By Bridgette Hernandez
As newbies in the industry, startups have to invest double the work to get the attention of the audience. Entrepreneurs are consistently coming up with new business ideas which means that startups keep surfacing. How to handle the rising competition? Work on your brand from the very beginning.
The common mistake among startups is that they don’t pay attention to branding from the start. They put their products on the market without a strong brand identity that will help them distinguish themselves from the competitions. If you are still reluctant about the importance of branding, the following reasons will convince you for sure.
1. Build Your Identity
Brands are not that different from people. The beliefs, the story, the voice, the character, the spirit, the style, and the look make a brand what it is. Without it, it will be invisible and easily overlooked. Give people something to recognize you by. Build your brand identity.
Handling the basics such as putting up a website and creating a logo, isn’t enough. While they play a crucial role in branding, there is so much more you need to consider. Think of branding as creating an identity for a person. Ask yourself questions like:
- How would you introduce the brand?
- What are its core values?
- What message do you want to convey?
- What is the brand’s vision?
Building your identity right away and stating your goals and beliefs will help you stay true to those goals. That consistency will ensure that your brand gets recognized more easily. A brand with an appealing personality will have a far better chance to win over the audience and establish a loyal relationship with customers.
A great example of the importance of branding for startups provides us the eyewear company Warby Parker. Back in 2010 when it all started, the idea of a few business school students selling glasses online seemed like a waste of time. Even the founders’ professor at college called it a “losing proposition.” One of the main reasons why their then startup skyrocketed is branding. Neil Blumenthal, one of the founders, said, “People underestimate the importance of brand. And the importance of really defining who you are and what you stand for and having a very distinct point of view.” Warby Parker’s identity was spot on. With strong branding that aimed at Millennials, the success was inevitable. They are now valued at 1.75 billion dollars.
2. Differentiate Yourself from the Competitors
Startups that invest time in branding have a strong competitive advantage over those that don’t. Underestimating the importance of branding can be one of the biggest mistakes for startups.
Branding helps you to show the audience how you differ from the other brands in your niche. Features that make your brand authentic will set you apart from your biggest competitors.
Research about your target audience is a part of your branding journey. The information you collect will help you to start strong. You can recognize the way to uniquely contribute to the market and therefore, ensure the loyalty of customers who are looking for such specific services.
You want your brand to attract the audience with its unique characteristics. Something that will lure them to learn more about your company and not just go straight ahead to the oldest brand in the business. That’s where branding steps in. All the elements that give life to your brand will play the role of the salesmen and your brand representatives.
3. Show Your Belief in Your Startup
A somewhat unfinished company that seems like a trial run rather than a serious business doesn’t have the best chance for success. If you don’t believe in your startup enough to create a brand, how can the audience?
Branding is a clear message that you are here for the long run. Investing the sources and effort into developing a unique brand is a signal for your target audience that you take your company seriously.
Show potential customers that you have the intent to stay in the business for a long time. Startup branding also demonstrates that you want to be recognizable and relevant in your niche, not a passerby.
4. Engage the Customers
The appealing personality and emotional promise will invite the audience to engage with your brand. A brand with an identity seems more professional and more inviting. Consequently, the audience will be less reluctant to interact with your brand.
With the undeniable power of social media, keeping a high engagement level has become a must for a company. Putting up an ad here and there isn’t enough to get people’s attention. You need to entertain and inform them and make your brand interesting.
Achieving this is impossible without branding. A company with no specific features or originality won’t be interesting for the audience. Startups have it especially difficult since people are less likely to trust an emerging company.
Marie Fincher, the Head of Content Department at TrustMyPaper and contributor writer at WowGrade explained how branding is connected to engagement. “Developing an insightful brand strategy is exactly what you need to motivate your target audience to engage with your brand. Knowing who your target audience is and building your brand around their preferences and needs will help you establish the ongoing interaction,” shared Marie.
5. Create an Efficient Marketing Strategy
Philip Kotler, known as the father of modern marketing, explained the correlation of branding and marketing, “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.”
Think about it this way – how can you build a powerful marketing strategy without a clear idea of what your brand is like? Personalized marketing efforts that conform to the target audience’s ideals and wishes are the most successful. The only path to such marketing strategy is through branding.
Once you build your brand you’ll have a better perspective of what elements of your brand need to be included in your marketing strategy. You can put the emphasis on your unique look, on your values, or your unique treatment of customers. All other supporting brand elements will work in favor of putting your brand on people’s radar.
The competition is fierce in any niche and dedicating yourself to branding will give you a better chance to successfully swim with the sharks. People are fed up with generic companies. Show your determination and strong belief in your startup by creating your brand.
Bio: Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and is planning to publish her own book in the near future. She is a contributing writer for BestEssayEducation. The texts she writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.