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. Nonetheless, it is crucial to start branding early on, if only to build immediate brand equity that an be leveraged on in the future.
What Is Branding?
Contrary to what many people think, branding is beyond a business logo. It’s not just about having a website or business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. And the good thing is, it’s free.
Based on the Business Dictionary, branding is providing a product a unique name and image in the minds of consumers, mostly through advertising campaigns with a constant theme. On top of that, it is a way of giving the product an established differentiated presence in the market, attracting customers and their loyalty. Thus, a startup business owner should think deep into the image that should represent his brand in customers’ minds. Before deciding on such image, it is important for the business owner to identify two things – what makes the business unique, and what unique value it offers consumers.
Benefits of a Good Branding Strategy
Businesses have a good number of benefits to expect from an effective branding stragegy. Brand design captures buyers’ attention, for one. Branding itself can also have a direct effect on how much may be charged for a business’ products or services. Good branding brings 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 may be more specific benefits offered by branding, depending on the type of business, but the ones stated above are the most evident.
How to Create a Good Brand
It should be remarkable.
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.
Value proposition should be clear.
A value proposition should not be shallow or general. For example, excellent customer service is something people want. 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.
Consistency is key.
What actually makes branding work is consistency. The message conveyed by a brand should be one and the same, in order for it to be embedded in consumers’ consciousness. Having different messages is confusing and reduces potential brand equity.