The word entrepreneurship has become one of the trendiest topics. However, not everybody could create a brand that sticks around. With more people dipping into the startup population, it becomes crucial to learn how to survive and win the competition.
Let’s admit one fact: the unique idea in your head might not be so unique in a real-world scenario. Therefore, a startup brand is destined to face challenges and even resistances from companies who offer similar services. So here comes the question:
How do we win the match of startup branding?
1. Do your market research: who are your clients?
This is the foremost step in any startup branding. Sure, you have a great idea. Sure, you believe many will benefit or be interested in what you are selling.
However, who should you focus your branding on? Who are the biggest consumers of what you are offering? And ultimately – who will be paying?
I cannot stress more on the importance of identifying your customer segment. If you are well aware of what you are offering, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find your customer segment. As a startup, the better you can target your consumer group, the more efficient your branding campaign will be.
2. What is your story?
Ask yourself some questions: what do people see when they look at a brand? Is it the product or service the brand is selling? And finally, what is so special about your brand that you should stand out in the hundreds or even thousands of other companies doing similar things?
This is where you create a unique voice for your brand, or in other words, you tell a good story. The brand is about the consumers and for the consumers. Thus, it is important that the consumers feel related to your story.
Take a look at the Instagram page of Hilary Rushford (@hilaryrushford) – the Instagram coach trending right now. You will notice that her page is telling a story about enhancing your lifestyle and being paid doing the things you want – catchy, isn’t it?
3. Never, EVER, ignore the importance of graphic design
Good design is good business. – Thomas J. Watson Visual effect is one of the most important parts in startup branding because that is the front-end of your business. What people see is going to decide how they feel about your brand.
If you come off as just another millennial brand using minimalistic design, or just another fashion brand with happy girls wearing beach wraps, chances are people will scroll through your web page or campaign in a second.
As the CEO of a web design agency myself, I am sure a well-designed website can grow user interaction rate more than 60% to your business website.
There is a whole system within graphic design so the product appears to be most pleasing and attracting to the eyes of an audience. If you are not a professional in the graphic field, hire a good designer. Yes, it could be costly for a startup.
However, think about how much it will cost you if people look at your products and go: Meh.
If you don’t know how to create a results-driven startup business website that can grow your business? Then you must follow these 7 simple steps to create a successful small business site To stay ahead of your competitors.
4. We all would like a glass of champagne
What is the champagne when we talk about startups? It is the free product you give away when people land to your page. Free shipping, 10% off coupon code, or even a free publication. This is proven to be more successful in leading traffic to your actual product page.
To put it straight and simple: we all like free stuff. So give me that glass of champagne before we go down into your business.
5. Make the right choice of social media
If you google “social media marketing”, you will be overwhelmed with the results. One says Instagram is the best marketing platform, another says Pinterest is more likely to generate sales.
Tumblr, Twitter, Vero… Social media is the big trend right now and you will only be getting more platforms in the upcoming years, which posts a severe challenge towards our startups’ limited budget.
Therefore, instead of telling you try to grab every social media channel you can, I’m saying it is more important to be selective. Go back to the first step and think about your customers.
Think about what value your brand offers to them. Then, think about where these customers linger. For example, facebook is better for family and friends. So if your central market is community/neighborhood based, or if you rely a lot on customer references to their families and friends, facebook is a good place to start.
6. Go back to the basics: postcards, commercials and cold calls
Another issue that has raised with the growth of social media marketing is the downfall of traditional public relation methods. However, always keep in mind that the traditional methods are the easiest, proven ways to reach new customers.
A postcard in the mailbox always win your brand several seconds of visual exposure. If you can land a radio interview? Even better! Compare to the fast pace on social media platform, meaning your posts only stay for a limited period of time in a potential customer’s live feed, traditional marketing strategies are more long-lasting.
They even reach the group of people who are not so comfortable with social media.
7. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Or should I say co-marketing
Co-marketing (or co-branding) is mutually beneficial and is often chosen by startup businesses. By forming a campaign alliance, each party in the relationship benefits.
The most famous successful case of co-branding might be “Go Pro” and “Red Bull.” According to Red Bull’s director of sports and marketing Sean Eggert, “GoPro camera technology is allowing us [Red Bull] to complement the programming by delivering new athlete perspectives that have never been seen before.”
As a small business or a startup, co-marketing could benefit us even more. It’s harder to break three sticks bundled together than breaking one branch. So reach out to brands similar to you.
Reach out to those who can benefit from your service but could also serve as promotional channels for you. Remember, every brand is a part of a larger societal structure. Therefore, interaction and teamwork only bring you benefits you didn’t see before.
As a startup brand, you will face lots of challenges and obstacles. It is important to find the right customers for your brand so you can pitch a campaign directly at them. Remember, startup branding is not just about your product. It is about telling a business story that engages your customer.
It is about creating an identity that would last. So don’t hesitate when you need to give out something for free, when you need to spend on graphic materials, or when you need to compromise in an alliance relationship. Eventually your dedication all comes back as a successful brand.