Firstly it might be good to know what a brand is. One definition of a brand from Seth Godin “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Design is not your brand. Your brand is everything that makes your business different to your competitors. You must make sure your customers understand who you are and what you do. Without branding your business can easily become a “me too” business, simply bobbing along being seen as the same as your competition.
Branding creates trust in your startup
Think about the biggest companies in the world. They are brands. The likes of Apple have built their business around their brand and customers trust them. Creating a set of brand promises and over delivering on them is the key to gaining trust.
You buy an iPhone. You expect a phone. What do you get? Before you even get to your phone you have the unboxing experience (people actually share videos of this on YouTube) Every stage of the process when buying an Apple product is part of the company’s branding.
Branding gets you customers
Being memorable is the key to successful branding. If your customers can’t remember your startup, you’re already on the back foot. The best brands have an instantly recognisable symbol, again Apple is the perfect example of this. When you see the Waitrose logo you automatically associate the company with quality. Why? Because their brand is consistent.
Build your brand around your customers, what do they need and why do they need it? Understanding these will help you to shape your product or service to get new customers.
Branding sets you apart from your competitors
Finding your place in your market helps you occupy a space your competitors don’t. Carving out a niche is one of the best ways to use branding. Position yourself in a way your competitors can’t. Do you offer guarantees? Does nobody else do what you’re planning to launch? Perfect. The combination of all of the unique characteristics of your startup is branding.
Things from your logo colours to the way you answer your phone are all opportunities to set yourself apart from your competition.
Branding leads to word of mouth referrals
Word of mouth referrals are still possibly the most effective marketing communications tool out there for your startup. Creating a brand experience that your customers talk about and share is the easiest way to ensure long lasting success. Well, not just that, but without this getting new business is going to be a lot harder.
Using follow up communications after purchase or trial can help you iron out any issues before your customers share their experience with others. The follow up stage of a sale can reiterate your branding and show your customers that you care.
How can LeftMedia help with your startup branding?
We are a branding and design studio in Manchester, we work with startup and established businesses to help you communicate your brand with visual design. Find out more about our logo design service for startups and small businesses or give us a call on 0161 908 7695 for a chat about your branding.