By Silvia Pencak
Unfortunately, for the majority of entrepreneurs operating a startup business, branding takes a back-seat to many other functions such as: funding and product development. This is a huge mistake however, because company branding is critically vital to the success of any startup business.
A brand is the personality of a company – it is not just the company name or even the slogan or logo. In today’s economy, the brand of a startup business needs to be communicated everywhere. It needs to be visible online, in print, on business stationery, etc.
Do Not Procrastinate on Branding!
Starting a brand is definitely not the easiest thing to do. For starters, you want to ensure that you are fully sold on the image that you are about to portray to the public. For this reason most business owners put off officially branding their business for an indefinite period. It is worth remembering, though, that the longer you leave it undone, the more likely you will have to use more resources in recreating the brand ‘assigned’ to you. This is so because a brand is simply the way people view your business, it includes what they expect, what they think you are capable of, and how well they think you deliver on your promises. Therefore, if you do not actively seek to portray the image of your business to reflect your values, then most certainly, people will form their own opinions of your business, whether it is accurate or not.
Get The Brand Out There!
Once you have decided on a brand for your startup business which you are comfortable with, then you need to apply it to all of your business communications. You will definitely want your brand to be highly visible on all stationary and marketing material such as; leaflets, brochures, website, slogan etc. In both your written and verbal exchanges with customers, consistently check to ensure that the image being conveyed is in line with the image of the brand. It is important that the image of the brand is transmitted consistently.
Ensure That Your Startup Can Deliver!
There is absolutely no point in spending scarce resources to develop an image which your business can’t live up to. While, there are definitely some aspects to a brand which are influenced purely by design, there is another aspect which is far more important as it is dictated by the performance of the business. Do not waste time and energy in building a certain brand image that does not reflect the true capabilities of your startup business – this is equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot! If you stick to what is realistic and consistently strive to build brand awareness within the marketplace – your business should reap the benefits.
Startups succeed when their brands and products satisfy or exceed the expectations of their customers. There is nothing that looks less proficient than not having a professional brand image. If startups are not able to develop a clean, high-quality consistent look to their image, they will have a much more difficult time in gaining the trust of potential clients.