Brand Strategy for Startups
Developing a brand strategy can be one of the most difficult steps when building your brand. It’s often the element that causes most businesses the biggest challenge, but it’s a vital step in creating your company identity.
As an entrepreneur you’ve taken a leap of faith in starting your own business. You’re on a purposeful path towards achieving your dreams.
While you’re putting together your business plan, you must consider a brand strategy too. Not only will it help you connect with your customers, but it will serve to be a continual reminder of your vision for startup success.
Capturing the reasons why you do what you do at the early stages of your business will help you share your story, inspire people to buy and give your employees a reason to get on board and be motivated.
Injecting more of YOU in your business
A brand strategy helps you to inject the YOU in your business. It helps you share how things should get done (brand values + mission statement), where you are heading (vision statement) and why people should care in the first place (purpose statement). Think of your brand strategy as a platform of your clearest thoughts.
Once you have articulated these statements, you can spread the word. Make it permanent
and visible for your employees and customers to see. And start living by your brand strategy every day.
A brand plan everyone can follow
As a leader, you’re wearing so many hats and some days you’ll feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not heading in the direction originally planned. As your business grows, you’ll face new challenges, difficult decisions and hopefully lots of great opportunities. Your brand serves as a truthful reminder of who you are and what you set out to do. The brand strategy provides the parameters around how to make the difficult decisions you will look back and be proud of. If your brand is authentic, it will keep your team on track.
Business plans will change, but your brand strategy will be the true north in your business.
5 things you need to know about brands
Have a long-term plan for your brand’s architecture.
The Brand Architecture establishes a strategic approach to the relationship between the various brands and sub-brands. Spending significant time up front defining your brand and how it will be affected when new products or services are added is critical for sub-brand success.
Never buy just a logo.
A brand is more than a logo, it is a messaging platform, a personality, and it includes many design elements such as a colour palette, font set, photography style and graphic elements which you will use consistently in marketing pieces, emails, presentations etc.
Logo design is not simply about “the look”
It’s not simply how pretty your logo is, how trendy or creatively it’s been executed, it’s about how well it communicates your brand’s strategy. When your logo speaks to what your brand is all about, only then can it stand the test of time.
Without proper research you can’t expect strategic work.
In order to deliver effective branding programs, we must be able to clearly understand the conditions surrounding the brand. This process cannot be done in a few hours and its not uncommon for the process to take several weeks, before anything is designed.
Your brand name it critical
Don’t be too hasty when it comes to choosing a brand name. The right name can make a huge difference and in today’s crowded marketplace arriving at a name that is available while being memorable and meaningful is quite challenging, which is why brand naming calls for a thorough strategy session.