Branding Basics for Startup Owners – a Quick Guide

Branding basics for start-ups owners- a quick guide
Branding basics for start-ups owners- a quick guide

Branding Basics for Startup Owners - a Quick Guide

Managing your startup can be an all-consuming task, involving products, people, accounting, and much more. Often this happens without a proper team in place, since you can’t afford them yet. The challenge is to prioritize tasks correctly to ensure maximum benefit for your brand.

 

A matter that can quickly fall by the wayside is your branding and this could harm you more than you think. Even if you have the ideal product or offer a service everyone needs, if your brand isn’t known or doesn’t gather respect in the market, your idea will go nowhere.

 

Make it easy on yourself with our basic branding guidelines to help you gather the momentum your brand deserves

You Must Know Who You are

Branding is not only about using the latest marketing tools or eye catching social media content. It’s about ‘what’ you’re sharing. Each piece of branding should fit seamlessly with what your company wants to represent. It includes:

Your company values, that are important because consumers often support brands that have similar values then they do.

The purpose of the company, to inspire people to become part of a bigger picture.
A voice and tone you want associated with your brand. You’ll only attract the right audience if your branding campaign communicates in a voice they can relate to. For example, to attract the younger generation you need to know what references they use for your industry when they talk about it.
These aspects of your image must be used in your branding messages.
Compiling a framework of who you are and how you want to represent yourself may take some time, but in the long run it will benefit you more than simply creating content at random.

Create an Image for Your Brand—and Stay With it

Next you need a visual image that your audience will associate with your values, purpose and messages. Once again, it’s worth it to brainstorm and invest time in this step, because you’ll probably use this image for years to come. Rather get it right the first time than being forced to rebrand later on.
Main aspects of this image include:

  • Logo: Your logo must be different than others in your industry. Research what’s out there before you commit to one. It must be practical to use in all sizes and on many surfaces, from print to merchandise. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money when you use an online company logo maker that delivers custom, quality designs effortlessly.
  • Company colors: Pick colors that match your image. For example, if you’re about saving the environment, green will help send that message.
  • Font: Your logo can contain font or you can pick one to use for any company slogans and future marketing. Make sure it’s easy to read, even from a distance, so customers understand your messages at a glance.

The key to branding is to stay consistent, so your audience gets used to your company features; the logo, the colors and more. If you switch between different elements, you’ll confuse customers and they may think it’s an entire different company they don’t trust yet. Rather settle on an image and then use it across the company, from letterheads to signage and company T-shirts.

Getting Your Brand Known

Once you’re ready to share your purpose and image with the world, use marketing platforms that work for your niche. You can do market research to determine where your audience is most likely to see your branding content.

Some audiences may still focus on print media, but for most industries the most important options are:

  • Your website: Pick a domain name that’s easy to remember and fits with your industry. You can build your own thanks to today’s online tools if you can’t afford a web designer yet. Without a website, consumers may assume your company doesn’t exist.
  • Social media: Advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram has become an extremely effective branding technique because so many people spend a lot of time on these platforms. It’s an ideal way to share messages that align with your values, purpose and image, showing others who you are, so they can start trusting you. Also, engaging with your audience is an effective method of gaining their loyalty.On all these platforms, use your logo, colors and fonts to ensure easy identification of your brand.

Plan the Message and the Way Forward

When all the elements are in place, develop a long-term branding campaign.
Content you use should always be original, so plan ahead in order to have time to create quality posts and messages.
When brainstorming together, discuss what you want others to believe about your brand and also make sure it relates to people’s needs. Use this as starting point for messages.
Lastly, always remember to stay on topic, using your values and purpose you created at the outset. That’s how you stay consistent, in order for your audience to have trust in your brand.

Conclusion

Brand marketing can be tricky, especially if your strengths lie in other aspects of business. It’s not necessary to always pay experts to do it on your behalf though. Use these basics to get the ball rolling for your startup’s entry to the market and you’ll seen the return on investment.

Betty Wills

I am a student working as a freelance blogger. I love to explore ideas related to marketing concepts, brand and psychology. When not on campus, I am on my laptop punching keys to get my writing gigs going.