The Basics of Branding for a Startup Business
Startups have challenges that are particularly unique from those faced by businesses that have been around a while. While overflowing with drive, energy and passion, startups typically have little time or money to spend for branding. Nevertheless, branding should begin early on, if only to immediately build brand equity for future leveraging.
What Is Branding?
As opposed to what many people think, a logo alone does not make a brand. It’s not merely a matter of having a good website or professionally designed business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. Best thing is, it costs zero.
The Business Dictionary defines branding as a process that gives a product a unique name and image in consumers’ minds, mainly through the use of advertising campaigns that follow a consistent format or theme. Moreover, it establishes a differentiated market presence that attracts customers and invites their loyalty. Thus, a startup business owner should think deep into the image that should represent his brand in customers’ minds. Before deciding on this image, the business owner should first define two things – what’s unique about the business and what unique value it offers.
Benefits of an Effective Branding Strategy
Businesses have a good number of benefits to expect from an effective branding stragegy. 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. If a brand is strong, it will face less direct competition. 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 could be benefits that are specific to different business types, but the above are the most prevalent.
How to Create a Good Brand
It has to be memorable.
Brands that stand out, win. Being too safe with branding defeats the purpose. The goal is to give a brand a unique feel compared to the competition instead of simply blending in with the crowd.
It should have a clear value proposition.
A value proposition that is too shallow or general will fail. Excellent customer service, for instance, is attractive to everyone. The problem is when everyone starts claiming it as their value proposition. A value proposition should be unique. It must bring a benefit that is often unexpected by people.
It should be consistent.
What actually makes branding work is consistency. To embed a brand in consumers’ minds, its message must be one and the same. Different messages only confuse the public and diminish potential brand equity.