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How to Brand a Startup

How to Brand a Startup

by ourly
21st April 2020

The term ‘brand’ comes from the old west, deriving from a mark that was made on cattle to designate ownership. The concept has evolved since then but still holds the same implicit meaning.

Branding is a very important aspect of marketing when looking to start a business. It isn’t just the name, slogan, logo or design. It is something more than that. It helps differentiate you from other companies and mark your company/service as unique.

A good brand should get your target audience to see you as the sole provider as the solution to their problem, ultimately helping to steer a prospect to choose you, over your competitors. So when considering your brand identity, there are a number of things that you should keep in the back of your mind.

Will this brand establish credibility in our target market? For example, if you’re planning to offer your services exclusively to the healthcare sector, having branding relevant to that sector will help established credibility before speaking with your audience.

Does the brand enable emotional connection with target prospects? 70% of buyers who have an emotional connection with a brand will spend twice as much as those who don’t. For example, I feel better when spending more money with startups – knowing that it will help their future growth plans. Others may spend more money with businesses who offer a sustainable or healthy product.

Does it deliver a clear and concise message about what we do? Messing up this part can turn off any prospect straight away. Confusing your audience will often lead to them thinking “that’s not relevant to me or my business” and may end up completely passing you by.

Will it motivate buyers to make a purchase from you? Beyond offer some great advice on buyer motivation. Promoting positivity, consistency and making it about them, all make the list.

Does our brand comfort buyers and create loyalty? People buy from companies they feel comfortable with. As a Newcastle United fan, I’ll never buy from Sports Direct – but less said about that, the better!

The best and most successful brand creators will have understood the needs and wants of its customers and prospects. To achieve this, you should be integrating your brand strategies throughout your organisation at every point of public contact. When customers begin to identify with your brand, they will make a connection at an emotional level and the brand will live in the minds and hearts of Clients and prospects. (Just like KFC does for me)

Your brand is the foundation of a promise to your clients and if you say your product or service can solve a particular problem, then it must live up to that. In developing a marketing plan, the branding acts as a guide to the key business objectives to help align your plan to those objectives.

When building or improving your brand, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will it jump out to them, and will they just ‘get it’? 
  • Does the brand reflect the promise made to my target audience?
  • Does the brand reflect the values that I want to portray to my customers?
  • Does the brand show how I differentiate from the competition and why you should choose my brand?

These questions can help you provide a guideline for the development of your brand. If you are struggling with the answers, you might want to consider a change in your branding.

There are some really handy tips and tricks knocking about online, so don’t be afraid to spend hours researching different things before making the jump. I ended up rebranding to ETR after 3 months, as the existing brand simply didn’t deliver the message I was hoping for.

It’s important to remember that it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to rebrand in the early stages of business, so don’t be afraid to make the switch if something isn’t working.


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