Branding for Startups: The Essentials
Startups deal with challenges that are different from those faced by older businesses. 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.
What Is Branding?
As opposed to what many people think, a logo alone does not make a brand. It’s more than having a professionally designed website and business cards. While these are definitely important, something else that is far more crucial, should be done. The good news is, it won’t cost money.
According to the Business Dictionary, branding is a process that involves creating a unique name and image of a product in the mind of the consumer, mostly through consistently themed advertising. On top of that, it is a way of giving the product an established differentiated presence in the market, attracting customers and their loyalty. Therefore, a startup business owner must think deep into the image that will embody its brand in the minds of customers. When deciding on this image, the business owner must consider two things – what’s special about the business and what unique value it brings to the table.
Advantages Offered by a Good Branding Strategy
There are many benefits awaiting businesses that implement a good branding strategy. For one, brand design catches the attention of consumers. 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. A brand that is well-established in the market will encourage repeat buying behavior, and can be as influential to the business as talent, partnerships, acquisitions and investments. There could be benefits that are specific to different business types, but the above are the most prevalent.
Creating a Good 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 have a clear value proposition.
It is important not to be shallow or general when offering a value proposition. For example, excellent customer service is something people want. The problem is when everyone starts claiming it as their value proposition. A value proposition should be unique. It should offer something that people will usually not expect.
It must be consistent.
What makes branding really work is consistency. A brand can only be embedded in the minds of consumers if it conveys one and the same message through all of its campaigns. Having different messages is confusing and reduces potential brand equity.