The Basics of Branding for a Startup Business
Startups deal with challenges that are different from those faced by older businesses. Although full of passion, drive and energy, startups usually don’t have enough time or money to invest into branding. Still, branding must be started from the get go so that brand equity can be built immediately, to be leveraged later on.
Contrary to what many people think, branding is beyond a business logo. It’s not just about having a website or business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. Best thing is, it costs zero.
According to the Business Dictionary, branding is a process that involves creating a unique name and image of a product in the mind of the consumer, mostly through consistently themed advertising. Moreover, it establishes a differentiated market presence that attracts customers and invites their loyalty. Therefore, a startup business owner must think deep into the image that will embody its brand in the minds of customers. Before deciding on such image, it is important for the business owner to identify two things – what makes the business unique, and what unique value it offers consumers.
Benefits of a Good Branding Strategy
Effective branding brings many benefits to businesses. For starters, brand design grabs the attention of potential customers. Branding itself can also have a direct effect on how much may be charged for a business’ products or services. With a strong brand, it is easier for competitors to fade in the background. A brand that is well-established in the market will encourage repeat buying behavior, and can be as influential to the business as talent, partnerships, acquisitions and investments. There are can be more branding benefits specific to each type of business, but the above are the most common.
Creating a Successful Brand
It should be remarkable.
Memorable brands are runaway winners. Branding that plays it too safe defies its own purpose. The idea is to make the brand unique from competition, instead of just going with the flow.
It should come with a clear value proposition.
A value proposition that is too shallow or general will fail. For example, excellent customer service is something people want. The problem is, it has become the value proposition of too many brands. To be effective, a value proposition must be unique. It should offer something that people will usually not expect.
It must be consistent.
What makes branding really work is consistency. To embed a brand in consumers’ minds, its message must be one and the same. With different messages, the public can only end up confused and potential brand equity diminished.