Trying to get a startup off the ground is no easy task. In fact, most startups fall flat on their face after only a few months. One reason for the high rate of failure is the inability to brand the business properly. Branding is essential to building your identity, increasing awareness and generating interest. The following are five branding tips for startups that you won't want to ignore:
1. Be original and stand for something
All business owners think their business is unique - but is it, really? What makes your business different from every other business within your industry? Focus on what will make your business stand out, whether it's the innovative product or technology, the convenience, the amazing prices, even just something unique about your business plan. If you follow the same blueprint as everyone else, you'll just get lost in the shuffle.
2. Clearly define your product or service
Your startup's success will ultimately come down to the quality of your product or service—as well as consumers' need for it. Assuming you have a have a strong product-market fit, you'll need to make sure that consumers know exactly what your products or services are, what they do and how they will help your target audience.
3. Do your research and validate assumptions
Test the water before you dive in. Research your industry in general and look into your main competition. Look to see how they've branded themselves and whether or not they were able to do so effectively. You can learn a lot from your competition, and doing so can help you avoid some of the trial and error that they've had to go through when they were first established.
4. Invest in a memorable name and logo
A great name and logo are important elements of a strong brand identity. Just think about some of the most successful businesses in the world—they have logos that are instantly recognizable, from the Nike swoosh to the golden arch of McDonald's. Your name and logo are what customers will identify you with, so be careful when choosing them and don't change them as this could hurt your brand's identity.
5. Deliver value at every level
Value doesn't just refer to price. It refers to what your product or service has to offer to consumers that will make them choose your business, whether it's product leadership, operational excellence or great customer service—or a combination of all. Delivering a valuable brand experience often includes refining product design and user experience to maximize value at every brand interaction.
If you're planning on launching a new business soon, be sure to give yourself the best chance at success by following these five branding tips for startups.
Bonus Tip: Branding for Tech Startups
In most cases, naming and branding your startup really isn’t something you should take on alone, particularly if you are branding a tech startup that is truly innovative and requires explanation to be understood in the marketplace. If your business is difficult to explain or understand immediately, you may want to consider bringing in an experienced branding agency to help clearly communicate your vision and value to your target audience.