Branding Startups | A Practical Guide For Entrepreneurs: Six Tips To Build And Maintain A Successful Startup Brand
Branding Startups | A lot of money, time, effort, and caffeine goes into launching a startup. It can be a struggle, even painful at times. You put countless hours into your new business, fueled by an electric mix of excitement, doubt, anticipation, and even fear. During the startup phase, you don’t have the budget to put aside for branding, and for many business owners it’s an afterthought, which be a grave mistake. However, branding is a task every entrepreneur has to know how to take advantage of because it’s a free business tool that opens many doors to new opportunities.
In business, good branding builds trust and can make it easier to sell a product or a service to potential clients. While the brands we choose can be reflections of our beliefs and values, the right branding strategy can steer us toward products or services that we may otherwise not have been searching for. Branding advice is a dime a dozen these days, but not everyone has conquered the mountain. We’ve rounded up six proven ways to build your brand without breaking the bank — because there are more pressing things to spend money and time on, like developing products and paying the bills.
Ready – Fire – Aim! | Branding Startups
If you launch a new business based upon what you think your potential clients will love, you’re taking a risk that your brand won’t resonate with its target audience. Failure to connect with ideal clients causes startups to fail. Study your audience. Where are your Twitter and Facebook fans spending time? What do they talk about? What makes them tick? Study their habits, determine the age, gender, location, even income of your ideal client and you’ll understand how you can better build a startup brand that appeals to them before you launch it.
First Impressions Count | Branding Startups
You might work from your bedroom in your underpants and slippers, but do you want your target audience to know that? Or do you want to be known as a professional, successful business owner in your industry? When visitors initially see your company brand on a business card or website there are always pre-judgments based on your logo and presentation. This first impression is incredibly important for building loyalty and engagement as your business grows. Think about the way you want your brand to be perceived. Are you a freelancer or a big corporation? Do you focus on quality or prices? First impressions count, so make sure you get it right.
Message Is Important | Branding Startups
Whatever your business is about, you’re going to need a message and a set of brand values. Are you a designer that focuses on creating stunning and unique letterheads at the lowest prices? Or are you a photographer specializing in newborn photography? Whatever your message is, make sure your branding and brand identity are geared towards communicating it. Creating the message should be a priority because it is what decides the feeling or reaction the audience gets when they come across your brand. Make the message bold and easily understandable by your target audience.
A Logo That Represents Your Brand | Branding Startups
The logo should be easy to identify and should represent your message even without words. You’ll know that your logo is doing its job if it sparks the curiosity of potential clients. A lot of companies and startups do rise in popularity with just a basic logo font and business card. And while this is true, marketing research and studies have often shown that a bit more flair in your logo will burn a unique image into the brain of your visitors.
Be Consistent, Establish Brand Guidelines | Branding Startups
Regardless of what your startup is about, it needs to be consistent for people to recognize it as a brand rather than a product. Especially in the startup phase, people’s trust is only established once they are confident that they understand what your brand does well and what it stands for. By determining a set of brand guidelines at an early stage you can make sure that everyone applies your brand identity in a consistent manner. Consistency is key to growing a brand. How often do you see Nike mentioned without the swoosh?
Be Extraordinary | Branding Startups
You don’t want your brand to fall by the wayside right after its launch, so spend time thinking of an original theme or idea to base your brand around. You won’t find much success following what every other startup owner is doing, so it’s best to ignore the trends and make your brand suit you and the nature of your business. Products don’t become brands for nothing, just like people don’t become known for being simply ordinary. While ordinary is safe, recognition and high praise are given to those who step out of the traditional in favor of the unconventional.