Entry in the crowded market as a new company is daunting for all startups. But have you ever wondered why only a few startups make it to the big league and others don’t? It’s because only a few startups are able to build a solid brand for their business. In fact, Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names.
The basic purpose behind branding of a business is to establish a unique and significant presence in the ever-competitive market. So, whether you are a young startup or a small businessman, branding is integral if you’re looking for a strong start. But building a brand and creating a buzz around that brand is no mean feat! It takes an awful lot to build a solid brand for your business; a lot of time, money and resources. Here, we’re sharing a 9 fold strategy to help you perfectly brand your startup.
- What’s your company all about?
When you’re actually all set to deliver your public presence, attract users, and take your business off the ground, you must remain prepared to tell people ‘what’s your company all about’. While this is extremely important to bring you closer to your target audience, it gives you an easy opportunity to highlight your USPs! And how do you go about telling what’s your company all about? Well, simply follow these three steps:
- Share your business story
Talk about your business story. Entrepreneur.com reveals that if done right, sharing your business story can get you a far-reaching impact, and offer excellent brand building benefits to your startup. But remember, you’ve got to be unique to be seen and heard.
- Donate products or services
JustJasonJames.com reveals in one of its articles that it is very important for startups to donate products or services to local charities and non-profit organizations in order to build their reputation in a positive way. Share the information with your audience online. Plan to donate gift certificates. This will help you generate word of mouth publicity and bring in new customers directly to your business.
- Tell About Your USPs
In this world of cut throat competition, the only way to survive is to set yourself distinctly apart from your competitors. So, be niche in what you do, if you want to take your startup to the next level.
- What about that first impression?
For startups, it all starts with that first impression and there’s only one chance for a first impression. The image you put forth at first glance is one of the most important, and one case wherein you’ll never have the opportunity for a “do-over.” Of course, no one would like to be perceived incorrectly but are you adopting proper strategies to ensure that everything falls in the right place? Here are some key points to look at:
- Source great graphic designs
The graphical elements of your business often precede actual introductions, whether your business is online or offline. Your website, logo and banners are the first things that show up on a Google web search for your company name. Actually, your graphical elements are the reflection of what your company is all about, and that means they need to be great. But what do you do when you haven’t got oodles of money? With several online crowdsourcing platforms, you won’t have to worry. By holding a graphic design contest at Designhill, for instance, you can source in affordable, creative and durable graphic designs that can take your business off the ground from get-go.
- Online Reputation
Remember, reputation for your startup is not an already established and it is just beginning to make its mark. A bad reputation at this point can prove to be fatal to your business. Therefore, it makes sense to maintain a good reputation right from the get-go. Pay emphasis on what search engine results of popular sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo say about you. If you’ve a good reputation online, rest assured that you can easily spearhead the market.
- What do you want your startup to achieve?
The entire purpose of identifying your business objectives is to identify how you can use available time, resources and budget efficiently to fulfill your business objectives. Here’s a checklist of what you must carefully consider before penning down your objectives.
- Identify your market
First, you need to clearly identify your target market to understand the kind of competition you’re about to face and decide how you plan to fit in the market in the long term. In addition, identifying and analyzing the target market also helps you determine who your major competitors are and how have they been able to pull off in the market.
- Identify your audience
Secondly, you need to identify the right target audience for your brand. This will help you understand how you can go about pitching your products and services in an interesting manner.
- Identify what should be your style
Remember, clear and consistent communication is the key to successful customer engagement. So be as clear and consistent as you can be in all your business communications. In addition, your communication style must be distinct and uniform throughout. And this should aptly reflect in your emails, messages, blogs and even Press Releases.
- Utilize your emotional appeal
The most important aspect of branding is cultivating a strong emotional connection with your audience. As a startup, you can cultivate your brand by combining your emotions with different business aspects in a way that clearly spell your brand’s value. Here, there are three important things to remember:
With so many brands out there, you’ve got to battle it out for attention. The rule of this game is simple: you’ve got to get—and hold—the attention of your target audience. You need images to evoke the kind of emotion you want your audience to feel.
An engaging story about your business can create that desired emotion and can help you hold the attention of your target audience. And hold it long enough until they’ve paid for your product or service.
Graphics are capable of a lot of things, from invoking emotions when applied just the right way to ruining the company image completely when utilized incorrectly. You need to make sure that your business graphics evoke emotions and are utility-driven at the same time.
- Foster Your startup’s eco-system
Startupcommons.org reveals that a startup ecosystem is created by startups in their various stages. There are various components of startup ecosystem and some of the most important one’s include:
- Team members
Techrepublic.com reveals that the team behind your idea is the most important piece of the startup puzzle. Therefore, it makes sense to hire the right people in your team.
If you wish to take your startup to the next level, you need to impress investors and foster a relation with them.
Remember, your startup is centered on customers. Therefore, it is important to be completely honest with your customers. Do not raise expectations and end up braking promises, create trust with honest branding.
- Expand Your Network
Networking is one of the most essential aspects of a successful startup. Networking is essential for a startup in umpteen ways. Not only will you get inspired and motivated when interacting with other business leaders, but also can ensure your chances of impressing potential investors or business partners. Therefore, it makes sense to approach networking as any other part of your business. There are plenty of ways for you to expand the horizon of your business network.
- Business networking events
Such events bring together extraordinary groups of highly-skilled and talented entrepreneurs. So, join one such event and talk to other attendees.
Actively participate in groups and forums of your field of business. Start a discussion or join a conversation thread. But it’s vital to keep your messaging and approach appropriate while you find new connections.
- In-person meeting
Nothing can replace the personal feel of direct interaction. So, do well to meet business leaders of your area and seek their opinion about your products or services. In addition, quiz them about their experiences and strategies.
- Focus on Creating Original And Creative Content
Content is the king and content marketing the queen, so there is a natural connection between the two. And branding a startup is all about marketing, good and fresh content. Quite expectedly, high-quality, unique and relevant content is what you should always aim at.
Great blogs are always appreciated by readers. In fact, Trepscore reveals that blog posts yield the power to drive people to a website. In addition, interesting blog posts help boost your search ranking and brand positioning.
- Social Media
Social media is one of the most important branding tools for startups, today. Social media can take elements of your startup brand and showcase those elements to the world in a way that’s even more awesome. And because it’s so awesome, your target audience will have absolutely no choice but to bow in awe of your brand’s greatness and might.
- Video Marketing
Cisco’s recent forecast suggests that the number of online video consumers will double to 1.5 billion by 2015, with total online video consumption predicted to quadruple. Today, startups can’t neglect the power of video marketing. Videos allow you to create and share remarkable content with your audience in an interesting manner.