When starting a business, you have many tasks to take care of. You need to organize a business model, write a business plan, raise funds, divide equity, hire the right staff, etc. One of the essential tasks that you’ll have is finding a way to turn your newly-born startup into a unique brand capable of standing out in a segmented market. This can be quite a challenge.
What you’re asking is how you can build a brand from scratch. The bottom line is that you have a business that has no previous brand recognition, which means that you need to start building a target audience from nothing.
5 Branding Tips For Startup To Turn Your Newly-Born Startup Into A Unique Brand
Here are a couple of branding tips to turn a startup into a unique brand.
Make A Unique Selling Proposition (UPS)
When entering a new field, you’re in a peculiar situation where you need to compete with those who already have some brand following. Convincing people who have no brand loyalty whatsoever to become your customers is not the same as convincing people who are already buying from your competitors. The thing that will convince them is your unique selling proposition.
There are a couple of tracks to approach this subject matter. First, you need to identify and study a group that’s still reluctant to buy the product in question or pay for the service. What makes them so reluctant? For instance:
- They could be turned away by a high cost
- They might believe that they don’t need the product in question
- Perhaps they have no time to go to the venue in question
Each of these problems has a unique solution. Offering a lower cost is just one of your possible angles, and you could also go for a higher value for the same cost.
If they don’t need the product (but you see a potential for this to change in the future), you might want to add an extra feature, perhaps even try the upselling technique.
If they have no time to go to your store/office in person, you could try one of two things. You either improve your delivery system, or you prolong your working hours. Either way, you offer a solution to their problem.
The critical thing to keep in mind is that you need to offer something extra (go that extra mile). Just accept in mind that this needs to be a promise that you know you can keep.
Startup Must Build Online Presence To Turn Into Reputable Brand
You need to launch a great website, perhaps even a blog with a post or two uploaded in advance. This way, you have a great starting point to work towards. These two forms of your online presence need to be clean, slick, responsive and optimized for all devices. Blogging is an excellent way to appeal to new audiences, seeing as how you can provide them value (information, entertainment, etc.) for free. This assures that you get off on the right foot.
Second, you need to make all the relevant social media platforms and establish your presence there. Keep in mind that your startup brand needs to become a part of these networks, so it wouldn’t be wrong if you could do two things. First, you want to give your social media accounts a human (or at least humanized) voice. So, you might like to consider hiring a social media manager to help you out here.
Past this, you want to improve your position on search engine results. Remember that the first five search results get a bit shy of 70% of all the clicks, which means that if you fail to qualify for these first couple of spots, you won’t get a lot of traffic to begin with. The best way to do this is to invest in your SEO. Local SEO can improve your in-person sales and boost your overall credibility in the business world.
Finally, you want to get some positive reviews going. Try to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews, monitor these reviews regularly, and answer as many as you can (both good and bad).
Combine As Many Marketing Methods As Possible
Previously, we’ve mentioned SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing as some of the things you want to try during your startup branding stages. Fortunately, there are other ways to promote your business that you want to try out, as well. For instance, you may want to make some attempts at email marketing, which is known to yield a 4400% ROI.
Now, there’s a lot of talk about whether organic marketing can triumph against paid ads. The truth is that this is not a choice that you will ever have to make, and you can go for both. Paid ads give you immediate attention, while organic marketing gives you great long-term results.
Bear in mind that digital marketing isn’t all that matters. Old-school marketing, like relying on printed materials, business cards, and in-person networking, is always valid. You would be amazed at how many people still listen to the radio (while commuting), watches TV, and read newspapers. Advertising via these means isn’t a bad idea either.
Keep in mind that methods boost your presence in both the offline and online world. For instance, your printed materials can have your URL or social media handles. Moreover, you can make a sizable investment towards guerilla marketing. An exciting mural is something that will attract a lot of attention, which means that a lot of people will take photos of it and post them online. If you’re lucky, you might earn a tag or a hashtag, as well.
Understanding Your Industry And Audience
There’s no such thing as universally unique when startup comes to brands, and you can be unique within your industry or unique to your target audience. To get there, you need to understand what this means (get a clear definition that you can later align with your goals/objectives). So, your first two steps need to be oriented towards understanding your industry and your audience.
You need to follow some of the latest industry trends to figure out if there’s an angle for a great UPS in this field. Being one of the first to implement a new technology/offer a new feature is bound to put you on the map.
As far as the audience analysis goes, you can do a couple of things. First, you can make a buyer’s persona. This way, your marketers will have an easier job of achieving a high level of immersion. It will also make your brand message more personalized.
Remember that guesswork will only take you so far. To make the difference, you want to see the data. Also, remember that the most reliable research is your own, and taking data from other people’s surveys may be misleading or unreliable. So, start with surveys, interviews, and direct interactions with your target audience, which should help you understand them much better.
Moreover, you must determine that you are not necessarily an average representative of your target audience. In other words, don’t assume that you understand them before seeing the data. Knowing who you’re dealing with will allow you to build stronger relationships with your customers.
Startup Must Set Up Brand Culture
In the previous section, we’ve mainly discussed customer- and industry-centric perspectives; however, the individualism behind your own business matters just as much. What does your business stand for? What are your long-term objectives (non-material ones)? Do you (as a business) have some values that you won’t budge on no matter what?
You can start mapping this out by stating your mission and vision in this field. To do this, you need to:
- Identify your strengths
- Reflect on your values
- Define your goals
- State your purpose
This kind of transparency will allow you to broadcast your company’s value to the world.
You need to understand that you’re still a corporate entity, which is why your story needs to be oriented to the market. Look at things this way – people are not interested in how they can help your company grow or overcome its competitors. Instead, they care what you can do for them. In other words, when writing a story, you need to paint the customer as the protagonist and describe your business merely as an agent that solves their problem. In other words, be obvious about what you can do for them.
Most importantly, acknowledge that your company wouldn’t exist without its fantastic staff. Showing appreciation for people in your employ will humanize your entire enterprise, thus bringing it closer to your target audience. It will also boost your company’s startup brand from the standpoint of any future hiring efforts.
Turning a startup into a recognizable brand can determine both the survivability and the long-term success of your business. It means laying a foundation for any subsequent marketing campaign, which is a pretty big deal. While some may believe that plotting the future course for your enterprise during its infancy is too early, you will increase the stability of your future branding by laying a solid foundation. With the above-listed branding tips for startup on your side, you will be heading in the right direction.
- 7 Essential Branding Elements That Will Ensure The Success Of Your Next Website
- Brand Ambassadors Vs. Influencers – What’s The Difference
- The Importance of Corporate Awards – Best Way to Improve Your Brand’s Image?
Author bio: Grace Wilson is a 27-year-old biotechnologist and type of a bookish girl. Surfing the Internet is her favorite, and that’s why she has turned into blogging. Following a healthy lifestyle and mindset is what she consider her life principle. If interested, follow her on Twitter.