Creating a startup isn't easy, and you need more than just a great business idea. One crucial step when starting a new company is branding. Here is a quick guide to branding for your startup.
What Is Branding for Your Startup?
Branding is an essential strategy for any business, including your startup. It's a strategy designed to make people quickly identify your products or services and choose them over the competitors'. Branding helps all stakeholders (especially customers) define company values and mission.
Why Is Branding for Your Startup Important?
As a startup, you may not have a lot of money or time to spend on branding and instead copy a competitor's identity or look at current internet trends. Copying a competitor identity isn't going to work, especially in the long term. You aren't going to successfully market your product or service if you don't have a solid brand identity. Many consumer purchases are subconscious, so rational reasons such as convenience, features, or pricing aren't always going to get you business.
Instead, customers are driven by other factors that are created by your brand. Even if your competitors have better pricing, more experience, or a more comprehensive range of features, you can still be successful as a startup if you have a great brand. Great branding is vital for startups since startups will usually have larger corporations as competitors with more marketing and branding resources.
When it comes to coming up with your brand, you need to start somewhere. You may want to begin with your personal story as a startup founder. You can then use this to come up with your brand voice. To get some inspiration for your brand voice, pull out some paper and write down every word you can think of when thinking about your business and your story. Think about how these words are going to make your consumers feel.
Once you have an idea of the brand, you also need to decide on a company name. Your company name is going to be the most important. When thinking about your company name, there are many factors to consider, including how easy it is to remember and spell, if the name is available, if there is room for expansion, and how it fits your brand voice. Your company name is going to play into the other critical aspects of starting your brand.
Then put together a mood board to see your brand start to come together. Search for images that use your keywords that you picked for your brand voice. The photos and mood board will help you narrow down the colors you want for your brand, as well as the fonts.
Critical Aspects of Branding for Your Startup
Branding for your startup can consist of three key elements: the logo, website, and domain name.
The logo can identify your services and offerings. Logos like those for Coca-Cola and Nike are instantly recognizable. Beyond helping you get recognition, logos can also play essential roles in branding for your startup.
Logos help you make a strong first impression. It's easy to recognize some logos, such as the Golden Arches for McDonald's, even at a distance. It also helps convey to your customers the business's personality and values. It helps provide your business with some credibility. Customers will start to build trust with your logo and the associated brand.
For example, the Apple logo on products reminds customers they are purchasing an authentic Apple product, and, not only that; there is a team of experts that will help you out if anything should go wrong with your product.
A new startup will have to have a logo created from scratch (and don't be afraid to hire a professional). When it comes time to register your logo as a trademark, you will need to do a logo search to make sure that there isn't an exact or similar logo design already in use. You don't want to get caught up designing a logo that describes what you do since you also have other chances to explain what your business does. Your logo has to be unique, appropriate, and straightforward.
Remember, your logo is only suitable if it fits in with the rest of your brand.
Without a website, you miss out on many benefits that come with a web presence.
Your website will increase visibility. Customers will want to find you online. The more online visibility you have, it's easier to grow your customer base, business, and sales. Not only does your website provide an easy way for customers to shop your products or learn more about your services, but it can also give customers a way to contact you. You get to provide them with phone numbers and email addresses to contact you and even take advantage of virtual chat when a customer is currently on your website.
It is important to ensure that the website design follows the branding concept that you developed earlier with the mood board you used when brainstorming at the beginning of the process. Don't forget to understand these five critical parts of website design before you get started.
Choosing a domain name for your business is going to tie directly back to your brand. When it's possible, the best choice for your startup will be something that links back to your brand.
However, this may not be the case for some businesses. Brands don't always choose a domain name that matches. Some will want to use a domain name with SEO keywords that tie into the location or company's offerings. When choosing a domain name, whether or not you decide to use keywords, it's best to keep a domain name memorable, short, and easy to pronounce. It would be best if you also aimed to have a dot.com extension. If this is not available, there are other options, but dot.com is the best choice.
Keep it Consistent
One key aspect of branding is consistency. Remember that branding never stops, and you are always going to continue to develop it. With the right work, you can set yourself up to be consistent throughout your business life in the beginning.
For help with choosing the right domain name and branding for your startup, contact us.