August 22, 2020 Last updated August 22nd, 2020 1,228 Reads share

Why Does Branding Really Matter For Startups?

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

First thing first: every single year in the US, over 620,000 businesses open their doors. On a global scale, the figure is up to 1.35 million startups just in the tech industry. Want to know how many survive for more than five years? Just 10%.

With this in mind, wouldn’t you want to do anything you could to increase the chances for your startup to succeed?

Branding is underestimated and misunderstood.

When launching a business, most people think about things that matter. But they forget about branding. There is this common belief that branding is something you do after you launch the business. This is incorrect.

In reality, you should start your branding efforts way before the startup is launched. It is needed. Here’s why.

Improving Customer Experience

You cannot build a good brand if you do not think about the experience provided to customers. In modern times, it is vital that you deliver a positive experience, or you will not be able to compete with established businesses.

Branding helps you to build a foundation that you can use in the future. When you create a brand (as long as you do it right), you identify some essential foundational needs related to customer experience, like:

  • How complaints are addressed.
  • How customers can get in touch with you.
  • How fast you respond to customer questions.
  • How you interact with customers.
  • How you can provide more than the competition.

Make sure that you think about the customer experience that you offer BEFORE you launch a service or a product. Branding is not complete without it.

Defining the Startup’s Value Proposition

As you launch the business, you enter a specific market. As you do this, you have to quickly show potential customers how your services/products will benefit the audience. This is necessary to capture attention.

The value proposition of your business forces you to be specific about the benefits offered and how you help customers to make their purchase decisions.

Here are some questions that will help you to define your unique value proposition:

  • What pain points do you address for the customer?
  • How do you impact the daily routine of the customer?
  • What is the main measurable benefit you offer to the audience? (Like saving money or saving time)
  • What is possible with you and impossible with other companies?

Showing That You Are Different

There are not many startups that can offer something completely unique. It is quite apparent that such a startup has a very high chance of success simply because of being unique. However, for most businesses, You have to find what sets you up as being unique.

Startups are usually small businesses. There are not many resources available to them. Branding is essential because it allows you to analyze everything about your services or products. You figure out what is exclusive, and you find creative ways to share this with your market.

You need to show your potential customers how you are different. You do this with branding when you look at the following possible factors:

  • Price/Cost – Do you deliver something at the lowest possible price at the level of luxury items, or are you in between?
  • Quality – How do you compare with the competition? Is there a way to prove that your product/service is better?
  • Service – How can you improve the experience for your customers?

As a very simple tip, when you brand the small business, go BOLD! Use colors that are not right according to industry standards. Design a logo that does not only reflect what you do but also who you are.

Do you know how many companies you will compete with after you launch your startup? Chances are there are at least a few hundreds or even thousands in your industry. Your visual branding will set you apart and can instantly show everyone that you are entirely different.

Branding Offers Usable Marketing Insights

During the planning stage, you have to think about how you want the company to feel and look. Successful companies think a lot about some very delicate audience insights that can easily then be considered when a marketing campaign is set up.

Branding has one relatively unknown advantage in the fact that it helps you to focus on your future marketing activities. This is done by answering questions like:

  • Who is the target audience? – This includes psychographic and demographic characteristics.
  • What is the tone that you should use when you communicate with the audience?
  • Where should the brand be seen to capture attention?
  • What are the things that you should never do? – You answer this by taking into account the expectations of the target audience.

Setting Budget Limits for Marketing Campaigns

No business in the world can reach every single person in the world. When we have a startup, the budget is limited, so your resources are limited. It is more critical than with the more giant corporations to be able to reach as much of the right target audience as possible.

Few people understand this about branding, but a relatively unknown advantage associated with it is that you get to figure out where your limited resources should be used. This is possible by answering questions like:

  • How will the marketing budget be spread during the first 3, 6, and 12 months of operation?
  • Does the startup do something newsworthy? This can generate free publicity.
  • How can you capture the attention of your audience? Can you use a discount for this, or can you generate leads through some free case studies or white papers?
  • What is the presence that you want to build when you use social media?
  • What is the ROI that you expect when you use a specific marketing strategy?

Final Thoughts

The truth is that most startups have little to no branding behind them. The business owner does not think about such things. Usually, we are just talking about choosing some brand colors, creating a logo, web design branding, and other minor branding elements that are just not enough.

When you launch a startup, if you want to be successful, you have to simplify your approach. Focus on one thing that you do well, as opposed to many. Use your limited budget to your advantage. Eventually, you will get more and more money that you can use.

DepositPhotos – branding

Adrian Cruce

Adrian Cruce

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