It’s not up for debate. Branding is one of the most important qualities of a successful business. Amidst the sea of products and logos that consumers are inundated with on a daily basis, it’s crucial for your business to find a way to stand out and grab attention.
But building a brand isn’t easy, especially if you are new to the marketing sector. And while more established brands have the advantage of familiarity, startups are challenged with introducing themselves to the industry for the very first time—and that can be a tough process.
Fortunately, the rise of branding as a quintessential marketing tool has meant that resources and support are more than abundant. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most effective tips for building a brand from scratch, with a focus on startups still in the early phases of development.
- Research And Identify Your Audience
Before you do anything, ask yourself this question: who am I marketing my brand to?
Understanding who your target market is is the first and most important step you can take towards creating a great brand. The more you know about who your brand is catering for, the easier and clearer your path to success will be. Perform deep market research to gain knowledge about your audience.
Some basic audience indicators include age, gender orientation, income bracket, lifestyle choices, location, and any other factors you think might relate specifically to your products or services.
- Choose A Memorable Brand Name
Consumers have a lot of brand names flung at them, so yours needs to make a mark. Creating a memorable name can be tricky, but you can start by following a name format, such as:
- Origin name – Names that relate to the original location or owner, such as Ford.
- Acronym name – An easier way for people to remember a long name, like NATO or BMW.
- Compound name – A combination of two different names, such as Netflix or Facebook.
- Abstract name – An invented word used as a brand name, like Etsy or Rolex.
- Emotive name – A name that includes an emotive word, such as Greenpeace or Innocent Drinks.
When you’re starting from scratch, there’s a world of possibilities to choose from. You can take your brand name in any direction you like. Just make sure that it ties in well with your overall brand identity and is easy enough for consumers to remember without concentrating too hard.
- Find The Story Behind Your Brand And Share It
Since the dawn of time, people have been using stories to grow communities and connect with those around them. This is still true today. In fact, storytelling remains one of the most important aspects of contemporary brand development, and you should harness it in your brand-building process.
Consider the path that led you to start this business. What motivated you to make it a reality? What kind of experiences and testimonials are you hoping to create for consumers?
Most people aren’t interested in the ones and zeros behind a brand. They want to know how it relates to their lives and how it impacts the lives of others around them.
- Invest In Professional Logo Design & Product Images
Unless you’re an experienced and skillful logo designer or have extensive photographic experience, attempting to create your own logo or photograph your own products is not something you want to attempt. You need a professional to create a look and feel that’s appealing and memorable.
Your brand’s logo should reflect the look and feel of your business, while still being simple and attractive enough for people to recognize easily. Similarly, your product images should showcase your offering in the best possible light. And if you’re the product and you and your team are selling a service, ensure your photographs are taken professionally too.
As a start-up, hiring full-time graphic designers or professional product photographers is probably not within your budget. However, there are plenty of top-class freelancers you can outsource the work to and still achieve incredible results that will help you to build your brand.
- Integrate Your Brand On As Many Platforms As Possible
Once you have your brand name, identity, logo, and target audience established, all that’s left to do is launch your hard work online and start integrating it into your websites or social media channels.
In the early phase of your startup, a full-scale, multi-page website is not strictly necessary. You just need a basic site that includes the most essential information about who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. While a simple to-the-point website is fine as a starting point, you need to put extra effort into leveraging social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Use Digital Marketing Strategies To Elevate Your Brand
Without a strategy, your marketing ideas aren’t likely to take flight. You need the support and power of digital marketing efforts to compete with the other brands in your industry. Such as:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – This strategy involves paying popular search engines to prioritize your content and drive traffic to your sites or webpages.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO allows your content and website links to rank higher on popular search engines like Google.
- Social media marketing – Most social media channels offer internal marketing tools for business management. They will help you gain visibility.
There are many more types of digital marketing strategies worth looking into. However, these three are by far the easiest, simplest, and most accessible to integrate as a startup company. Don’t be afraid to learn something new and use it to help your brand gain the recognition it needs to move forward.
An Ongoing Branding Journey
Building a brand isn’t a destination you can arrive at. It’s a constantly evolving process that must be kept up over time. Once you have your bases covered, you’re in a good position to launch your brand officially and start cultivating a more strategic long-term relationship with consumers.
But it’s important to not stop researching, improving, and adjusting your brand as time goes on. This will not only help your brand maintain relevancy across the years, but it will also ensure that your brand is always the best and most refined it can be.
Marketing any brand is a complex, exhausting process that requires a lot of research, planning, and strategy. But when you get it right, it’s very rewarding, both financially and professionally. With these tips, you can develop a brand that people like and want to invest in.