The Importance of Branding for your Startup
Whether you are running a well-seasoned firm or a newly foundational startup, branding will always play a large role in the relative success of your business. To put it simply, branding is the promise and expectation you are advocating to your customers. This translates to what the customers or clients can expect from your products and services that you are selling. Because of that simple idea alone, efficient, effective, and consistent branding will play a major edge in aiding your company, especially within increasingly competitive markets.
Let’s start off by analyzing the impact branding does for a company. When branding a company, you want to create a unique name and image that represents the product and service you are trying to sell. This will in turn allow your customers to differentiate from other high level competitors within the market and associate a sense of loyalty to the product being sold. Take for example Nike. For years, the name has evolved from just a simple shoe line to now a theme and vision of athleticism and victory. To go even farther than that, let’s look at Apple. When the company started, they were just a small level tech company looking to bridge the gap of a Microsoft-inclined world. Today, Apple has forced millions of their customers to ‘think differently’ about their products, whether that is in the computer realm or music-entertainment industry. To brand your company in the most optimal way, you want to start off by planning what you want to communicate with your products. This will allow you to see the type of market you want to hit and the type of vision and goals you are expecting to have as a company.
Start off by simply understanding your product. Does your product and service help people? Does your product shape their image? Or does your product associate a sense of personality if they wear or engage with your services? Whatever is the case, you want to make sure you have an internal understanding of what that meaning is. One of the most famous examples to date was Lego’s overall history. For them, their product was simply marketed to sell to the public than to build for the customer. It wasn’t until the mid 80s and early 90s when they saw an uncertain future within their sales. From then on, Lego as a company had to holistically view the purpose of their products and the expectations of their market. That allowed them to unlock the secret of success to thrive to this day. Similar to Lego, you want to comprehend your product in a very simplistic understanding. Then you want to look at a different perspective of what people think when they associate your product with their everyday lives. If there is any confusion, go back to the drawing board and try and figure out a new way to alleviate this misunderstanding.
Once the goal and visions are aligned, start thinking about various and innovative brand strategies you can implement within your company. Ask your team what they can do to communicate and deliver the message of your brand and then interrogation how you can differentiate yourself from the pack. Like it or not, there will always be competitors. For Nike, they have Adidas, for Coca-Cola, they have Pepsi. For you, your competitor is out there. Research what they are doing and try and create a brand that can easily communicate and visualize your goals in every product or service that you provide. To accomplish this, try adding some intrinsic emotional message that can be perceived with your product. Nike was able to accomplish this with Air Jordan brand to make you feel and think as if you can fly like Michael Jordan. Be creative, but simplistic with your ideas. Anything too complex can deter customers in negative ways.
Once your brand is established, it is now the time that you can define your brand in the best possible way. The key here is consistency. Like Nike or Gatorade, we have seen countless commercials that highlight their own individual themes for their companies. Similar to these companies, you also want to maintain that level of consistency with the image of your product. While this may be time-consuming and oftentimes difficult, this type of marketing will allow you to associate your vision and image for your product and services to your customers in the long period of time.
Originally published at geoffreybyruch.com.