Your brand is the beating heart of your business but many startups only skim the surface of branding. When you don’t spend the necessary time and effort on this essential part of your development, it’ll be hard to get the results you’re looking for.
Startup branding can make or break your business and getting it right can save you huge amounts of time and money later down the line. When you start seeing the real depth that a solid brand has, you’ll quickly discover that it’s more than a nice logo and a color scheme. A brand is the core of every business.
By developing a strong, memorable brand and using it to your advantage, you can let the brand speak for your business. In this article, we’ll be looking at how new businesses can build a powerful brand that becomes the foundation for your entire future.
Keep reading to get a head start of brand development and start on an important business journey.
Your Brand as a Living Entity
When you think of branding, logos might spring to mind. Who can forget the Coca Cola logo? Or Nike’s tick? Or the golden arches of McDonald’s?
When you dig deeper though, you’ll probably find that those logos don’t pop up in your mind without context. You don’t just see Nike’s tick, you think of sporting prowess, power, and inspiration.
A brand needs a logo but that’s just the surface. Your brand needs a whole personality, a belief and value system, and a voice. There are many things to think about when starting a business but developing a powerful brand gives you a foundation for the rest of your marketing and sales activities.
Creating Powerful Startup Branding
Outlining a brand strategy is a good way of tackling this task in easy steps. You’ll need to understand what your business aims to do and who it aims to do it for. By knowing who you serve, you’ll be better prepared to develop a cohesive brand.
What is Your Purpose?
Whether you sell products or services, those things aren’t your purpose. They’re just the tools you use to achieve your purpose.
If you’re selling mattresses, your purpose might be to help people improve their health without harming their finances. After all, a good mattress helps you sleep better and good quality sleep improves your overall health.
Your purpose is your business’s fundamental aim for the benefit of your audience. Your purpose must also be something that only you can offer. Plenty of businesses sell mattresses, but do they offer outstanding customer service? Do they offer trial months? Do they offer free disposal of old mattresses?
When you pin down your brand’s purpose, you’ll be better able to communicate this authentically to your customers.
Who Is Your Audience?
Getting to know your audience is one of the most important aspects of startup branding. By targeting everyone, you may as well be targeting no one as being vague is the enemy of marketing.
Think about how old your audience is. What’s their income bracket? How much available cash do they have? Where do they shop? Write a list of questions that relate to your products too.
If you’re selling those mattresses, you know everybody sleeps on one but many people won’t be buying them. If you’re selling mattresses to ease back pain, perhaps you don’t want to target anyone below 40. If you’re selling children’s mattresses, perhaps your audience is 28-40.
The more information you can gather about your audience, the better. You can use this to find out if they shop in stores or online and if they use social media like 72% of Americans.
Developing your startup logo and other brand visuals is often the first step businesses take. Without knowing your purpose and audience though, your visuals might send the wrong message.
Visuals include the logo, color scheme, fonts, graphics, and images. These styles should remain the same across your whole brand for coherence and authenticity. By creating brand visual guidelines that are aligned to your purpose and audience, your brand will start taking a recognizable and memorable shape.
You’d be pretty surprised if your grandad started talking like a teenager. We all have an impression of how someone should sound from other indicators like age, environment, and overall personality.
This is the same for brands. Your brand voice is how your business communicates on your website, social media, marketing materials, and customer service. From formal and conservative to colloquial and fun, how your brand speaks matters.
This voice is part of your brand guidelines and will include how you address your audience and how you engage with them. Do you say, ‘Hey’ or ‘Dear?’. Do you say, ‘Check us out’ or ‘For more information’? When you develop your voice, your staff will always know how to communicate across your branding.
On Brand Content
Content such as videos, blog posts, and images are all tied into your branding. If you’re a fun, informal brand, you probably won’t be writing a blog post in an academic style with heavy research citations.
By developing content right from the start, your audience will gain a better idea of what your brand is about and how it could help them.
You’ll also generate a strong reputation for providing value from the outset and your audience will be able to rely on the consistency of your content output.
This helps you develop a strong brand across your website and social media platforms from the beginning, giving your target audience a reason to stick around.
Build a Powerful Brand for a Solid Future
Developing startup branding is not something you can do in a day. It has many factors and variables to take into account and will benefit from market research and seasoned expertise.
From visual design to pinning down your core purpose, putting effort into branding will pay dividends long into the future.
If you’re looking for help building and designing your brand, we can help. Get in touch with us today to start shaping a living, breathing brand that stands out from the crowd and gives your business a solid foundation.