What to Consider When Branding Your Startup
Branding is an important part of any business. There is a lot of information online focused on ensuring your branding for your already established business remains consistent with recent trends, and looks at ways to improve your current brand. But even so, for new businesses and startups establishing your brand can be quite a hefty task.
However, it isn’t impossible. To begin with you may start developing your branding on your own. But as your business grows and improves, you may want to look at getting help from an experienced professional, either through an outside marketing business or by hiring your own creative director.
Either way, what are the most important things you should be doing when designing your start-up’s branding? Here are a few items to consider:
Before you start on anything, set some goals. This can be a hard task as you don’t want to set unrealistic expectations, but you don’t want to simplify your future either. Setting goals keeps you on track, and in check with whether your business is moving towards your intended direction.
Set goals within timeframes, and keep them up to date and relevant to the changes going on with your growing business. There are no problems with adjusting goals as you go along, as these can mean you are looking at taking your business in a different direction. Just be sure not to change your goals simply because the original goals seem to be unattainable.
It’s easy to look at your competitors and trying to emulate them in the hope of attracting their consumer base. However, if you do this you’re only going to be setting yourself up for failure as you are trying to sell something unoriginal and not personalised.
The best thing you can do is look at YOUR business and YOUR audience. Create your brand to reflect who you are as a business, and who you wish to attract to it. That way, you’re more able to build your brand, find the right words, and create a different look and feel for your business rather than poaching someone else’s ideas.
Create a message
Part of knowing who you are is ensuring other people know who you are as well. How do you achieve this? By providing them with a message. Whether you want to be the best gym with the best equipment in the area, have the friendliest staff, or offer the cheapest deals on printing, then make it known. Add your message to communications, marketing or social media, and get your message across to as many people as possible.
Spread your brand
Once you have a logo, feel and colour scheme of your brand, ensure you use them to their potential. There’s no point in having a stunning logo to show off your business if you’re not going to use it anywhere. Place your brand on everything, such as on social media, business cards and email signatures.
If you have chosen a particular colour scheme, keep everything in the same colours and aim for consistency. It’s hard to build a brand and make it recognisable if it varies across different platforms. Having consistency means anyone that stumbles across your email or business card will be able to recognise it, and link it back to your business.
Interact with clients
People want to be heard, whether they’re saying something good or bad. It makes them feel validated, as well as more connected to your business and product. Interacting with customers and clients is a great way to engage with them, and make people value your business even more.
Spending time on social media, responding to questions, posts and comments is a great start. Give them what they want, and watch your business gain an engaged following and new clients who want to know more about your brand.
Focus on your vision
It’s easy to start getting carried away with your product and how you’re going to make money. Of course, this is an important part of ensuring your brand and business don’t fail (you need to make money to stay afloat!), but don’t lose sight of your vision. For example, if you started the business in order to help others find a solution to a daily problem, don’t lose sight of this and keep it in mind whilst branding. It can be an important tool to increasing awareness and sharing your journey, story and vision with potential new clients.
Build suspense … but not too much
When your brand is ready and waiting to share with the world, you should try and build some suspense. Share with your potential clients some teasers, and get them excited about what is to come. Building your empire is an exciting journey, and you should be able to feel like you can share this journey with your audience.
Having said this, bear in mind that when you do launch not everything is going to run smoothly and perfectly. Don’t wait until you feel like everything is perfect as you might lose your audience, who will after a certain time lose interest. Instead, get launched, show off your brand and make tweaks to your brand as you go.