startup

Branding isn’t just a well-designed logo, it encompasses everything your company stands for, what you believe in and what you want to achieve. Branding can be hard but it’s important to invest if you want to see a better return on investment.

Thanks to the rise of digital marketing getting your brand in front of the right audience is now easier to achieve. Here’s3 things to consider ensuring your brand exposure targets the right people.

  1. Start with a plan

The first phase of branding needs to include both planning and research, without this you’ll find it hard to push forward and make decisions on what is best for your brand.

Competitor research will feature heavily in stage. It’s time to find out what the competition are doing and how you can better them. This initial stage will determine how are your competitors doing? Is there room for another company to come in doing the same thing? This will help you to decide your unique selling point (usp), it’s important to have something which stands your brand out from the crowd.

You always need to keep your end goal in mind and ensure all plans are in keeping with what you are trying to achieve.

  1. It’s all about consistency

It’s imperative you establish a set of brand guidelines at the early stages to ensure all staff applies and abides by your brand identity consistently. Your target market and hopefully potential customers will start to recognise your brand and with consistent branding will start to trust you and the product you are offering.

Brand guidelines should be based on the following factors:

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Fonts
  • Brand colours
  • Tone of voice

Branded merchandise is often looked at as outdated by start-up businesses but is a cost-effective way to push your brand in front of a wider range of prospective customers. Useful items such as personalised branded keyrings, pens of mugs will help to grow customer relationships by leaving a lasting impression long after the initial contact, hopefully generating new leads and eventually sales.

  1. Think like your customers

When putting together your branding and marketing plan, it’s important to start thinking like your potential or existing customers. It can be hard to detach yourself, as this is something you have undoubtedly spent a lot of time and money on, but it’s crucial to any start up business to put your customers’ needs and preferences above your own. When making decisions start to think, would this appeal to them? Would this help them buy the product? You might not enjoy the colour yellow, or big bold text but it’s time to accept it’s not always about what you want.

It’s a really good idea to create a couple of personas based on the wants and needs of your target audience, these can be helpful to refer to when making decisions further down the line. It’s important to understand what makes your persona tick and where are they searching for their brands. For example, if they typically spend 10 hours a day online, they are likely to be active across social platforms, therefore print advertising will not work for this type of consumer and it would be a great idea to include a social media strategy in your brand guidelines.

There is a lot to learn about branding for any start-up, if you are unsure it is always a good idea to hire a professional. They know their industry inside out, although this can be costly, it is important to see it as an investment, not an expense.