Startups often tend to overlook one of the most essential elements that can drive them to success – creating value. And value creation is the by-product of branding. Branding is an omnipotent tool for any startup to help not only act as a differentiator in an already thronged environment, but also helps make a lasting impression.
It is very simple. The most valued ‘brand’ in the world, Coca-Cola, is worth somewhere close to $80 Bn. That is 45% of their market cap, just the value of the brand! Similarly, for startups that are bootstrapped, creating a brand might be an added task, however in the long run; it is worth the effort and investment. Investors are not only looking for a good product or a smart team, they are looking for ‘value-creators’. And branding is the key.
Here’s How Effective Branding Can Work Wonders For A Startup
Establishment of the company identity
Branding, for a startup, can be instrumental in establishing the identity of the company. The brand identity is not only the logo and the name, but also the over all personality of the company. Therefore, the process of branding and advertising gives the companies leverage to put across its core values and beliefs while adding coherence and organization to the company mission. A brand identity also makes the vision for the company very clear and chalks out a roadmap for the promoters and the employees.
Crucial to create a differentiation in the market
Startup branding helps in making a niche within a saturated environment and gives scope to grow ahead of competition. Strong brands always connect deeper with consumers and the brand identity demarcates a position in the market. Branding also helps the startups in understanding the customer more deeply with the response they receive from their branding. A unique brand strategy should clearly state to the customer about what makes the company and its product more unique and it is the ability to sell this unique offering that will generate more customers and repeat purchases.
The promise of Longevity
When a startup invests in branding, it is giving out a message that it is there to stay. When a company invests in spreading the message about its ideals, values and mission, the brand identity thus created gives assurance that the company will be in business for a long time. A carefully demonstrated brand identity across different media such as television, internet, print and radio reaches out to the targeted demographic in multiple ways, thus increasing presence over time.
Customer loyalty and relationships
Brands are meant to translate into loyalty amongst the customer base. A strong brand always ensures that the customer not only buys their product but also the values that they represent. Customers begin to equate the brand with something in their lives and this forms a bond that builds into cemented relationships overtime. Many customers become loyal to certain brands and remain repeat users for time to come.
How To Ensure Strong Branding For Your Startup
Take a stand: Being strong and bold about your mission and values and sticking by it all along is very important, as people do not like associating with wavering brand identities.
Start telling stories: Evoke emotions. Associating a story with your brand always deepens the connection with the consumer. They begin to accept it in an easier way and view it as a part of their life.
Have a great design: A great design is very important when it comes to branding. Design plays a subconscious but very important role in brand recall and association. Therefore, badly designed brand campaigns often tend to be forgotten easily and get overlooked.
Refrain from aggressive branding: You do not want to upset your customers by being too much in their face. Organic, but effective branding and advertising needs to be timed well, so as to ensure that the target audience sees it at comfortable intervals.
Analyze, change and repeat: Analysis of a brand campaign is paramount when it comes to ensuring further engagement. Parameters must be set to understand how people and customers are reacting to various emotions and the analysis must be used to improve upon, change or repeat the branding strategies.
Therefore, there is no question about the fact that the branding of your startup and the value you create around it is paramount in ensuring success. It forms the base for any startup to state and practice its mission and goals and take it forward with it as it mushrooms into a budding business and goes places.