Branding is extremely important for your business – without proper branding, your company won’t enjoy recognition and, without recognition, you aren’t really likely to experience flourishing. However, seeing as startups mean working with a limited budget, many young entrepreneurs do not invest in branding, which usually turns out as a mistake. When it comes to branding, it doesn’t simply boil down to the prettiness of your logo – when we’re talking about branding, we’re talking about your entire company, what it’s about, what does it stand for and what you, as a businessman, believe in. In order to get proper branding, you should have a plan.
Target Market Identification
You cannot simply target everyone; at least not in the first couple of years of running a company. Almost every major company and corporation has started with a target – Apple targeted computer users, All Stars basketball players and Netflix renters. It’s only years of success later, that the first one has come up with an iPod, the second branched out to rockers and the third one, well, we all know what Netflix now is. Bottom line is that all of these companies have done proper demographic research and pitched their products to certain groups, which covers the identity of your business.
Analyse your competitors
After doing proper market research, you will probably already be aware of your competition. There’s a lot to be learned from your peers – their logo looks, what differentiates them from one another and what’s their relationship with your shared customer base. Analysing your competition is crucial; not only will you get to learn a lot from them, but you’ll get to know who you’re up against – knowing your enemies is half the battle!
Coming up with a logo
If you have a brilliant logo idea that you think people will find appealing then by all means, go for it! I always remember one example of quality branding – Shark energy drink came up with an idea to make an actual shark on their own logo, from the letters contained in the word ‘shark’ (S for the mouth, A for the fin, K for the tail fins, etc.). Note that this particular logo is so interesting and catchy that, even though I haven’t tasted Shark a single time in life (not a big fan of energy drinks), I still remember a good logo – now that’s good branding! Now, it also matters how your logo transfers to promotional materials. So having quality promotional notepads, pens and umbrellas with your logo standing out is the best possible offline marketing you could get.
Don’t do it on your own
Sure, many companies have started as 2-person projects, springing into success with nothing but ideas and cleverness. However, these cases are extremely rare and are usually pioneers of something. Branding your own company is rarely a smart move – think of it this way: you wouldn’t install your own air conditioning unit, you’d call experts.
Aim for quality
A lot of new businesses spark up without being a niche business – this is fine, as long as you are patient and thorough enough to let time do the dirty work of beating your competitors for you. However, a vast majority of these businesses aim for dwindled prices, in order to win over the attention of their potential customers. This will lead you onto the road of trying to beat your own production prices, inevitably leading you towards doom. Instead of opting for cheap prices, opt for top quality, always!
If you’re a brand new startup, looking to grow, you need to keep branding in mind. Branding is the way you’ll relate to your potential customers – it’s what your customers will get to see as a face of your company. Disregarding branding in the beginning of your startup is risky and inadvisable!