Ever wondered what that bitten apple on the iconic Apple logo represents? Many theories run around the fact that it depicts the forbidden fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge” in the Biblical narration of Adam and Eve. You may or may not like Apple products, but you just cannot deny recognizing their logo. Striking, symbolic, and modern, their logo is one of the world’s finest examples of visual branding. It doesn’t matter if your business is a start-up or a big enterprise, local or global, B2B or B2C, profitable or non-profitable, proper branding is a must to make it thrive.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes that many startup companies make in their early days is overlooking the importance of strong branding. In this competitive age when product differentiation is difficult, building a strong brand identity is the only key to survival. While other factors like finances, timing, delivery, staff hires, etc. are essential, proper branding and advertising are also important to a business’s customer outreach, visual identity, brand value, and overall success.
Gives your business a unique identity
Branding is the strategy of creating a strong, positive insight about a company, its products, or services in the customers’ mind. It’s the perfect amalgamation of such elements as brand logo, tagline, website design, content, and a powerful theme throughout all marketing collaterals. It allows you to introduce your brand, its products/services, work ethics, and more. It’s the perfect chance to create a strong brand image that your potential clients, investors, and venture partners can easily relate to and get behind.
It’s also a big step towards distinguishing your brand from the competitors, creating a solid competitive advantage and a loyal customer base. When you establish your brand as a unique entity and not just another firm in the industry, people will consider you over others.
Pro Tip: Get a unique, custom brand logo designed in collaboration with a professional logo design agency. They have the knowledge and competence to make your brand stand out in the crowd.
Helps give growth and longevity to your business
Having an established brand identity serves as a reassurance to customers that a brand will be in the industry for a long time. When you create a strong brand identity that reflects your business values, beliefs, and objectives, you’re already one step closer to success. The effort that a company gives in promoting its products or services to its demographic, whether it’s through hoardings, TV commercials, websites, or social media, indicates that it’s here to stay and flourish for decades.
While your brand logo, tagline, and customer experience are a key part of your branding, it’s also about maintaining consistency and reliability in your communications. Over time, existing as well as prospective customers should be able to recognize your company across all channels, including social media, hoardings, billboards, and TV commercials.
Here are a few things that you can do to strengthen your brand’s sustainability for a long time:
- Build an emotional bond between your brand and your customers
- Understand consumer expectations and work accordingly
- Evolve when the need arises, but make sure that the changes still reflect your brand value.
- Validate transparency and authenticity by backing your claims with facts and figures.
- The initial years may be challenging for your brand, but stay strong and get the wheels rolling
- Drive brand awareness across all platforms, particularly social media
Boosts customer reach and business leads
There is nothing more important to a startup than increasing customer reach and visibility; it is only when you’re visible that you gain business opportunities. An effective branding brings your business to focus and makes people identify your existence. It doesn’t just improve your visibility among customers, but also your prospective investors and stakeholders.
Branding gives your startup the kick start it deserves to make it stand out in the crowd. For example, many companies manufacture quality handbags around the world; but it is only Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and the like that sell excellence. Similarly, there are thousands of electronic brands in the world, but Apple is recognized as the technology leader behind products that have changed the world. Branding lends a personality to your business. It also helps you explain the key benefits and features of your products/services, your core values, business procedures, and convince your customers to close a deal.
Improves trust and loyalty
Getting customers to trust you can be difficult, but it is key to your startup’s success — perhaps even more important than sales. Once you gain the audience’s trust, it’s easier to build customer loyalty and nurture your business. Only time and a strong branding strategy can instill a sense of trust in your customers’ mind.
For instance, if you’ve sprained your wrist, what would you ask for at the chemist shop – a regular multipurpose ointment or a specific muscle relaxant of a well-known brand?
Of course, you’d go for a branded product, even if it’s a little expensive. This is because of the trust you have in the brand – something that they’ve built through branding over the years. So, it’s not just about attracting customers, but retaining their trust and goodwill.
Here are a few things that you can do to increase your startup’s credibility:
- Collaborate with a few online influencers in the industry to promote your brand.
- Always stick to promises through timely product/service delivery, implementation, care, and support.
- Be considerate of certain incidents or negative experiences that might have affected one’s ability to trust.
- Respect your customers’ time and promptly reply to their emails, phone calls, and messages.
- Surprise and delight your customers with a little more – more service, more time, more convenience, or perhaps a free gift. Delivering more than they expect boosts brand value and trust.
- Track your market performance through online and offline research.
- Create and promote only useful and original content to build brand awareness.
- Attend events (online and in-store) where you can showcase your product.
- Send a weekly or monthly newsletter to your customers.
Whether you are a start-up trying to make it big in the competitive marketplace, or an age-old family business trying to retain its legacy – there is one thing that you need to do to survive – having a unique brand identity. In order to gain a strong foothold, your brand must stand out before your customers, competitors, and investors. It is only when you’re reliable and recognized that you’ll be able to flourish. The best and perhaps the only way to do this is by working on your branding techniques.
Gives your brand a competitive edge
Having a visually appealing image is integral to the success of your startup. This helps your target audience notice your brand and have a favorable impression of it. The idea should be to compel them into tapping on your products or services when they’re looking for a particular item or solution. Branding helps you to show them why and how your idea is different from your competitors. It also helps you convey the value and competitive advantage of your brand over others in the industry.
Visual branding can also help you establish an emotional connection with your audience. When you use the right images, designs, and color palettes in your branding materials, they convey a mood, emotion, or lifestyle that your customers want to emulate. Only a professional designer or design agency will have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on which colors, fonts or images will best represent your brand’s personality.
Don’t Let Your Business Become another Fatal Statistic
Having a strong brand identity is all about knowing who you are, who your target audience is, what your goals are, and being very precise and consistent in your advertising techniques. Since the market is more competitive than ever and consumers are constantly bombarded with options and evolving trends, it’s important to make a stunning impression right at the start.
So, what’s the most important thing to do for a startup founder? Consult a branding agency with a well-defined work process and research-based approach.
Image source: Freepik.com
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.