Branding is the process of developing a strong and positive perception of a company to clients. It distinguishes your products or services from your competitors.
Imagine that there’s an image of the latest iPhone on your computer. What impression comes to your mind when you look at it? Maybe you find it sleek and elegant. Its high-end design is unlike any of its competitors in the industry. And that’s how Apple is known. The brand stands out as an innovative technology company.
For a startup, it might be an uphill task to compete with the likes of Apple. That’s especially because of a limited budget. This is why you must find ways of building your brand without spending an arm and a leg.
Note that branding is more than just a nice logo. So take time to understand what a brand means and start working your way to branding your business.
5 Branding Suggestions for Your Startup
Every business needs consumers to think of its brand first. And a strong brand is needed for that to happen.
Business branding requires that you connect with clients for a lasting and positive image of your business. This goes beyond the visual brand since you have to show consumers what you stand for. So what should you do to boost your brand’s visibility and recognition?
1. Conduct Market Research
Marketing is vital if you’re looking for ways to build your brand. Remember that you must know who your clients are and what they think about your company. This is why market research is important. The data you get will help you know what product is in demand. This will enable you to find ways of making your business more competitive.
You need a lot more than feedback from your audience while conducting research. You can, for instance, complete a SWOT analysis. This will help you understand your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. It will help you know where your business stands in a competitive marketplace.
If you’re not in a position to research, outsource a marketing firm for startups to do it on your behalf. A marketing agency will help you get an intimate understanding of consumer needs. Failure to research can make you lose the opportunity to refine the products to their needs.
Marketing companies for startups will give you an analysis of the market competition. This will help you develop strategies for marketing, sales, and pricing. An important part of a startup is to get good funding for the business. You can get an investor to invest in your idea of the product.
But without research, it will be difficult to justify how your business will succeed. Market research enables entrepreneurs to know the amount of resources for startups that they need. Otherwise, you’ll not convince investors to spend their resources on your brand.
2. Define Your Brand
Before getting busy with selecting the right color palette or logo, clarify who you are. Tell the consumer what you aim to be as a company. This will require corporate self-discovery. Ask yourself:
- What’s my business’s mission and core values?
- What benefits should your products be known for?
- How can my brand make a difference in this industry?
- What qualities should clients associate with your company?
Genuine answers to these questions need research. Know who your target audience is. Understand their behavior, needs, and the qualities they look for in products. You must also check your competitors to know how they have positioned their brands in the market. What makes you better than them? This information should help you define your brand.
3. Use Cohesive Visual Branding
You must have worked with graphic designers and brand developers to put together a style guide for your branding. We’re talking about color palettes, fonts, graphics, visual styles, and a lot more. Everything must fit together and look as though it belongs to the same family because it does.
But it might surprise you to know that entrepreneurs forget about the need to use that style guide. You shouldn’t forget it because you need the guide to inform each stylistic and visual decision you make. This should apply to every product packaging, marketing, and a lot more.
This is the case when it comes to your company’s website. The design agency for startups that you choose must ensure your website is well-branded. Everyone visiting the site must know what brand it belongs to, even without seeing the logo. Though the logo must also be there.
Sure, branding strategies aren’t only about the visual aspect. But that’s not to say that you should let it slide. Your website and marketing materials will give your brand a place to live.
4. Evoke Emotional Responses
This is a branding suggestion for startups that may be a little difficult to pinpoint. But even so, it’s very effective. You can evoke emotional responses in the following ways:
- Tell your story, including the nitty-gritty of why you choose your niche. For instance, what motivated you? What challenges did you go through? Everyone would want to hear that.
- Broadcast your values and ensure the audience understands where you’re coming from. Let them know what you want to achieve and the reasons why. Ideally, your company’s values should align with your audience’s values. The two must make an emotional connection.
- Remember that audiences react to brands that they consider authentic and personal. So be yourself! Don’t cover the aspects that make you unique. Celebrate what made your brand what it is.
Every aspect that’s been mentioned contributes to an emotional connection with clients. Research and common sense point to the fact that clients prefer working with brands that they have an emotional connection with. Your new company could be a consumer’s new best friend.
5. Give a Voice to your Startup
The idea of startups having a voice isn’t new. But it has grown in value over the past few years. In the past, companies maintained their perceived identity in commercials. But nowadays, they have defined ways of reaching the consumer and vice versa.
Compared to the classic one-way advertisement, now there’s an open dialogue between a brand and the audience. This helps to place greater importance on the brand’s voice.
Whether written or verbal, a voice is a brand’s personality. A brand’s voice is derived from its purpose and ideals. It caters to the target audience with consistency. Granted, various platforms and demographics may need different tones of voice. But the message must maintain the brand’s core values across the different platforms.
Building a brand requires a lot of hard work. It’s even more difficult for startups with limited budgets, little knowledge in the marketplace, and many other concerns. Creating an identity, a persona, an identity takes time and a lot of focus.
To get started, you must ensure you have a startup branding strategy to guide you along a successful path. This will help you keep an eye on the prize. So you shouldn’t lose track of your values, tone of voice, and everything that makes your venture unique.