A brand is more than just a name. It is a holistic, multi-dimensional approach to a business and takes years to be built. Over time, the relevance of building a brand has gained more and more importance. It is not just the bigger and more established brands that have managed to create a recall value, a lot of newer brands have also been following the lead. Branding must start at the very nascent stage of a business, and that is why branding for startups plays a pivotal role in helping businesses grow.
Startups need an identity of their own. With the increasing amount of competition in the startup sector, a startup’s branding consultant needs to chalk out a strategy relevant to the business and its audiences to get ahead. While it may seem easy, it is actually not.
Branding for startups requires the right kind of tools. It is more than a name, sign, and symbol that needs to be taken into consideration while building a brand. Is the brand reaching the right kind of audience? Is it relatable? Does it have an aspirational value? Do people know about it? What does it communicate? These are questions startups must ask to build salience for their brand. Strong branding for startups can help catch the eye of potential investors and other important stakeholders.
Here are the five key things that startups should keep in mind while evaluating their branding strategy:
1. Define your startup: A well-defined service or feature is the core of any startup. It will help set the business apart from the others. Brands have a way of evolving and adapting to the ecosystem as time passes. However, it is crucial to have a definite framework in place as it helps guide the startup’s growth in the desired direction.
2. Evaluate your startup’s purpose: The pandemic has taught us that consumers today respond better to brands that have a clearly defined purpose. It is imperative to have answers to a few basic questions about your startup 1) What is it (What kind of a startup you are) 2) Why do I need it? / What services will it offer (Value it will add to your customers), and 3) What does it stand for? What is the long-term impact it is trying to have on the people and communities around it.
3. A visual identity: Elements like logo, font, and colour combination give a personality to your startup. More than establishing a recall, it helps bring out the value, characteristics and personality of the brand.
4. Creating owned and shared platforms: In today’s day and age, when everything is taking a digital route, having a website and social media assets is importance when looking at branding for a startup. The most basic reason is to increase visibility through touchpoints. One’s website is the guidebook for those looking to get more information on their business. The more informative, engaging, and user-friendly it is, the more queries and interest one gets through it. And it also gives you the space to create content that you own with the narrative you decide. Social media gives you the space to interact with your stakeholders and built communities around shared values.
5. Know who you’re talking to: It is key to know your primary audience for both internal and external purposes. Internally, it helps give a sense of brand understanding, togetherness, and a sense of pride for the employees, and externally, it helps reach out to the right set of consumers/stakeholders ensuring the messaging strikes a connection.
Focusing on a holistic startup branding model keeping in mind the above pointers will help create a lasting impact on the minds of the customers and other stakeholders. At Step Up, we offer customizable branding solutions for startups aimed at helping brands scale up and create a positive identity for themselves.