Well, you’ve made it this far. Those countless late nights and hard-won days have yielded fruit. Your startup has sprung to life, and now, your sights are set on turning it into the talk of the industry.
How do you achieve this? One word. Branding. Branding is your business’s special way of saying Hello, world! This is us!’ It’s all about creating a beautiful blend of your values, mission, and personality, all wrapped up to create an identity that resonates with your audience.
This article will take you through how branding will set the ground for your startup to blow. It will also show you how choosing a branding agency in London can help you establish a strong foundation for growth.
But first, to get branding right, you must know the elements that make up your brand identity.
Elements Of Branding
Branding is an amalgamation of many elements. They all work in tandem to communicate the essence of your business.
According to a report by Content Marketing Institute, 89% of marketers agree that branding, if done well, will play a significant role in your startup’s growth.
Here are some of these elements you must know to nail branding for your startup.
a.) Your Startup Name
Never underestimate the might of a name. This might not be breaking news, but it’s an evergreen truth. The name you select for your startup can have a seismic impact on your branding.
To guarantee a bull’s-eye, opt for names that have stickiness, depth, and singularity. These names should bottle up the spirit of your brand and your products, so every time customers catch wind of it, their minds take a quick trip to your brand’s world.
When someone mentions a brand like Nike or Apple, or any other that you love, what comes to mind? The logo is a graphical representation of your business.
To ensure your logo meets these standards, consider the following best practices:
- Go for simple logos. The best logos out there are often the simplest. They’re clear, uncluttered, and easy to recognize at a glance. You’ll not run short of examples in the best performing businesses out there.
- Your logo should be the memorable face of your brand, something that instantly springs to mind when your company name is mentioned. A sumptuous example is the golden arches for McDonald’s. Anyone who’s tasted their products will instantly relate when they see the arches.
- When designing your startup logo, it would do you a great favor to make sure that it looks fantastic everywhere. It should be scalable, effective in color, or black and white, and work across various media.
- Your logo should reflect your brand’s personality and the industry you’re in. A playful font for a law firm? Big no.
Trends come and go, but your logo should stand the test of time. Aim for a design that will still look fresh and relevant in 10, 20, or even 50 years.
Typography is basically the font or style that your startup goes for in terms of your written language. When selecting typography for your startup:
- Keep it unvarying across all your branding touchpoints to solidify a robust brand persona.
- Opt for a font style that harmonizes with your brand’s temperament. Is it stately or contemporary? Your typeface should hum the same melody.
- Your message is paramount. Don’t let elaborate fonts play interference between your message and your audience. Legibility ought to be your foremost concern.
- Make sure your selected typeface works like a charm in both print and digital realms.
- Couple fonts judiciously. Counterbalance a hefty headline with a restrained body font to ensure symmetry in your text.
Consider these best practices and you may just capture and keep your customer’s attention.
d.) Your Brand Voice
The voice of your brand should mirror the soul it carries within. To guarantee your brand’s voice strikes the perfect chord:
- Sing in a voice that strikes a chord with your audience. Understand your target market’s rhythm, pulse, and tailor your tone to match.
- Harmonize your tone across all platforms. It’s like a memorable jingle that becomes synonymous with your brand.
- Don’t be a copycat, howling in the voice of another brand. March to the beat of your own drum, be your own brand.
Turn your brand voice into a captivating storyteller. Spin tales, toss questions, and strike up conversations.
e.) Color Palette
Did you ever notice that 33% of top brands wear blue, 29% are dressed in red, and 28% sport black? Colors can stir up emotions. So, understand the language of colors, and select the ones that best express your brand’s character.
- Pick colors that make you pop out in the crowd of your competitors.
- Ensure your chosen colors look smashing on various mediums and backgrounds.
- Often, a color palette as simple as a child’s drawing is more effective and easier to manage. Stick to a primary school palette with 2-3 primary colors and their variations.
A uniform color scheme across all your branding elements is what you need for a picture-perfect brand image.
f.) Mission And Vision
Your company’s mission or vision is the flag you plant that can rally customers to your brand. It’s the beacon that illuminates what your brand is all about and its higher calling.
- Your mission and vision should be as clear as a bell and catchy enough to stick.
- They should be faithful reflections of your brand’s heart and soul.
- Your mission should spur or inspire, and your vision should paint a vivid picture of your brand’s dreams.
- They should help you stand out in the crowd, rather than blend into the woodwork.
- As your brand blooms, your mission and vision might need a bit of pruning and reshaping. Be open to that growth.
With these elements set in place, you’re ready to let them work their magic.
How Your Startup Can Reap From Good Branding Practices
Now you’re armed with knowledge about the elements of branding and how to fine-tune them. You might be scratching your head, wondering how your startup is going to reap the benefits.
Well, branding benefits your startup by:
a.) Creating A Unique Niche For Your Startup
There’s a good chance that whatever product you’re offering is not exactly uncharted territory. Your trump card in this situation is to ensure that you rise above your competitors.
When you get your branding pitch-perfect, you’re no longer just another fish in the sea but the most captivating sea creature around.
Tip: Find your X-factor and let it shine in your branding. Are you the champion of green options, the accessible indulgence, or the one-stop solution?
b.) Earning Customer Trust
Trust is not a given; it’s an achievement. There’s no shortage of customers who’ve been stung before or have heard horror stories from others.
To win over these cautious customers, you need to prove that your brand is as good as its word.
Suppose, for example, your startup is centered on top-notch, lasting products, but your mission sings about saving the world. Through consistent branding and walking the talk, you can cultivate a trustworthy and dependable image that customers appreciate and prize.
Tip: Your branding should consistently preach and practice honesty and transparency. Make a promise only if you can deliver, and then make sure you do.
c.) Building A Loyal Customer Base
When your branding strikes a chord with your customers, they’re more likely to become your fans and even bring their buddies into your fan club.
Tip: Craft a brand that touches your audience on an emotional level.
d.) Opening The Door To New Territories
Good branding can also act as your passport to new markets. Once your startup has built a solid brand in one arena, you can wield that strength to step into new territories.
A classic case of a company that embarked on such a journey is the Virgin Group. What sprouted as a record store later spread its wings into airlines, finance, telecommunications, and even space travel.
Their unwavering brand promise of ‘quality, value, fun, and a sense of competitive challenge’ has powered their voyage across boundaries and conquest of new lands.
Tip: Forge a flexible brand that can stretch and morph with growth. As you diversify, your branding should be ample enough to shelter your new ventures while staying true to your core values.
Best Branding Practices for Business Growth
To make the most out of your branding, bear these in mind:
a.) Know Your Audience
Know your people. Dive deep into your target market’s psyche. Know what they like, dislike, their aspiration, and challenges. Create personas to understand them better. Once you have all this information, you’ll find it easier to work on your messaging and marketing approach.
b.) Remain Consistent
It’s good that you’ve got brand elements in place. But that won’t be useful if you don’t utilize them consistently. Your audience should receive the same brand experience, whether they’re visiting your website, browsing your Instagram, or reading an email from you.
c.) Be Unique
One of the fastest ways to kill off your startup? Imitate. True, your competitors have tried something, and it worked. Borrow from that practice and innovate, but don’t imitate. Strive to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
There might be a thousand coffee shops in London, but what makes yours different? Perhaps, it’s the poetry reading sessions every Friday or your famous turmeric latte.
d.) Keep Evolving
The market waits for no one. If you don’t evolve, you may very easily get run over. Keep a close eye on industry trends and always be ready to adapt. Keep in mind, though, that in your evolution, you don’t lose your core values. Evolution is about keeping your brand fresh. Make sure it doesn’t lead to a severe identity crisis.
At some point in time, companies dictated the terms of communication between them and their customers. Those days are in the rearview mirror.
For your startup to grow, you’ve got to engage with your audience. Listen to their feedback, know their concerns, and value their opinions. This is one of the surest ways to worm your way into their hearts.
Grow Your Startup Today
Well, there you have it. These branding tips can set you well on your way toward establishing a solid foundation for your brand. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon practices that seem a little too complicated.
No cause for alarm. Research the most reputable branding experts to fit your budget and business demands, and rope them in. These pros can step up and turn your startup into a strong brand that your customers can feel proud to be associated with.
Don’t hesitate. Take up the challenge today.