Branding for Startups: The Essentials
Startups have different challenges to face compared to those which older businesses encounter. While overflowing with drive, energy and passion, startups typically have little time or money to spend for branding. Nevertheless, branding should begin early on, if only to immediately build brand equity for future leveraging.
As opposed to what many people think, a logo alone does not make a brand. It’s not just about having a website or business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. The good news is, it won’t cost money.
Based on the Business Dictionary, branding is providing a product a unique name and image in the minds of consumers, mostly through advertising campaigns with a constant theme. Moreover, it establishes a differentiated market presence that attracts customers and invites their loyalty. Thus, a startup business owner should think deep into the image that should represent his brand in customers’ minds. Before deciding on this image, the business owner should first define two things – what’s unique about the business and what unique value it offers.
Benefits of a Good Branding Strategy
Effective branding brings many benefits to businesses. For starters, brand design grabs the attention of potential customers. Branding can also affect directly the prices that can be charged for a business’ products or services. With a strong brand, it is easier for competitors to fade in the background. Once a brand is established as a good one, it will encourage repeat buying and become as influential to the business as acquisitions, investments, talent and partnerships. There could be benefits that are specific to different business types, but the above are the most prevalent.
Creating a Successful Brand
It should be remarkable.
Brands that stand out, win. Too safe branding defies the very purpose it stands for. The idea is to make the brand unique from competition, instead of just going with the flow.
It should come with a clear value proposition.
A value proposition that is too shallow or general will fail. For example, excellent customer service is something people want. The problem is when everyone starts claiming it as their value proposition. To be effective, a value proposition must be unique. It must bring a benefit that is often unexpected by people.
It should be consistent.
What makes branding really work is consistency. To embed a brand in consumers’ minds, its message must be one and the same. With different messages, the public can only end up confused and potential brand equity diminished.