Branding differentiates you from your competitors. In fact, it’s the leading reason a few start-ups are very successful while many shut down within the first two years of operation. Branding is about more than building a savvy product or new tech. It’s about connecting with your audience and convincing them to trust in your yet-to-be proven solution.
If you want to build a successful brand around your product or service, you must include it as part of your marketing strategy in your business plan. And having the right brand, and backing it up leads to positive customer reviews which is particularly important in today’s environment. For example, growthink reviews show that company’s brand in the eyes of customers, which helps prospective customers gain a better understanding and positive impression of the company.
Once you’ve established it as a goal, consider implementing the following five strategies to branding your start-up:
1. Identify Your Target Market
Before you begin to brand your start-up, understand who your target market is. Who would love to experience your brand? Once you know who your target customers are, everything in your branding story will connect back to them. Ideally, your target customer should eventually become a part of your brand’s identity because it’s impossible to succeed without them!
If you’re unable to identify your target market, it will lead to failure. It’s vital that you encourage and receive constant feedback from customers about their perceptions regarding your product and brand.
You may survey your initial customers with the following questions:
- How can the product be improved to meet your needs?
- How will you describe this product to a friend or family member?
- How would you feel if this product was no longer available?
Aim to build a group of passionate customers who are eager to impart their experiences to others. This is only possible if you correctly identify your target market.
2. Create And Sell Your Story
To successfully brand your start-up, you must create and sell your company’s story. As a start-up, your biggest challenge will be that people won’t immediately recognize you or your product. However, building your company story will help customers and clients identify with your brand on a personal level. It will also develop your company’s culture and identity. With a story, you’re selling the experience before selling the product.
Profitable branding is connected to a successful story. Your start-up can use this story to jump off and build your credibility.
3. Cultivate Your Image And Language
After identifying your target market and crafting your story, you need to build your image and language that supports your intended image. In your business plan, you’ve probably included your start-up’s logo, mission and vision statements, etc.
Your language should be clear, brief, and consistent. For instance, your company name must clearly showcase your image. In other words, the name and image should go together.
For example, when iExplore was first launched, it was known as Conquest Travel. However, adventure enthusiasts found it to be too macho and regular folk found it too vague. As a result, the company changed its name to iExplore. The new name effectively communicated the internet-based character of their company as well as the mood that they wanted to convey.
Sometimes a creatively crafted word can become the most memorable name in the industry, i.e. Google, Microsoft, etc.
Appearance matters a lot in branding a start-up as well. You must remember that fonts, logos, colors, etc. all play a key role in the purpose and image of your start-up. If used correctly, these visual elements can communicate and define the values and feelings you want to instill in your target customers. Images are easily shareable across various social media platforms and offer an important first impression of your start-up.
4. Strive To Be Outstanding
Use your start-up’s brand to create experiences that customers will remember. Keep in mind, most companies offer a dedicated staff team and stellar customer service, but what should you do to stand out? You need to identify strategies for being ‘different’ in your business plan.
You can become a cause-driven business. Find a cause that fits in closely with your start-up. This can help you build a good reputation and credibility as a company. It also shows that you care, thereby attracting cause-driven customers. For instance, if your company creates healthy snack items, you can easily work with non-profit organizations that promote health.
5. Maximize Visibility
After you’ve created your story and its corresponding visuals, you must leverage your assets across various digital channels and integrate them into your campaigns. Your goal should be to reach out to your target audience using a synchronized message across several channels. Always keep your marketing targeted to the user demographics you identified in your business plan. This seems logical, but it’s still worth mentioning! For instance, you cannot sell a luxury product at a discount shop.
Focus on all social media outlets concurrently so that you can reinforce your start-up’s brand. Keep your eye on share-ability. Pictures, infographics, and videos are easy visuals for your customers to send to others.
Successful branding should be the focus of marketing your start-up. The branding strategies mentioned in this blog such as identifying your target audience, writing a brand story, refining written and visual language, creating memorable campaigns, etc. need to be an ongoing goal, mentioned in your business plan.