Building a start-up brand is no easy task.
You might have the best business idea in the world, but unless you consider and create a strong brand identity, it’s going to be more difficult to make it successful.
“Just do it”
“I’m lovin’ it”
Not only are these taglines instantly recognisable, but I bet they conjure very specific images and feelings for you. And a tagline is just one of the many elements that make up your brand identity.
You might not have your sights set on becoming the next Apple or McDonald’s (or maybe you do), but you still need a powerful brand, especially if you are looking to attract investors to your business.
In this blog, we’ll look at what you need to consider when building a start-up brand, in order to build a strong identity and attract potential investors.
What exactly is a brand (and why is it important)?
So, what exactly is a brand?
“Your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.” (Jeff Bezos)
Branding is about more than just a logo, it’s all the elements that make up your brand identity including:
- Brand name
- Tone of voice
Think of your brand as a person. Your logo is like your face, however, it’s not the only important part.
Everyone has a voice, a personality, a style and a way of communicating – and that all contribute to how people perceive us. Your business is the same, and all of these elements will determine how your potential customers think about you.
And why is this important?
Your brand will determine the behaviour of your customers, and will therefore impact your financial success.
Creating a brand does cost time and money, but you should view it as an investment, as it will help to build brand equity and in turn boost the value of a business.
This is especially important if you are looking for investors, as they will be interested in the brand equity, and how much money they could potentially make back from your business in the future.
The brand plays a crucial role in this valuation.
Considerations when building your start-up brand…
So, what kind of things do you need to think about when building a brand to make sure that it is strong, and add value to your business?
Some of the important considerations?
- Know your industry
- Understand your target audience
- Be consistent with your branding
Let’s look at these in more detail…
1. Know your industry
It’s really important that you understand the industry that your start-up is positioned in before you begin the branding process.
This will help you understand specific issues that your potential customers are having. It will also allow you to know your competitors, and where you sit within the industry in comparison to them.
Undertaking research in your industry is a crucial component of this step, and will need to include things such as:
- Industry analysis (PEST analysis)
Having a thorough understanding of your industry (and where you sit within it), will help you create a strong brand, and also demonstrates to your potential investors that you have a good understanding of the industry that you are entering.
2. Understand your target market
In order to create an effective brand, you need to know everything about your target market.
- What are their demographics? (age, gender, location)
- What are their psychographics?
- What values are important to them?
- What are their interests?
- What are their challenges?
Knowing exactly who your target market is will make it so much easier to create a brand that aligns well with them and their values. It will allow you to create a brand that truly resonates with them, and this will make your business so much more attractive to them than one which misses the mark.
This also gives you the advantage of knowing exactly what problem you solve for your potential customers, and can therefore target your messaging and copy towards those challenges.
Ultimately this will make it easier for you to attract the right customer, as well as create pitches, plans and strategies that will help you to attract the right investors.
It’s important for potential investors to know that you understand who your target market is and that you are capable of attracting them to your service or product.
3. Be consistent with your branding
Consistency is the key to success.
That can be said of almost anything, and it can definitely be said for building a brand.
It’s not enough to just create a logo and tagline, and hope that it will do.
In order to build an effective and strong brand, you need to maintain consistency and extend your brand values across everything you do. Every touchpoint that your potential customer has with you, should maintain the core principles of your brand.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Website copy
- Email marketing
- Email signatures
- Business cards
This is why it’s so important to understand the different elements that make up your brand.
But a consistent brand all starts with understanding who your target audience is.
Ready to build your start-up brand…
Building a brand is a crucial part of any start-up strategy and not something that you should try and pinch pennies on.
It’s essential to communicate your values and attract the right type of people to your business (both customers and staff), and ultimately your brand will help build equity and financial success.
Building a strong brand will help you attract your investors, and demonstrate to them that you understand your target marketing and the challenges that they face.