3 Tips for Branding an Ambitious Business or Startup
If you’ve ever been told your brand is your logo, then this is for you. The most successful businesses consistently get these three things right and you should too.
1) Understand what a brand is, appreciate its value and learn how to use it.
YOUR brand is more than just your logo, product or service. It is whatever your customers think it is. It is a comprehensive representation of your company, product, or service. YOUR brand encompasses the following key elements:
Identity: The visual elements of YOUR brand, such as its logo, colour palette, typography, and design, play a significant role in creating a recognisable and memorable identity.
Personality: YOUR brand often has a distinct personality or set of values that it communicates to consumers. This personality shapes how customers perceive and connect with YOUR brand.
Reputation: YOUR brand’s reputation is built on the experiences and interactions customers have with it. Positive experiences, consistent quality, and trustworthiness contribute to a strong brand reputation.
Promise: YOUR brand makes promises to your customers. This promise may include the benefits of your products or services, the problems they solve, or the emotional experiences they deliver.
Differentiation: Effective branding sets YOUR company or product apart from your competitors. It highlights what makes YOUR brand unique, whether that’s innovation, quality, affordability, or other factors.
Emotional Connection: Successful brands often forge emotional connections with their customers. These connections can foster loyalty and lead to repeat business.
Consistency: Brand consistency is crucial. All brand elements and communications should align to create a cohesive and recognisable brand identity. Maintain a consistent brand identity across all touchpoints, including your logo, website, social media, and customer interactions. Consistency helps build brand recognition and trust. Ensure that your brand’s values and promises align with your actions.
In essence, YOUR brand is the sum of the perceptions, emotions, and experiences associated with YOUR company or product. Building a strong brand is a strategic process that aims to create a positive and lasting impression on YOUR customers, ultimately leading to trust, loyalty, and recognition.
2) Know YOUR Audience & Communicate YOUR Difference
Understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your brand messaging and products/services to address their specific demands. Building a brand that resonates with your audience is essential for long-term success. If you build a differentiated product or service, the world will not automatically beat a path to your door. Better products don’t win. Better perceptions tend to be the winners. Truth alone will not win unless it has some help along the way. Every aspect of your communications should reflect your difference. Your website. Your social media posts. Your advertising. Your brochures. Your sales presentations.
A great way you can express YOUR difference is through story telling. Craft a compelling brand story that connects with your audience emotionally. Your story should communicate your brand’s mission, values, and unique selling proposition. A well-told story can differentiate your startup from competitors and create a lasting impression.
3) Market YOUR Business
Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, made a very profound observation that has been lost in the sands of time:
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two, and only two, basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
If you have the best, differentiated, product or service that meets the needs of potential customers – but you don’t tell anyone, then you are missing the point of being in business. If you want to make money or simply do good in the world, then you need to help people find out about what you are selling and how it can help them. That means actively promoting online, in print, through presentations, networking and by making it easy for others to describe the benefits of what your company does.
My final piece of advice is to remember that marketing is an ongoing process, not an ad hoc activity. It requires commitment and investment and if you decide to dive in, you will establish strong foundations for a successful company and reap the rewards.
Best of luck.