Startup Business Branding Tips | A No-Nonsense Guide To Branding Your Small Business Like A Pro
Startup Business Branding Tips | Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that branding is just uploading a generic logo to their website and then waiting around for the clients to start rushing through the door. Here’s the truth of the matter: There’s so much more to your “brand essence” than just a logo and a snappy slogan. Your brand is the entire sum of what your business provides, what you excel at and the experience your clients have when doing business with you. In other words, an effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in incredibly competitive markets.
Yet, you’d be surprised how many small business owners consider branding an optional and expensive form of marketing. They think branding requires a large budget to pay for an ad agency to create branding campaigns and mass media to boost brand awareness. However, your startup doesn’t have to be a world-famous household name in order to have a strong brand. The backbone of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and marketing materials, all of which should feature your logo, reinforce your brand. Here are our top startup business branding tips that translate into measurable business improvement.
Start By Defining Your Audience | Startup Business Branding Tips
Review the product or service you’re offering, define the space in the market it holds and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your target audience. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your existing and potential clients. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think. At the end of the day, your brand character should promote your business, appeal to your ideal clients and differentiate you in your niche.
Get Your Name And Logo Right | Startup Business Branding Tips
This is vitally important for brand recognition and it’s crucial you get it right the first time, as changing your name and logo can cost you quite a lot down the road. Your logo and name should be memorable and able to convey the nature and tone of your business. They will appear on your letterhead, website, business cards, social media, marketing materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to represent your business or the products and services you’re providing. Also, try to come up with a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that effectively communicates the essence of your brand.
Stand Out | Startup Business Branding Tips
Standing out means being different. If your brand is going to be strong, you have to be able to determine what it is that makes what you do unique. What makes you stand out from others in your particular niche? Are you the innovative maverick? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can never be both, and you can’t be all things to everyone.
Be Honest and Authentic About Who You Are | Startup Business Branding Tips
However, keep in mind that your brand has to talk the talk and walk the walk. Otherwise, you’ll present yourself inconsistently and only confuse your potential clients. Some companies stop focusing on building outstanding products and offering great services when they become successful. This is a mistake. Even iconic brands will suffer when they start selling average or below average products or services. Your clients will never return to you, let alone refer you to someone else, if you don’t deliver on your promise and meet their expectations.
Develop A Consistent Business Identity | Startup Business Branding Tips
Think real life as well as online. This covers everything from your office and personal appearance to your online presence. From business cards and logo to email newsletters and the pictures you share on social media, all of your communications and sales materials should look, feel and sound like they come from the same source. By not branding, you’re telling your potential clients that you don’t think your brand is worth spending the time on. Set up templates and define brand standards for all your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout to ensure consistency and boost recognizability.
Speak To Your Customers With A Consistent Tone Of Voice | Startup Business Branding Tips
An effective way to ensure your unique brand message is delivered consistently across all channels is to focus on how you and your employees interact and engage with your clients – be it in-person, over the phone, through email and on social media. Create a “voice” for your brand that conveys the nature and tone of your business. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off.