While we always talk about the companies that made it to Forbes 500, has it ever occurred that each brand started up with one common thing: Strong Branding. Pick any company; their brand representation is what gives away their offerings, values and identity at just a glance of their logo, website or offerings, for that matter.
People, however, confuse Branding with just a creative logo and a name. Well, well, well, it is more than that! Branding goes beyond just the logo, brand colors and all that shiraz that we often see. It is an end-to-end process that helps brands establish themselves in the market. It helps in starting communication with the customers. It is especially tough and relatively new for startups to penetrate the market because of the cutting edge competition. Here is where strong Branding comes to the rescue and helps generate brand awareness, increase traction, and help the brand mark its presence.
Partnering with a branding agency or an expert in helping startups build a strong identity in the early stages of inception can be pretty fruitful. Having a clear vision of the brand from day one can help navigate the future course of the startup, its long-term plans and much more.
Here is our take on why and how it can be helpful for startups:
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Strong Branding is a must-have for Startups.
Great business begins with great Branding! The major advantage that startups have at their disposal is to take time, study the target market, and establish a strong brand identity that fits just right in a particular category. Imagine entering the segment of coffee brands; there are thousands of brands that make good coffees. How can a startup mark its presence and establish itself as one of those brands that offer great coffee beans or coffee pods? Here is where strong Branding comes into play; it helps you give your brand a distinct image. Besides helping with brand identity, it also helps you know your brand’s roadmap for future marketing strategies and campaigns.
For instance, Clubhouse established itself as a social audio app where people can join chat rooms and start conversations with people worldwide. So now, whenever someone comes across this similar concept on other applications, the first name of thought would be regarding Clubhouse.
Use Various Alleys for Branding
One of the best ways to mark your presence in the market is by using a variety of alleys available at your disposal. Be it conventional marketing or digital platforms, using various alleys can help you create a brand name seamlessly. Many startups today avoid multiple channels or platforms, thinking of it as “old-school” or something that people might not be using.
For instance, Discord and Telegram are the best platforms for Fintech companies planning to launch cryptocurrencies or tokens. Avoiding these platforms can be a real deal-breaker. Similarly, researching your market and using various channels to reach them can help you create a brand awareness that is crucial for startups in the early stage.
Build a Particular Image of the Company/Helps in establishing a unique brand identity
Have you ever noticed that the first thought that strikes your mind when you look at the posts or banners of Starbucks is their coffee? Or the thought of recommending Subway to someone who wants to eat healthy? Brand image is a crucial part of Branding, which helps customers recognize, connect and interact with the brand. This is how a company builds a particular brand image.
Establishing a brand image is more than just having brand recognition. It’s about consistently educating the audience about the offerings, the value a brand brings in the market and above all, choosing the proper channels to put your strategies in use.
Building a brand image is a challenging task for a startup, but with the right guidance or expert digital marketing team, one can overcome these challenges swiftly.
Clarity on Brand Goals and Timelines/Be Time-Bound
One of the most common mistakes that startups make is not setting clear brand goals. When we talk about Branding, one cannot forget about these goals or how they can make or break the deal. These goals describe the short-term and long-term expectations with its Branding with time. It is crucial to focus on having a roadmap to success or a strategy for establishing a brand identity. However, these strategies should be time-bound and quite specific.
Having a vague goal or just a random strategy slows down the entire process of Branding. Several startups and individuals follow a SMART ( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goal framework, which helps break down the complex process and provide measurable and achievable results. Opting for such time-bound branding strategies can help you reach the audience, increase customer interaction, generate better sales revenue, and help you achieve your business goals.
For instance, a brand XYZ can have a brand goal of increasing their brand visibility by 2X in 6 months and then increasing the engagement on their digital platforms. This step-by-step framework considering the timeline, can benefit startups to make the most of their Branding & marketing.
Aids with developing an Independent Identity
While so many brands offer the same products or services as your brand, it becomes crucial to establish your brand’s unique identity. Branding helps you generate awareness regarding your brand and aids you in developing an independent identity. The brand colors, fonts and other components of Branding can help your customers or visitors identify your brand with ease. Initially, startups struggle to establish themselves among the competitors and connect with customers. Opting for Branding can help you cut the chase and give your brand an edge over other competitors in your industry.
A strong brand identity can inform your customers of the brand’s offerings. Having an independent identity also helps the brand with accountability and reliability. Thus it becomes crucial to have a unique identity for your brand that can make it easy for your customers to identify, resonate and recall.
Beneficial for connecting with the right set of audience
Branding helps you target the right audience segment for your services and products. It helps you reach the right audience by positioning your brand accordingly. Strong Branding helps in garnering credibility among the customers, which can be beneficial for startups to gain traction and create a differentiator that can set the brand apart from the competitors. One of the undeniable pros of great Branding is that customers can look at your USP with ease which is great for building customer trust.
Branding helps form genuine connections with your customers, translating into an excellent lead to conversion ratio. When it comes to connecting with people, Branding is undoubtedly one of the best ways to reach the audience you wish to target.
For instance, OnePlus positioned itself as a mobile company that makes fantastic phones in the mid-range. The term “flagship killer” was their differentiator, which helped the audience identify this brand quickly.
Opting for branding solutions for a startup can help you position the brand much better. This can help you reach the right set of an audience without wasting any efforts or money elsewhere.
Enables the brand to face the Market Competition
After establishing your brand or kickstarting the startup, the real challenge is to face market competition. While marketing can help you penetrate the market with ease, it’s Branding that can prepare you for market competition. Great Branding can help you set apart from competitors selling similar services or products. Whether direct or indirect competitors, opting for Branding can give your startup an edge over other companies/brands doing the same thing as your startup.
Studying the market competition and then opting for a branding solution could be a smart move for the startups that want to establish their brand in the market. For instance, both Nike and Adidas are known for their athletic apparel and footwear. But strong brand representation helps the customers in differentiating between these two brands. Besides these two brands, other brands in this niche are attempting to cater to the same audience segment. So to enable your startup to face market competition, it is vital to have a brand name, representation and strong brand identity.
Customer Interaction - A part of Branding
Great brands are built by connecting with the customers. Although we have several marketing strategies and campaigns at our disposal, it is essential to get the basics right! Every business relies on customers, and hence it becomes imperative to have strong customer interaction. Providing value and offering good services/products is the first step towards establishing your brand as a credible name. Once your customers start associating your brand name with all the good things you provide or do, they are likely to return.
While you are focusing on your branding strategy, ensure to focus on the customer interaction part where you can provide channels to your customers for their feedback, reviews and much more. This is one of the best ways to build a loyal set of customers for your brand. Another significant advantage of having good customer interaction is that you encourage customers to return, which is more accessible than acquiring a new customer altogether. All and all, customer interaction is a crucial part of Branding that shouldn’t be missed, and it yields fruitful results if done in the right way!
Branding is undoubtedly one of those critical elements that can change the game for a startup. Be it introducing a new product line or entering the market with fierce competition, great Branding goes a long way. The pros of Branding and having a good brand representation are limitless and, when clubbed with effective digital marketing strategies, can help open the avenues of immense success. If you are looking for an agency to assist you with complete branding solutions, then Kickstart Solutions is here at your rescue! Our expert team has helped more than 50 brands with branding solutions, and we are sure we can help you establish your brand identity with utmost ease.