help your company grow, or you have any questions, please contact me HERE.
To your success!
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