Let’s face it, when it comes to building a startup, you’re often going to be wearing many different hats at once. This makes it easy to overlook certain things, for example, creating a brand strategy and identity. Branding should be a top priority when first starting a company.
In today’s saturated business world, many companies find it difficult to stand out. It’s even more difficult if you’re a startup. That’s why it’s important to create a branding strategy as early as possible when starting a business. You’ve got to stand out from the crowd and position yourself as an expert in the field. Just take a look at Apple, Amazon, and McDonalds, some of the most notable and successful companies in the world of branding. One could argue that the success of these companies is majorly due to creating a branding strategy early on. Why do people love Apple? Because of its good brand reputation. Why do people hate Comcast? Can you guess? You got it. It’s because of its bad brand reputation.
Most people think that branding just consists of creating a logo and picking a color. That is far from true. In actuality, your brand is the face of your business — it represents who you are and what you promise to deliver. It is what the consumers say about your business. In the word of Scott Cook “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is -- it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
According to Brandingmag, building a solid brand benefits companies in many ways:
It helps a company gets recognition and becomes known to the consumers.
A strongly established brand can increase a business’s value by giving the company more leverage in the industry.
It generates new customers by building trust and having consumers recommend your business to others.
It helps to support your advertising/marketing strategy by creating a cohesive brand system.
Now don’t get me wrong, creating successful branding overnight is not going to happen. It the result of a well thought out strategy that develops over time. However, it’s important to create this strategy right away while your business is young.
Here are 5 key elements to consider when building your brand strategy:
Asses Your Overall Business Strategy
Your overall business strategy is the context for the development of your brand strategy, and that’s where you want to start.
Identify Your Target Audience
The more research you can put together surrounding your target audience, the less risk you have in going off track when creating your brand strategy.
Develop Your Brand Messaging
Your brand messaging is what you put out into the world to reflect your values, mission, story, and positioning.
Create Your Brand Identity
There are a lot of elements, like a logo and colors, that make up a strong and consistent brand identity. But remember, your logo design and other items are not your whole brand. “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” — Paul Rand
Support Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is the first step in a great inbound digital marketing strategy, and I urge you to consider it as a building block in your brand strategy.
Once again, branding is one of the most important components of any business. It the driving force that helps you stand out from your competition and be better able to connect with consumer emotions and needs.
Now to answer the ultimate question: Is it necessary to create a branding strategy for your startup? — the answer is YES! It is never to early to start creating your brand strategy. In fact, I urge you to make it one of the very first things you do when starting a business. So if you haven’t started, get on it!