Although you can never be in complete control of what people think about your company, you can still influence them, hopefully in a good way. That is what branding is all about. Even if you have a small business or a startup, you can still build a big image for your company without breaking the bank. Here are some great ideas for building a startup brand and creating a strong image that people will connect with quickly.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is a concept which conveys the personality of a product or service. It has many different components, such as a logo, a slogan and sometimes a jingle or image. The important thing for a brand to be successful is that it becomes the unique iconic representation of a company and it delivers the company’s message clearly and concisely in a way that people will remember.
Know Your Business
When you are creating a brand from scratch, you need to know your business inside out. This will enable you to define its character precisely. Think about the following things:
- Who are your target customers?
- What makes your business unique?
- How can you emphasize this to your customers?
- What problems does my company solve?
- How do I want people to feel when they think about my product?
- What kind of personality do I want my brand to have?
- What are the functional and emotional benefits I deliver to my customers?
- What is my value proposition?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have the foundations on which to build a valuable brand strategy. You may think this is an unnecessary amount of preliminary work, but once you have defined your brand identity, you will see how important this is.
How Is My Company Different from the Rest?
This is possibly the most important question you will ask yourself, so it deserves some extra space to itself. You will not be able to create a successful brand unless you can answer this question in some detail. If you’re struggling with this, take a look at the question from a different angle. Imagine how one of your target customers would describe your company to a friend. Once you get inside your customers’ head and see your products and services from their perspective you will be able to see your branding strategy more clearly.
Focus on a Single Brand
Although your company may offer a number of products or services, you don’t have to create a different brand for each single one of them. The important thing is to focus on a single, unifying brand; an idea that will encompass all of them. One thing to bear in mind is that if you do sell a wide range of products, your brand should be descriptive and evocative enough to embrace them all.
Research Your Competitors’ Brands
When you evaluate your competitors’ brands, you will begin to see how you can find a unique place within your industry. Examine each company’s logo and how they differ from each other. Pay attention to how they connect with your shared consumer base. Though you can learn from your competitor’s brands, it’s important that you don’t take any elements from them and use them for your own. Instead, look for the qualities behind them. Analyze why these companies chose these logos; you might find something there that you can use.
Crowdsourcing Your Brand
You might not have heard of crowdsource design, but it’s a good way to have a logo created for your company, especially if you’re on a tight budget. You simply fill out a short survey to tell the design company about you and your business and what you want from your brand. Once they have the information from you, they pass it on to their experienced team of designers who will create dozens of unique custom-made logos for you. Now you have a selection of quality logos to review. So you can take the time to choose one that you think suits your company best. You can give feedback and make revisions until the logo is exactly where you want it to be.
This all may seem like a lot to think about but if you go through each step diligently, you will find that you have a unique and lasting brand that will secure loyal customers. Remember, do your homework before you start to build your brand, that way you will save time and money in the long run.