According to statistics, over 90% of consumers would rather purchase from an authentic brand. The same is true for investors – 82% of them want the companies they invest in to have a strong brand. Figures like these show us why branding is essential for growing your startup.
Although you could go to a startup branding agency, there are also things you yourself can do to prepare a well-defined startup branding strategy – one that will act as a roadmap for your startup, leading it towards growth in its industry. With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to branding for startups.
Define the brand
Since you’re starting with a clean slate, now is the best time to explore your brand voice and explain what your brand is all about. Your brand needs to mirror your company values and do it in a manner that relates to customers personally and makes them desire to be associated with you. Don’t give in to the temptation to copycat the competition you perceive as successful. They likely began just like you, so you have to concentrate on differentiating your company rather than blending in with the industry. In the end, your branding will be one of the major reasons customers select your product over a competitor’s.
Endorse worker advocacy
Building a solid brand presence and credibility requires time and effort, particularly when you’re just beginning. One practical and efficient way to increase reach is to encourage your workers to promote your brand in their own social circles. Employee advocacy goes a long way in regards to building a powerful brand presence. It doesn’t only strengthen your credibility as both an employer and a company, it also expands your reach to a broader audience. However, the key to an efficient employee advocacy program is to incorporate policies about the adequate portrayal of your brand, as well as rewarding this kind of behavior.
Foster business responsibility and sustainability
Nowadays, branding isn’t only about your business and the needs of your target market – it’s also about giving something meaningful to society as a whole. There is a rising awareness of the damage we cause to our environment. So, it’s crucial for companies to incorporate sustainability and business responsibility objectives into their branding strategy. For instance, you can do this by paying your employees electronically with professionally produced personalized payroll cards. Paying your employees electronically rather than with paper checks helps protect the environment. Paper checks passing through payment cycles utilize millions of gallons of oil every year and increase the CO2 pollution enormously. Other methods include utilizing ethical marketing, implementing sustainable production practices and donating to an institution in need.
Get creative with content
A nice way to increase your branding power is to educate your consumers. For instance, by sharing your knowledge and giving free advice. If you teach and educate, people will naturally appreciate you and view you as a leader and a mentor. Giving before receiving lets your brand acquire raving fans of its own. True followers can help your brand, and word-of-mouth is quite likely the best referral your brand can receive.
Differentiate your brand
It doesn’t matter how great your product is when there is a high probability that someone else is already doing something similar. The best way to survive, or even thrive, in our hyper-crowded market is to find out what makes your product different. Sometimes, the thing that makes your brand unique won’t have anything to do with your product. The budding marketing industry clearly shows there is more to business than just what you sell. Maybe your service isn’t the most cost-effective one, or you don’t sell the cheapest goods in your niche, yet you could overcome this with excellent customer service. The point is to find something that makes you different – no matter how small it looks.
Startup branding isn’t easy – there is a limited budget, and you don’t always have expert consultors on your side. And yet, if you strategize for the long term, you’ll have much better chances of being successful. Use these tips to build a truly successful brand.