Startups and Branding: What You Need To Know
When you think of branding, you most probably think of huge corporate giants, not small business startups. However, just as effective branding is important for larger companies, it’s also crucial for small ones. The issue is, many small businesses know that branding is important for their success and future growth, but they’re not sure why.
Most small business owners are aware of the connection between professional branding and success. And because of this, aim to build a company that’s just as well branded. A mistake that many startups make is thinking that branding simply relates to a logo, signage and matching business cards. But the truth is, that’s not the case. Branding is much more than that.
What Exactly Is Branding?
The long and the short of it is that branding is simply a way of defining your business and giving it an identity. Branding isn’t just about how your business looks or the style you’ve developed. It’s about incorporating your company’s ethos and core values. The benefits of good branding are numerous. It allows people to connect on an emotional level with your company because they share the same values. This in turn leads to higher levels of sales and better differentiation between you and your competitors.
How Can Small Businesses Effectively Use Branding?
The first step is to define your brand. What products or services do you offer? What type of company are you? Your brand identity should promote your products, ways of working, and should make you more popular with your customers. Take the time to think about the kind of identity you want to create. Do you have an idea in mind? Is there another company that inspires you? Take your time to think through your brand identity.
Your Brand As An Individual
Your brand should be made up of beliefs, values, and purpose. It should be individual just like you are. Even if you love another company’s branding, steer clear of going for anything too similar. You want your brand to be unique and stand out for all the right reasons, not because it’s similar to another company. If your branding makes your business look as if it’s linked to another brand, people will assume that you share the same values, even if you don’t.
Be True To Your Business’s Values and Ethos
Take your company’s values and ethos into account, as well as who you’ve modeled your company upon. Perhaps you’re a natural beauty company that took inspiration from Lush and love the values of the company. While you can take inspiration from them, what you don’t want to do is be too similar, in terms of your branding. You can use them as inspiration, but you don’t want your branding to look like their branding.
Don’t Mimic Other Brands
As mentioned above, you don’t want your branding to be too similar to other brands. Why? Because you need to carve out your own identity for your business. Consumers prefer independent brands to chains, so having your own unique identity is a must. In fact, many larger brands are trying to make themselves appear more independent in a bid to increase the customers that they’re receiving. Your branding should be unique and authentic, and should link to your company and its values.
Get Professional Help With Branding
Unless you’re a branding professional, it’s best to use a branding agency to help you with your branding. It might be cheaper to do it yourself, but the quality won’t be the same. Professionals know how to give your company the best branding that will get it noticed for all the right reasons. They know how to incorporate your ethos and values into your branding as well as how to give your business a look that will bowl over your competitors and customers alike.
It’s Not Just About Your Logo
Good branding used to be much simpler. All it took was having your logo printed on everything. What you want to do is have branding that links to your business and logo, but isn’t primarily focused on the logo solely. It should be smart, stylish, and most importantly, professional. It needs to say who you are as a business, and should link to your company values.