Startup Branding Essentials to Get Off on the Right Foot

Making a good first impression is perhaps the most important thing when presenting a startup business idea. When doing this, you want to set yourself apart from the competition by making a strong brand, one that mirrors your values and the reason you’re starting your business in the first place. Here are some branding tips and tricks to help you launch your startup. 

Start with a purpose

What you aim to provide is the core of your purpose, and you need to be very specific about it. The purpose of your up-and-coming company should be a promise to your customers – to make their lives better, to change the world, and to provoke overall good feelings attached to your brand. 

Three basic ideas that work the best for provoking a strong feeling are: family values, leading a healthy life, and religiousness. However, you need to be prepared that either one of these ideas can provoke both positive and negative feelings in your target audience. Do not let that scare you from using one of these ideas for a clear purpose for your brand since any strong feeling is a good sign that you are making an impression – which is what counts at the end of the day. 

Know your audience

To successfully present your brand to the wider masses, you need to get to know your audience. Or at least know who you are targeting. However, instead of trying to target everyone, and attempting to please everyone, focus on finding the key audience to present your brand to, by shaping your brand messaging. 

To be able to successfully do all of the above, you need to do a thorough market research and analyse your prospective customers’ needs, habits, and desires. 

However, keep an open mind, as there may be audiences you have not predicted in the initial research. Do not stick to just one strategy, but rather have several as a backup option. There may be customers that use your product or service for a different purpose than what you intended, so you should always have a timely understanding of how your customers’ needs shift. 

Be recognizable

Many new startup companies forget to take into account all that makes a brand recognizable. Of course, a logo is the first thing that pops into your mind, but that is far from being the only thing. Small details like font and colors you use are often overlooked in a branding visual design. According to a current master in visual design and communication, ‘each sign is followed by a reaction’ – and you need to take into account all the psychological reactions to your logo, to not make it off-putting. 

Also, apart from the logo, if your brand allows it, consider making a catchy tune, or just a sassy catchphrase. Do not satisfy yourself with being only visually recognizable, but make your customers react when they hear about your brand. 

Budget for marketing

One of the biggest costs of branding is most certainly marketing. And here, you need to splurge. Do not try to save money on such a huge part of your branding, because even if you do all the above right, if people do not hear about you, if you are not present everywhere, then chances are you will not succeed. If you are not one yourself, hire a marketing expert, who will continuously work on making you visible not only to your target audience but to a broader net of people. 

However, it is essential to find just the right amount of marketing, because you may seem pushy if you over-do it. We stand by the idea that marketing is essential, but it can work against you if you make yourself overly present.

Harness the power of social media

You may approach your marketing strategy from a different angle, on social media. By posting pictures of satisfied customers, sharing their feedback, and communicating with prospective new customers, your brand will seem friendly and give off a good vibe. As a starting, small company, you will have time on your hands to do so, and devote yourself to your target audience, as much as you can. 

Essentially, standing out and making a difference is the key to being successful in branding your small startup company. Cover these essential basics, and you will likely succeed. 

About the Author:
Jennifer Hahn Masterson is the Lead Content Strategist at Spread the Word Solutions, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn.