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The market is crowded with startups everywhere! As a result, the startup ecosystem is highly competitive. So the question is, how do you make a mark here? How do you build your brand identity?
See, in order to stand out, branding a startup company and creating a brand identity is a mandatory activity. This happens at a very nascent stage in the life cycle of startups. But you just can’t help it. Branding a startup company is a much-needed element to succeed in the market, so here are we!
And hey, guess what? Branding startups isn’t that expensive if you precisely know what you want for your business.
To build a strong and effective brand identity or brand value proposition, all you need is some time and creativity. Trust me on this. With a strong startup branding strategy, your business will stand out in the market. Now isn’t this something that you would want for your business?
So, let’s hop in and discuss a few ideas to build the best startup branding strategies at a minimal budget.
You do not want to miss this!
Why is branding for startup business important?
Once you launch a startup venture, the immediate thing that you need is a foundation. You must be wondering, what foundation I am talking about. Well, I am talking about a customer base. That is how you will sustain the business.
So what do you need to gain a customer base? This is where branding for a startup business, steps in. Effective branding will propagate the goal of your business to your customers. It will help them relate to your brand and see for themselves if they want it or not! And this is exactly why you need the best startup branding set up for your business!
Branding your startup will also help you find the niche market and target customers. It will help you understand the base you will be working for.
Isn’t that cool?
Develop a brand strategy for startups
Tell me, what do you need at the very beginning? Yes, you guessed it, a plan is what you need! You know that very well. So start with it! Develop a brand strategy, list out the brand strategy goals and brand strategy objectives, and stay consistent with it.
You may be wondering why! See, one of the brand strategy objectives is to help you stick to the plan and not go astray. Works, right?
Do remember one thing – your business strategy should align with your brand strategy goals. They need to be at par, otherwise, it stops making sense.
Here are some tips on how to develop a brand strategy that works. Follow up!
Do your market research
Research is the key to understanding the market that you are going to be a part of. You need to know what your competitors are doing, their brand strategy objectives, and how they are doing it. Makes sense?
Check these out:
- Start with research on your customer base and clients
It is important to identify your customer base and develop brand strategy goals directed towards them. You specifically need to appeal to these customers more than anyone else. So work towards it.
This is a vital game that works as a very fine strategy to grow and is a free of cost activity!
- Track what your competitors are up to
Check out what your competitors are doing to develop their startup branding strategy. There are several free tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush etc. that help you check the analytics of competitors in the market.
How cool is that? You can also frame your startup branding strategy with the SEO pattern that these tools provide!
- Draw an analogy with the big players in the market
Promote your brand as an alternative to the big players in the market. Draw an analogy. Highlight the similarities and differences between you and these companies.
If you are offering similar services at a more cost-effective approach, then you need to promote that bit. Don’t you agree?
Show your customers why they should pick you and no one else, for the services that you offer in the market. This has to be one of your brand strategy goals. There may be huge brands in the market, but people do love quality that too offered at a cost-effective approach.
So be it!
Create a good and effective brand identity
So what do I mean when I say “effective brand identity”? It means a startup branding strategy that attracts customers instantly. The logo and the tagline need to be the showstopper!
Why does this work? See, it’s all about the first impression! The logo and the tagline is the first thing about you that the customers see. So, yes, it has to be the showstopper! This is the most important part of your brand identity, so spend a good time deciding upon it.
You can always hire designers off the freelancing sites to work for this part. However these freelancing sites are often overpriced. So here’s an idea, you can contact us for design services at a cost effective approach.
This is important, so don’t squeeze much on the budget for this segment. This is the brand identity that we are talking about. Remember what I told you? Showstopper!
Also as correctly said by Mr. Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Cars – “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”
For now, you can do the following:
- Stick to the plan: Once you finalize the startup branding strategy, stick to it. Avoid experimenting as it leads to wastage of money and resources.
- Build brand collateral: Creating brand collateral is mandatory. It is more like a startup branding package. The startup branding design should help the customers understand the core values and principles of your business.
- Concentrate on details: Details like logo placement, color palettes, fonts, and so on, are vital for your brand identity. These details give a professional outlook to your brand and add to your startup branding strategy. Now isn’t that something you would want for your business?
Trust me when I say this – sloppy branding is never an option even if you are new in the market.
Make the most of free resource
Make the best use of stock photos and videos, open-source software, and online designing tools for your startup branding strategy! However, it is important to know when to go for freebies and when to go to a professional.
As a new startup venture, this is one of the best ways to cut branding expenses
Check these ideas for free resources:
- Free of cost website platforms like WordPress allow you full access to your business and startup branding strategy. These sites are easy to maintain. You can customize them too, and it’s absolutely free! See how you are already saving up?
Try not to over-engineer the website. It’s your first one. Let the simplicity be the highlight.
- About designing and making videos for social media marketing, there are sites like canva and Powtoons! You can use Canva, free of cost, and labels! How amazing is that?
Powtoons is free as well. But it comes with a watermark if you want to use it for free. And for a brand new startup, a tiny watermark is okay, I guess!
Social media platforms happen to be the cornerstone of the startup branding strategy! They are free and viral. What else do we need?
Social media is the ideal platform to promote your brand and bloom as well! You can check out our blog on driving social media traffic to your website. It will throw more light on what I am trying to say here.
Here’s how it is useful:
- As I already said, through social media, you can drive traffic to your website. (Read our blog to know more).
- Find your leads and potential customers on every social media platform.
- Build a community on Facebook and Twitter that deal with the same industry that you work in. This helps connect more with the audience and helps you promote your brand! Now that’s a cool branding strategy for startups, right?
- Pay attention to the varied distribution of people and intent on various social media platforms and market yourself accordingly! Sounds good?
Everything that you post has an impact on your brand identity
Poorly written content, grammatical errors, and lack of branding send out the wrong message to potential customers. It also affects the existing ones.
No one wants this for sure. So just understand the fact that whatever you do on the social media platforms, has a direct impact on your brand identity.
All that you need to do is:
- Work on your social media handles
Maintaining a positive social media outlook for your brand is important. Your social media handles are an extension of what your brand represents. You see my point, right? So be careful with the outlook.
This is the most effective and viral space to grow, that too without any investment.
Develop a strategy for reaching out to potential customers through social media handles. Work on your messaging strategy, make the handles responsive, and work on your official landing page as well.
And just remember: be consistent. It’s FREE!
Try to collaborate
Trust is everything for the customers. They need to trust the brands that they associate with. So what to do now? You are a newbie yourself! No worries! I will give you a simple solution.
Look out for partnership opportunities with the superior brands that share your market or at least is somewhere connected.
- Collaborate with other superior brands that your target customers are associated with.
- You know what? This way, the customers will trust you more as the brands that they already trust are introducing you to them. Smooth, startup branding strategy, I say!
- To collaborate, find brands with a similar audience and low competition. This is a mandatory point to look out for.
The extra mile for branding your startup
Till here, what we have been talking about, is almost mainstream, right? Probably, all new startups in the market go for these strategies because they are the most effective ones.
However, what if I say that we have something off-beat for you? Something that will let you walk the extra mile to set up a cool startup branding strategy for your business? These are not totally free of cost, but worth a mention.
Want to check it out? Here!
Publish EBook on the topic of Your Business
Everyone talks about their business on social media platforms. That’s the norm, right? But no one actually steps up to write a book on the same. That is an exclusive move that reflects how passionate you are about what you do. This has to be one of the best startup branding strategies!
You are already doing the social media marketing thing for the potential customers who are digitally prominent. See where am going with this? Publishing an eBook will attract the ones who prefer books to scrolling through social media.
This process requires the least amount of money and sometimes it is totally free! Won’t hurt to have an extra resource to promote your brand, I guess!
Go out and talk about your journey
There are certain pages on social media platforms that tell the story of different people. It can be anything. Starting from a recovery story of a drug addict to a simple yet unconventional love story. How amazing is that!
What I am trying to say here is, try and get in touch with these platforms. Tell your story. How you started the business and how you struggled to be where you are right now. It will help with the brand identity, trust me!
People love to hear unconventional stories and what’s more unconventional than startup ventures? Try it out. Helps with growth and customer reach.
Be a superhero for your customers
It all boils down to the fact that the customer is the king. Your startup branding strategy is important to connect and grow in the market. We all know that, don’t we?
However, the game begins once you have connected. That’s the most important part. The customer feedback, your reputation in the market, your quality of service – every bit of these add up to your brand identity.
If your startup branding strategy is top-notch, but your customers talk badly about you in the market, can you imagine how catastrophic that is? This is exactly what I am talking about. To succeed as a business, your priority has to be the service that you provide! I am sure you are with me on this.
This is the best add-on to your brand identity. Trust me when I say this. No matter how huge a brand is, people always go on to read the reviews or interact with the existing customers before associating themselves with a brand. Fair enough!
So, in a nutshell,
- Customer service is the most important bit of startup branding strategy. To grow in a market, you have to provide a reliable customer experience at any cost.
- Do not be satisfied with good reviews. Remember, there is always a chance to be better. So keep thriving and improving. Revamp the designs of your products to make them more user friendly. Follow trends and keep updating.
Building a decent and effective brand identity is a stressful procedure. The journey may be tiresome but the goal at the end of it is rewarding. You need to fix your eyes on that and keep hustling. Once the startup branding strategy is set up, you need to stick to it and be consistent with quality upgrades now and then.
And last but not the least, know your target audience from the very beginning. This helps in the process as you know who you are working for. Getting my point? So, buckle up and start with the build-up of a decent brand identity for your startup venture, all at a small budget.
And hey! Talking of businesses and startups, if you happen to be a new one in the market, and in need to build an MVP, then do get in touch with us at TheCodeWork. We would love to help you turn your business ideas into action with the services that we offer.