When’s the right time to look at your start-up business branding? The short answer is right now! If you own a start-up business and the idea of branding is beginning to creep into your mind, it’s a good idea to get a head start.
Perhaps you feel sales should be your primary, if not only, focus, as a start-up business. However, building a brand is everything when it comes to gaining traction with return customers. A strong brand identity not only creates an inviting business front but ensures you portray your business’ values correctly. Subsequently, this aids the creation of strong relationships with your customers.
However, you may feel overwhelmed or torn over how to begin your brand strategy. Are you questioning how start-up business branding differs from a larger company’s branding strategies? This blog will highlight and explore the different ways branding can benefit a start-up business. As well as how you can ensure you are building a brand effectively.
Why should you invest in start-up business branding?
Ultimately, good branding is one of the best ways to sell your product or service. Branding is a way of identifying and marketing your business to ensure it’s fulfilling its potential. It’s important to start as soon as possible so you create and maintain a brand identity for your customers to tap into. By creating a brand story, you are creating a base from which your company stems from.
Additional branding and expanding upon your business’ identity provide your clientele with a relatable and personable brand. A brand that appeals and inspires. Meaning it is far more likely for an attachment to be formed and repeat sales to occur. Moreover, the earlier you establish a good start-up business branding strategy, the easier it will be to maintain. Subsequently, you can adapt to any changes that happen in whichever climate or sector your business sits.
When is the right time to implement a brand strategy?
A brand strategy can be beneficial to implement at any stage of starting up a business. Seed-stage start-ups may find that focussing on a brand strategy helps motivate. It also helps push the beginnings of a company in a certain direction. Therefore, providing a focus for where to spend precious time and money.
Slightly more established businesses that are still in the starting stages may have a small marketing team on board. In which case, a specific brand strategy can ensure that a set marketing strategy is followed. That way, nobody is heading in the wrong direction. Following the same angle means marketing is focussed and therefore more effective. So, it’s important for everybody to be singing from the same hymn sheet when your company’s branding is concerned.
By formulating a brand identity earlier on, you are also mapping out ways for your product or service to be always centre stage. Again, ensuring your marketing strategies are always the most effective they can be.
What should you already have in place before branding?
It’s important to have your brand identity at the forefront of your mind when beginning your branding journey. For this to happen, you need to have an effective business model and a set goal for your product or service to establish how exactly it benefits your target audience. Afterall, your new business is your passion.
Your branding must reflect why exactly the service you provide is so unique. Focus on how you recognised the gap in the market that inspired your business. Emphasise how your product or service addresses this gap so that your branding is always informed by and shaped to fit your company’s unique selling points. A business that generates sales is successful, but a business that has a brand built on emotions invokes a sense of reliability. So, get to know what your customers want to see and hear to inform your branding in a way that encourages repeat purchasing and enables strong customer relationships.
An effective business model will also inform what place you will hold in the market. What price-range will you sit at? Who are your competitors? All these elements must be considered to round and shape an insightful and therefore successful brand identity.
Another crucial consideration is your budget for branding. Knowing your company’s capabilities will ensure your branding is savvy and progressive. Rather than a financial drain with little or no effect to your sales figures. By focussing on your target audience, you can decide where your money will be best spent in terms. For example, where you decide your branding should be seen to gain visibility alongside the methods you choose to create this brand identity.
What will you need to brand effectively?
A strong brand strategy is more than a decent logo design. It’s important to create a brand that runs deeper. One that stems through every element of your business to be effective. Things to be considered are:
- The correct name for your business.
- The correct domain name for your business.
- Visual identity, such as brand colours, fonts, graphic device and imagery. These should reflect your company values in a sophisticated manner whilst appealing to your target audience and demographic.
- A great website that has exceptional and eye-catching design and is easy to navigate.
- A customer service ethos that reflects your company values and is presented consistently in each customer service exchange.
These are all things that fundamentally form a brand. This sense of identity must flow seamlessly through every element of your company. From customer service to social media to business card design, to feel consistent to customers. A confused brand identity will send a convoluted message, ultimately hampering your relationship with any potential customer.
Does start-up business branding differ to larger companies?
Building a brand identity is imperative for a start-up business, but how does this differ from the marketing strategy of a larger scale company?
Larger businesses tend to focus their marketing and branding on media spend. Media spend is the best way to push your company forward and further into the world. It is the route to building ‘mindshare’. This is a method of placing your brand at the forefront of the majority if consumer’s minds by dominating market spaces and advertising methods.
This method of branding and outsourcing is often in practice in larger businesses as it requires a larger budget for branding. It isn’t to say that media spend cannot be considered when start-up branding. However, before this can be considered you will have to consider the involvement of other potential players and the costs that may come with them. For instance, you may need extra support with tech start-up or marketing materials from an expert in the appropriate area.
You may also need to consider the costs of employing help with outsourcing your branding via social media marketing as well as the kind of social media marketing you wish to begin with. An ideal starting place for a new business starting out on social media is a repeatable customer acquisition engine. For instance, the most common system is a funnelling system, transferring potential customers from a Facebook advert, for example, to a well-designed advert. Ultimately this leads to a purchase.
It’s never too early or too late!
Although it is ideal to establish a brand identity sooner rather than later, it’s never too late to embark on your branding journey. az.design is a branding agency, working with small to medium-sized businesses to review, refresh, develop and maintain their brand identity. We offer packages that offer varying levels and amounts of design work, from smaller scale design kits that focus on visual identity to total brand and web presence design.
We pride ourselves on the time we spend getting to know the individuality of your company, such as its unique selling points. Not forgetting your current place in the market so we can offer the best support in creating a brand identity that reflects everything that is you, while specifically targeting your audience.
We run on a ‘virtual agency’ concept, meaning that we work with a team of multi-talented associates that bring a full-service offer. Our designers can support you in creating an identity for your business that will enable you to see customer numbers growing in real time. We form and maintain long term relationships with your customers to ensure a consistent rate of growth for your business. Click here to be transported to our contact page to book an Introductory Consult with Angela to discuss how we can aid your start-up branding journey.
Check out a couple of recent brand projects we have produced for start up businesses…