Brands are the identities that give life to your organisation. They convince your customers to trust you, form the basis for affinity, and improve your chances of client loyalty.
As the heart and soul of your venture, your brand can’t be just one thing. It’s a combination of your name, voice, image, beliefs, stories, and character. Simply put – it’s everything that makes your business different.
With the number of UK startups rising at a record pace, and competition growing around the world, it’s easy to get side-tracked in a rush to the top. When you’re trying to capture the attention of your audience as quickly as possible, you might get caught up in focusing on your product or service. However, without an effective startup branding strategy, you could be missing an opportunity to connect with your audience.
Your brand is your promise to your marketplace, and an insight into what they can expect from you. In a world where people have more options than ever before, a brand is how you convince your audience to choose you over your competitors.
The question is, how do you start building your own startup branding package?
Branding is complicated and time-consuming.
To create a useful startup branding package, you need everything from a compelling name, to an eye-catching logo and website. When you’re eager to start selling your products and services as quickly as possible, you might begin to wonder why you need to bother with branding in the first place. Why not just come up with an incredible offer and go from there?
The simple answer is that the battle for customer loyalty is intensifying more each day. It’s important to spend some time defining, researching and building your brand if you want to connect with your customer. After all, launching your business with a money-off coupon or a great deal is fantastic – but it will only capture your audience’s attention for a short time. Gimmicks aren’t sustainable – but great branding is.
Take a look at companies like Coca-Cola for instance. Since they’ve emerged on the market, countless other organisations have popped up offering their own version of the famous sugary drink. If Coca-Cola had just been another option in a sea of companies without a memorable personality, then there would be nothing to keep them on top of the marketplace. It’s the identity and experience that Coca-Cola offers that makes it the must-have choice for customers.
Even though you can get the same flavour for a lower price elsewhere, you go back to Coca-Cola every time, because its brand promises joy like no other. Here are just some of the benefits that come with building on your business name with a fully-formed brand:
- A distinct identity and source of differentiation: Today’s businesses need a way to stand out. Your brand is how you separate yourself from all of the other companies offering similar products or services to yours.
- A compass for future growth: With your brand, you discover what your organisation stands for, and what it means. As you position yourself in the marketplace, you’ll create a compass that will guide your future decisions and ensure consistency for your identity.
- The basis for brand loyalty: People don’t form emotional connections to faceless corporations. However, if you invest in startup branding, you give your company an image that your audience can feel passionate about. This is where brand loyalty comes from.
Branding isn’t just about choosing a logo that matches your name or finding the best colours to connect with your audience. With a startup branding strategy, you can develop a presence that sticks with your customers for years to come.
So, what exactly would you find in a startup branding package?
Well, that may depend on who you ask. The important thing to remember is that a brand is not just one thing. It isn’t a logo, a website or even a business name. It’s a collection of everything that makes you different. With that in mind, the best startup branding strategy is something that considers every aspect of your customer’s experience when they interact with you.
What makes you memorable to your target audience? How do they define you, and separate your organisation from its competitors?
Here are some of the most critical components to consider in a startup branding package:
- An incredible name: We might be biased, but we think that a great startup company name is the most essential thing in startup branding. Creating a memorable name is how you form the foundations of your brand. It not only defines your business, but it gives you the inspiration you need to start working on other building blocks like your logo and messaging too.
- A stunning logo: The logo is often the first thing that someone thinks of when they hear the word “brand.” While there’s a lot more to startup branding than a logo, you’ll still need a great image to represent your organisation. Your logo needs to connect with your target audience and make your company stand out on every platform, both online and offline.
- Brand colours and typography: The logo you choose isn’t the only component in your visual identity. The best businesses also have a consistent presence when it comes to the colours they want and the fonts they rely on. Both colour and type can strengthen your brand identity and give a deeper insight into your personality.
- A personality and messaging strategy: A great startup branding package should consider how you’re going to represent your brand to the world through tone of voice and marketing. Think about how you’d want your customers and employees to describe your organisation to other people.
- A value proposition: A product or service can be an essential component of your brand identity if it’s something that helps to define you. One of the first things you’ll do when developing your startup branding strategy is to think about what you can offer that your competitors can’t.
- A website / online presence: These days, everyone is digital. If you don’t have a presence online, then you may as well not exist. The way that you present yourself online needs to be a natural extension of your brand based on what you know about your customers, personality, and values. Your online presence includes everything from your website, to the marketing strategies you use, and even your social media profiles.
Overall, a startup branding package identifies the disparate elements of your company, from tone of voice to visual image, and unifies them into a complete concept. When you create a consistent set of guidelines for who you are and what you represent, you make your business more “human.” The result is an organisation that your customers can connect with on a deeper level.
With your startup branding strategy, you decide not only what your company is going to represent right now, but what its mission will be in the years to come.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what startup branding entails.
However, you still may feel a little confused about how you can define and build your new identity. After all, just like naming your organisation, creating a brand isn’t easy. Many companies choose to rely on the help of a startup branding agency, instead of attempting to go it alone.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you don’t just leave the definition of your organisation to your customers. Remember that without your help, your clients will come up with their own perceptions of your business – and they may not match the image you had in your mind. Few successful companies achieve their riches by leaving their brands to chance.
In a world where 87% of consumers say that they’ll purchase a product entirely because of brand values, it pays to build something that really resonates. Here are a few tips on how to get started with your startup branding strategy.
Before you begin making choices about the future of your company, and your business identity, it’s important to know where you stand. What’s your position in the current marketplace? Who are your competitors and your customers? What makes you different? Do some initial research by:
- Googling your service or product to see what kind of competitors come up.
- Checking forums and Quora posts to see what people are asking about your industry.
- Speak to people who are involved in your target market.
- Look at social media accounts and website pages that your customers are receptive to.
The more you know about your market position, the easier defining your organisation will be. For instance, if you know that there are competitors offering cheaper versions of your product, maybe you can present yourself as a luxury organisation instead?
Even the world’s most incredible product or service can’t appeal to everyone. When you’re just getting started in any industry, you need to figure out who your target audience is, and what you’re going to focus on. To some extent, this means deciding on what your business is going to stand for. If you know what your mission is, you can match your customer base and focus to that.
For instance, if you’re a technology company that wants to make next-level tech more affordable to the masses, then you’ll know that your focus is going to be on both affordability and innovation. You can seek out customers that are both looking for value, and high-quality products.
As you begin to develop your startup branding, the following statements will help you to determine how you should present yourself to your target market:
- Your mission statement.
- Your vision as a brand.
- Your goals and purpose.
A startup branding strategy can’t exist without an excellent name to rest on. Without the right title, there’s nothing to form the cornerstone of your identity. Unfortunately, businesses often struggle when it comes to finding the right company name. After weeks of trying to brainstorm with your team, you might even end up settling on a mismatch of keyword terms created by a generator.
A company name is one of the first significant commitments that you make as a business owner. It can help you to decide who you’re going to be, and what your business should mean to your target audience. Once you’ve registered your trademark, your name will impact everything from your logo to your domain address, and even your marketing strategy.
When your name can make or break the success of your entire startup branding package, we recommend taking it seriously. Leave naming to the experts with support from Naimeo, so you can focus on developing the rest of your brand.
Your visual identity is shaped by the images and colours that represent your business. A lot of people immediately think about their logo when they’re addressing their startup branding strategy, but there are other elements involved too. For instance, your visual identity includes your:
- Website design.
- Social media channels.
- Brand photography.
- Blog images.
- Brand colours.
Everything that you produce to act as a visual representation of your brand needs to mesh with the personality you’ve begun to build for your company. For instance, a serious banking business with a fun and brightly coloured visual identity wouldn’t make much sense. The purpose of things like your logo and your website design is to give credibility to the more intangible parts of your brand, like your tone of voice and message.
As mentioned above, when it comes to developing an effective startup branding strategy, it’s important to think about how you present yourself in every interaction with your audience. Just like the visuals that you choose, the language you use can evoke certain responses and set expectations for your clients. The words you use in your startup branding package includes everything from your organisation’s name, to the title you use for the products you sell.
Collectively, your language is how you share the story of your organisation with the public and make them believe in what you represent. It’s also how you convince your target customers that you’re worth listening to. Today’s consumers are more likely to pay attention to the businesses that speak their language. When developing your style, remember to look at:
- The core values of your business, and how you can convey them in the tone of voice and vocabulary that you use.
- The key themes and messages of your brand that you want to share with your audience.
- The personality that you’re trying to convey.
- The buyer personas that you’ve developed – these will help you to tailor your content to meet the needs of your customers.
Finally, one of the most important things you can remember when it comes to branding is that your organisation won’t stay the same forever. Creating something that resonates with your target audience is an ongoing process. Once you’ve chosen a personality, a logo, and even a name, it’s up to you to keep tracking your relationships with your customers.
If the number of positive perceptions about your company starts to dip, then you’ll need to decide whether something in your brand needs to change. Maybe your logo is too outdated, or you need to re-think the way that you speak to your audience to open your product up to new consumers.
Startup branding isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Once you’ve got the right building blocks in place, you’ll need to continue working on your identity and watching it evolve.
One of the main things that startups worry about when they’re learning how to trademark a company name is how much it’s going to cost. After all, the last thing you want is to spend thousands of pounds on a great name, then the same again on all the legal processes. The good news is that trademarking a title isn’t as expensive as you might think.
If you’re confident that your chosen business name will pass the rules required for registration, then the standard registration rate is £170. Remember, when you ask yourself “How do I trademark my company name?” you’ll also need to think about whether you’re going to use standard or “Right Start” registration. With Right Start registration, you only pay £100 upfront, but you need to pay £200 in total. If your application is rejected, you’ll just pay the initial £100 instead of the full price.
Another thing to consider when asking how much it costs to trademark a company name is what your trademark request is going to include. Remember, above we mentioned that you’d be asked to pick the trademark classes responsible for describing your company. There are 45 classes to choose from, and every additional class costs another £50. For instance, if you’re a business law specialist, you might need to trademark yourself as a consultant, and a legal entity.
If you’re at all concerned that your trademark application might not be successful, then you might be better off choosing the “Right Start” procedure instead. Though it’s more expensive at first, you won’t pay as much if your application isn’t successful. You’ll also need to determine whether you’re going to file a priority claim. Registering for a priority claim is only possible if you’ve applied for a trademark for your company outside of the UK during the last 6 month. You’ll need to provide proof of your claim if you take this path.
Investing in a startup branding package for your business isn’t simple.
You’ll need to think carefully about the identity you want to build for your organisation, and the space you want to carve out in your chosen marketplace. With a careful and consistent branding strategy, you can start to make a difference to the way that people think and feel about your business. From there, opportunities for growth, customer loyalty, and even brand advocacy begin to develop.
Although many businesses convince themselves that the heart of a great brand is the logo, the team at Naimeo thinks differently. Ultimately, you wouldn’t be able to create an effective logo if you didn’t have a compelling name first. Your name is the most critical cornerstone of your identity, and it will make or break your branding efforts.
If you want to discover the benefits of effective branding for yourself, then you’ll need to start with a great name. Fortunately, Naimeo is here to help. Once you have your name, the rest of your startup branding strategy can begin to fall into place.
To get ahead, get a great name. From Naimeo.