As one of the 300 million individuals trying to start 150 million businesses, only a third of these are launched. So that makes your startup one of the 50 million brand new births per year. After accomplishing this feat, you can't afford to sit back and relax. It's time for your new venture to get all the online exposure it can get. And that requires pursuing various branding efforts across all platforms.
What is branding?
Branding is any practice that makes your brand easily identifiable from others. When we talk about branding, people often think it's limited to the name, logo, or color scheme.
Sure they're important, but it's more than that.
Branding is reflected in multiple aspects of your business, from stationery to customer service to the tone of your emails and everything in between. Anything about your business that makes a memorable impression on consumers is considered an effective branding strategy.
Is branding important?
Yes, of course. And that's simply because this is your opportunity to build an image of who you are and how you wish to be recognized by your target audience.
Research shows that an ad has to be placed in front of viewers about seven times before they pay attention to it. But marketing practices are evolving. It's more effective to develop an online brand identity and continuously expose consumers to various aspects of your brand.
Branding can help:
- Build brand awareness
- Improves consumer trust
- Increase online recognition
- Generate more traffic
- Boost sales
- Improves business value
- Enhances advertising efforts
As you'll notice, all these are essential aspects that can help your startup scale.
How can you make sure the branding efforts for your startup remain on point?
Choose an unforgettable name – According to Oberlo, you have 0.05 seconds to make a first impression. Select a name that's easy to remember and is relevant to your brand's image. Take, for example, Logo Design Valley. It's easy for people to understand that this is a company that specializes in logo design.
Create a memorable visual identity – Apple, Target, and Nike are brands that everyone recognizes. That's because they focus on various visual aspects that are closely associated with their brand identity, such as:
- Logo: Logos are usually the first thing a person sees and remembers. But there are millions of them out there. Help your logo stand out by making it unique and easy to recall.
- Typography: Even before a person reads the message, the font is already saying something about your brand. Remember that each font conveys a different meaning. For example, sans-serif depicts a playful and informal attitude. Choose the typography that aligns with the overall image of your brand and complements the logo's typography.
- Color schemes: Color improves brand recognition by over 80%. But just like fonts, different colors can convey different messages. For instance, while red signifies passion and energy, blue shows that your brand is professional and logical.
Develop a flawless website – The first three things that customers notice about a brick-and-mortar business are the people, decorations, and cleanliness of the place. Your online business is more about a visual experience. So people are influenced by the overall appeal of your website.
75% of consumers agree they base a company's credibility on website design. A well-maintained site that is aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate says a lot about your startup. It shows your dedication and efforts in developing a solid web presence.
Website colors should complement your brand colors. However, it should not present readability issues. For instance, the brand color of Food Network is red. Instead of a red background (which could make reading difficult), it opts for a white background and incorporates red design elements.
Authentic, relevant content – 78% of online consumers are influenced by brands that produce custom content. That means the content you create should align with your target audience's preferences and your brand identity.
However, the most crucial element is setting the right tone. It reflects directly on your brand and influences what people will associate with it. For instance, tech startups should use a more formal tone than a fashion startup.
Build an emotional connection – As a startup, you need to connect with potential customers. This is where emotional branding can help build strong attachments and make them feel valued. By attaching an emotional aspect to your startup, you will make it more memorable and significantly influence the way people perceive your brand.
For example, Airbnb develops an emotional bond with its audience by leveraging the core ethos of mutual respect and trust. They understand that their voice, messages, and identity will make customers feel emotionally attached. The best part is customers who relate are more likely to share their experiences with others. 94% of people who engage with a brand on a personal level will recommend it to others.
More importantly, if you want your startup to remain successful in the long run, establish brand values early on and demonstrate this culture continuously. A startup advocating environmental protection can create content to build awareness about green attitudes and highlight contributions towards the movement.
For example, Kool8, a water bottle startup, gives 20% of its proceeds to communities in underdeveloped countries to access clean water. This connects emotionally with eco-conscious and social-conscious consumers.
Use catchy taglines – Your tagline is not only a message to your consumers. It's something that lets them relate to your brand. Create a tagline that builds a positive image of your startup in your customers' minds, portraying your brand's values and promises. Therefore, ensure that your slogan is relatable and memorable.
Build a robust social media presence – 77% of brands believe having an online community can improve brand awareness and credibility. And the easiest way to do that is on social media.
Start by selecting a platform that aligns with your target audience and the voice of your startup. LinkedIn is suitable for developing an older professional audience, while Instagram is ideal for a younger audience. And much like the copy on your website, ensure the language and tone of posts and captions align with your brand identity.
Offer outstanding customer service – 73% of consumers prefer a brand simply because of its exemplary customer service. Friendly customer service and support an open and inviting environment that creates a sense of belonging. It's the ideal way for customers to feel pampered and sway them to your brand.
In fact, people will choose your startup over others if they know they'll receive consistent service and experience across all platforms. However, the key is consistency. Perfecting this aspect can help scale growth, increasing revenue by 23%.
Branding efforts need to be continuous so that your startup remains recognizable. But more than highlighting your startup's underlying values, you need to use this chance to build a strong relationship with your customers. It ensures that they will continue to interact with your startup even if a particular product is discontinued or replaced.
As soon as you effectively launch your startup, it would help if you started working on a killer branding strategy. Alongside advertising and promoting your brand, you need to showcase your startup's attributes that will let consumers decide for themselves just how meaningful you are in their lives.