Developing a strong brand is the lifeblood of any company, but in the startup scene, the intense competition and constant turnover makes getting branding right more important than almost anywhere else.
The right branding strategy can help you to create customer loyalty, generate buzz about your company, and even make your employees feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
In short, the right branding principles will inform your entire marketing strategy.
The only problem?
As a small startup, you’re nervous about the kinds of limitations your budget and business size might put on your branding strategy.
But, don’t worry. You can still create a strong brand that gets people excited about what you have to offer.
Ready to make it happen for your company?
Start with a Story
A strong brand is one that has a compelling, relatable, and above all, honest story behind it.
You created your startup for a reason, and you need to make your passion palpable and even personal if you want to create a memorable brand.
Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability here. The goal is to create an emotional response in your target market.
For example, Google makes a strong impression on their market not by talking about the data they collect and the number of websites they’re able to index.
Instead, their ads show situations like a couple googling how to put together a baby crib, or children and their grandparents dancing to the latest hits that they’ve pulled up on the Google Chrome browser.
Storytelling in branding also makes it easier for your brand to find its tribe. Don’t shy away from sharing your values, your beliefs, and most of all, of having an opinion. Remember that strong branding isn’t always about winning over every customer in the room.
Instead, it’s about making sure that the people who are the most likely to use your products and services in the first place choose your brand as opposed to one of your competitors.
Focus on the Right Design Elements
As you might have expected, good design is one of the most important overall branding elements to consider.
In most cases, branded design starts with the creation of a logo. This will help your market to make an instant connection with the logo they’re seeing and your brand, no matter where they see it.
Your logo can go on promotional products, serve as a profile picture on your social media accounts, or even be printed on your physical business cards.
Remember that your logo’s central image should strike a good balance between identifiable and cliched.
For example, everyone knows that a red or green cross has something to do with the medical or pharmaceutical industry. But things like a heart rate monitor, a stethoscope, or even a pill or injection syringe are a bit more outside of the box.
The colors you choose to represent your brand matter a great deal, too. In fact, picking the right colors can boost your overall brand recognition by up to 80%.
Plus, colors go way beyond the logo alone. They can also be used in your print materials, your website design, and even to paint the walls of your company’s office.
Know Your Market Inside and Out
So, what’s one of the most important things to remember when branding your business?
Your market itself. You’ll need to show that you really “get” your target audience in order to form lasting connections with them.
What are their main pain points, and how does your company and offerings solve them? What matters to your customers, and how does what you sell allow them to do more of it?
Of course, there are more specific questions you need to answer about your market, too. Consider where they spend their time online, the journals and websites they read, and the hashtags they’re most likely to follow on social media.
Find Affordable and Effective Marketing Strategies
We know that branding on a budget is one of the biggest priorities for a startup.
The truth is that there are many affordable, but no less effective, marketing strategies out there that can help you to widen your target market, connect with potential investors, and build your overall levels of brand recognition.
Marketing activities like blogging and guest posting on popular industry sites, conducting online surveys, and even e-newsletters are all excellent places to start.
You can also invest in affordable promotional products to give out at conferences and trade shows.
Of course, social media might also be an enormously important part of your marketing and branding strategy. If so, make sure you post at least three times a day and engage with your followers in the comments sections as often as you can.
Creating a Strong Brand for Your Startup
We hope that this post has helped you to understand that it’s completely possible to create a strong brand that makes a lasting impression on consumers regardless of your startup’s size or budget.
Your brand story and voice, design choices, understanding of your target market, and marketing strategies used all impact the effectiveness of your branding and ultimately the success of your startup.
There are also a variety of branding services that exist to help you build your brand effectively. Examples include services to clearly define your brand, understand the best ways to connect with your target market, and create a social strategy that gets results.
Here’s to taking your business and branding to the next level, while improving the lives of countless consumers as a result.
For performance-based business consulting, contact The Business Turnaround Group.