So, you have a great business idea? What are you going to do next?
For start-up entrepreneurs, this question is answered by pointing out how they will hire employees, get an office space, work on their product, and so on.
There is no denying the fact that all the steps above are crucial when it comes to starting a new business. The thing is that it is not going to be enough to make your start-up a success story.
Once you are done with the essentials, you need to focus on how you are going to make your start-up into a brand. This means that you need to work towards building your branding.
There is more to branding than deciding on your brand colors and creating your business logo. Branding is an in-depth and long-term exercise that demonstrates your brand personality.
In this resource article, we are going to help start-ups with a beginner’s guide to branding. This will help you set up the foundation for your start-up’s branding activities. We take help from leading Creative Director, Bennet Schwartz and ask him to guide us in the right direction.
Branding for Start-Ups: A Brief Introduction
Even though start-ups are a relatively new phenomenon, everyone will attest to the fact that the ecosystem is getting saturated and increasingly competitive.
There are simply too many start-ups crowding business niches that are dying out within two or three years of starting. One reason that this is happening is that most of them do not invest in branding activities.
According to Schwartz, branding will help you with four major questions regarding your start-up-
- It will help tell your target audiences about who you are. This means initial search and discovery for your brand.
- Branding will help potential customers find out what your brand does. This means letting them know about your products and services.
- Communicate to customers problems in their lives that the start-up’s products or services can help solve. This means that it helps in setting the right expectations.
- Prove why customers should choose you over your competitors and buy/purchase from you. This means establishing you are different and making you stand apart.
As you can see from the above points, this is not something that is easy. Additionally, this is something that every start-up entrepreneur wants to achieve.
How to Create a Start-Up’s Branding Strategy: Four Things to Note
In this section, we are going to help start-up founders understand how they should be working on their brand strategy. In this regard, we are going to list down four things that they should note-
- Defining what your brand is all about-
Before you take your business to potential customers, you and your team first need to have an idea about what you represent. This is a good starting point as it will help give your branding and marketing efforts a direction. Write down what the brand is all about, what it seeks to achieve, and how does it plan on getting there. This can be an internal company document.
- List down what separates you from your competitors-
You cannot expect to mimic someone who is already well-established in your niche. Identifying the points of difference will help you frame communication that you will eventually take to your audiences. These points can be your brand’s USP. Once you have been able to list it down, you need to start popularizing the same on social media and other marketing channels.
- Set out the goals and objectives of your business-
Answering the ‘Why’ might seem to be a straightforward exercise, but it is not. You need to create your start-up’s Mission Statement. Stating goals three years or five years down the line of writing down the kind of disruption you want to be making in the industry will help create the Mission Statement for your start-up. This will be an invaluable asset for your business.
- Create your Start-Up’s ideal customer and build a buyer’s persona-
For most businesses, this might not be part of their branding exercise, but if experts are to be believed, this needs to be done. If you can create this, you will be in a better position to set the right communication with an objective individual. This will allow you to identify platforms and channels where your target customers are and engage them constructively.
The Bottom Line
Branding is not something that you are going to achieve overnight. You need to have a long-term idea in place to help guide your branding activities. By following all the points mentioned in the article, you will be in a much better position to focus on your core branding goals. If you would like us to elaborate on any point, please reach out to us in the comments below.