Startups have an immediate advantage over any other business in the industry – they are innovators. These brave companies come up with unique solutions, and one would assume that this should be enough to win over the love and loyalty of their audience. Alas, this is not the case. In a world of a competitive craze, where startups compete not just with startups but all other industry giants, every business needs to stand out with its values and identity.
Enter: branding. While this process is based on the unique values and the innovative edge a startup has to offer, the actual effort of branding is the one that will help your business reach the stars. Otherwise, you risk staying at the back of the shelf, behind all other brands that have managed to grab the attention of their customers. Here are a few key reasons to start investing in your startup branding strategy as soon as possible.
Building a USP
Differentiation is one of the main issues modern brands face nowadays, including startups. What may be obvious to you as to what makes your startup so unique for your audience, their vantage point is staggeringly different, hence the need to present this unique feature of yours in an appealing manner. The very core of every branding strategy is focused on this precise goal, to build a unique selling point or your USP.
Since you are filling a particular gap in the market, use your brand image and voice to send a clear message as to your purpose. If you stick to sending a generic message and using visuals that don’t really make your brand “pop”, you risk alienating your audience and sending them straight to your competitors’ doorsteps.
Growing visibility and recognition
The font Coca Cola uses has become an integral part of their brand through years of consistent usage, and the same goes for the iconic Nike swoosh logo. Whenever you see any of the two used in entirely different contexts, you’ll likely think of these brands immediately, even if you’re really more of an Adidas fan or a Starbucks aficionado. These simple, but powerful ideas, combined with their consistent brand voice and content output has enabled them to become global phenomena in the eyes of their respective industries.
While you don’t have to become the next Google or KFC to succeed, how you approach your comprehensive brand strategy will ultimately ensure that you earn your fair share of visibility in your market. It boils down to using your voice and your visuals consistently to make sure your audience knows and relates to your values so much so that they are willing to become loyal to your brand.
Allowing team coherence and motivation
Every business owner knows that how a brand is perceived by its customers is only one piece of the identity puzzle. The second, equally crucial part is how its own creators and ambassadors see it. If your employees have no clue what your brand is all about, what you stand for, and what you aim to achieve, what are the chances for the general public to grasp that very same knowledge? Slim to none.
Ultimately, your branding efforts are not only aimed outward, to impress your customers, but also inward, to make sure your employees are your most loyal ambassadors. Branding, in essence, allows your teams to communicate the same brand message across all channels, and work in unison towards the same goals of success.
Fueling consistency across all channels
Building a brand from day one means setting the tone for your entire business, no matter the channel of communication or the people behind it. There are so many marketing and advertising options today that too many startups end up perplexed when it’s time to choose the best and the most suitable option for their business. In all that confusion, trying to define how you should communicate with the world, it’s vital to send a consistent message to your audience.
That means using the same logo, the same voice, and the same messaging no matter the time or the place you talk to your customers. Having a unified brand identity lets you do just that. Building a brand book to guide your employees is the result of a stable foundation, selfhood that defines your startup. Only then can you strive to have a consistent presence no matter where you are.
Startups face a number of challenges when they enter their market. However, when you create a brand behind the startup, you’ll be able to overcome all those challenges with much greater ease and prepare your business for success.