What are some great branding tips for startups? Check out our list below if you are just getting your business off the ground and want to nail your branding.
There’s a reason establishing a brand is vital for a startup. Brands sell products.
Few customers are going to buy shoes from a store without a well-known brand when they can buy Nike or AirJordans.
Those brands established themselves and gave their customers an impression of expectations they should have when purchasing their products.
People expect Nike to deliver high-quality products. They expect athletes to wear them because of their quality.
When they make an expensive purchase on a pair of shoes, it’s because they know they’re going to receive the same quality.
If you want to establish a brand that will sell your products more than any other marketing strategy, then you need to ensure you establish the brand correctly.
Here are a few tips on how to brand your startup.
Tips That Will Blow Up Your Brand
#1. Plan and Prioritize Your Brand Immediately
During the formation of your business, you have a lot on your plate. You need to figure out prototypes, investors, employees, and a whole slew of other items.
It’s easy for your brand to be placed by the wayside until later. This is a mistake.
If you don’t establish your brand early on, then someone else will for you.
Think about what impression you want to give your customers. What’s the story that you want to use to connect to your audience?
Figuring that out can help solve problems that you encounter down the line like logo design and initial marketing.
Your brand can also bring your fellow coworkers together. Everyone has a clear idea of what the startup stands for when the brand is formed.
#2. Define Influences
A brand is basically your business’s personality. It’s the cornerstone for the kind of tone that’s used in marketing. There are a lot of factors and influences that go into the creation of your brand, too.
An example is the colors in your logo. Bright and warm colors may make your brand feel energetic and youthful.
Darker shades may make your brand seem more professional and serious. Color psychology is something you should study before forming your brand.
It can help you determine the right shades of color you want to use in your logo to invoke the right feelings in your customers.
Another influence on your brand is the startup’s values. What are the beliefs that you and the people who make up the company have?
These shared values are the heart of your brand. Perhaps you believe in giving back to your local community.
That can drive several of your business practices going forward.
Perhaps it’s a shared belief that everyone deserves high-quality products or services. That may affect your prices or packaging prices.
No matter what your company’s beliefs are, they should influence your brand in some way.
Because brands are like human personalities, it’s important to understand that your brand may change. Societies change.
What’s acceptable now may not be acceptable in a few years. Your brand needs to be able to change according to how society thinks.
Large companies go through re-brands all of the time. Many now, for example, are pushing to make themselves appear as though they’re environmentally friendly.
They’re forward-thinking on climate change.
You need to be prepared to change and adapt your brand to keep it relevant.
#3. Strategize with Target Audience in Mind
There’s no question that you’re likely developing your startup to help a certain audience base. If you’ve already finished your business plan, then you likely know who your target audience is. This plays an important part in the construction of your brand.
Creating your brand in a certain way may alienate your target audience if it’s something they don’t like or connect to.
Performing marketing tests is important before you set your brand in stone. Try a few different logos, design colors, and tones to see which combination your target audience enjoys the most. Their decision should influence the creation of your brand.
It’s important to remember that you may have a wider audience than you realize. For example, there may be other consumers out there who also use your products or services in a way that you may not have predicted.
A large enough number of them could impact how you market your brand.
Your audience is made up of more than just consumers, too. It also has potential employees, investors, influencers, and content creators within it.
Those resources could prove vital in the development of your business down the line. Your brand should also attract them.
You may find that your initial brand strategy doesn’t fit well with your target audience. The best step you can take is to refine your brand until it appeals to most, if not all, of your target audience.
You’ll need to strike a balance between being specific towards your target audience and being general to invite others to try your services or products.
#4. Use an Objective Perspective to Assess Your Brand
After you’ve formed your brand, you should assess it objectively. Take the standpoint of your target audience. Does the brand make sense?
Is it clear what the brand is selling? Does it show who’s behind the brand and what their ideas or value are?
If not, then your brand message may not be that clear. Sometimes the fix may be easy. You may just need to change the logo to make things clearer.
Other times, you may need to completely change your strategy and start from scratch.
There are a few different perspectives you should adopt when assessing your brand. The first is the target audience. The second is investors.
Do they see a professional brand that appears as though it knows what it’s doing? Is the brand selling something that’s worth investing in?
Does it have the credibility and business sense to last long-term?
Investors are going to assess your brand with a different eye than your target audience. They’re looking for reasons to invest in your company, and not for the benefits that your products or services can offer them.
Finally, you should take on the perspective of a journalist. You’ll need to rely on the media to sell your marketing strategies.
As a journalist, they may ask questions like does this brand appear legitimate? Are they genuinely interested in serving their customer base?
Does the brand have an influence on the local community? Do they utilize progressive and environmental ideals in the makeup of their business?
A journalist is looking to find the dirty details of your startup. Your brand presents a certain image of your business.
It’s their job to discover the truth. A sound brand leaves nothing for them to find or find untrustworthy.
#5. Prepare Marketing Strategies Through Brand Development
Your brand and marketing go hand-in-hand. While you develop your brand, you should start thinking about ways to market it.
For example, what kind of channels do you want to use to market your business? Social media is one of the most important ways that you can grow your business.
Everyone has a social media account of some sort.
Choosing which social media you want to focus on can impact your brand.
For example, if you want to use Instagram as a primary place for you to market your business, then your brand may want to be mostly visual.
You’ll need a logo that attracts the eye and looks great on Instagram. Your marketing team will need to master the art of capturing the brand’s voice and tone in only a few short words for the post’s caption.
It’s also important to have high-quality images of the products or services that you’re selling.
Twitter is another powerful marketing tool. It can also be your go-to place to establish your brand’s voice and values.
Twitter enables you to make opinions, share promotions, and speak with your customers. The interactions that you have with your audience can either make or break your brand.
Hosting events can be another way to market your business and establish your brand. If you’re a bit eccentric, for example, then why not have something slightly zany occur at the event?
You can be sure everyone will remember your brand then.
#6. Research Competitor Brands and Differentiate
No matter what industry you’re in, you have competitors. Some industries share a tone or voice among all of their competitors.
They may even use similar logos or colors. This can be beneficial in that it piggybacks the competing business onto the one leading in the industry.
Their target audience automatically assumes many of the same promises given by the leading business are going to be adopted by the competitor.
However, the competitor never truly stands out on their own.
When developing your brand, you have to decide whether you want to piggyback on a competitor or go your own way.
Perhaps you want to try something in your business. Instead of using a formal tone, perhaps you’re more conversational and informal.
You want your brand to be perceived as something that is approachable and welcoming.
This could work in your favor. It may also make you look unprofessional.
Researching what your competitors are doing can help you determine the best course for your brand. Should you mimic them or completely differentiate?
#7. Perform a Brand Audit
Once your brand is released to the general public, you’ll want to perform a brand audit every year.
This is conducted internally. It takes a measure of how well your brand is received by your target audience, if the brand still matches the values of the company, and if it still represents your business in the way that you need it to.
You may discover that it doesn’t. Perhaps your target audience has changed over the years. Your new audience may not respond as well to the old brand.
Changing it may help you grow further.
Perhaps the brand’s values have changed. It may be time to reflect those changes through a rebranding of your startup.
The great aspect of a startup is that it’s small. Changing your brand can occur relatively quickly since it has to pass through a smaller number of people.
After your audit, you can see how the new brand performs. Making these adjustments can keep your startup relevant.
#8. Invest in Content Marketing
There’s no easier way to spread the news about your brand than with content marketing.
Through blogs, copywriting, newsletters, even videos, your brand’s message can be delivered to your audience.
One of the most crucial places you should have content marketing focus on is your own blog.
Blog posts drive traffic to your website. Not only can it introduce more customers to your services, but it helps them understand what your business is and what it believes in.
Content marketers will match the voice and tone of your business in their posts. This ensures that every piece they create is an accurate representation of your business.
It may even pay to write a few blog posts yourself from time to time or post a video about your brand and the projects you’re excited about working on in the future.
So What’s Next?
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