Joanna Michaels, Director

One of the cornerstones of your entrepreneurial journey is knowing how to brand your startup. In today’s market the competition is fierce, it’s estimated 600,000 startups launched in the UK in 2015 alone (source: The Telegraph UK)

Despite these statistics, many startups are still missing one key component to success… Branding! Now we don’t mean a fancy website and memorable logo, it requires so much more than that. To truly build a successful business a startup will need a solid and clearly defined brand, inclusive of a unique offering, enticing story and pronounced values.

Branding your startup is an essential first step before embarking on any marketing strategy. Only with a consistent and clear concept of who you are, defined throughout your product including tone of voice, keywords, strap lines, colours, fonts and values, can you convey your message to your audience through carefully constructed marketing strategies.

These 5 key questions will help you discover how to brand your startup for success:

1. Why do you do what you do?

In other words, what is your brand story? How did you get here? Why is it so valuable to you? Many startup owners focus more on executing products, ensuring the technical side is in place, rather than creating a story around their product or service. The most successful brands position their offering within a bigger picture, crafting a compelling brand story that evokes emotions, shapes perceptions and builds trust.

Remember, you want to appeal to humans, so avoid buzzwords and be human, so your customers can relate to your product or service.

Here are some further questions that can help in crafting your startup brand story:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • How did you come up with your product/service?
  • What motivates you to push your startup forward?
  • What type of customers find value in working with you and why?

2. Who is your ideal customer? Who are you trying to reach?

The enormous excitement of setting up a startup often makes the founders believe that their product or service should appeal to absolutely everyone. The truth is that trying to attract all customers in the market place would be hugely expensive. Creating a product for a well-defined target market, on the other hand, gives your startup stronger focus and clarity. Consequently, you can perfect your offering and determine better ideas going forward.

3. Who are your competitors and how do you differ from them?

When developing your startup branding it is essential to understand how does your startup fit into the existing market? A close look at the competition and in-depth comparison can be particularly helpful. What are your competitors doing right? Emulate them. Where are they failing? Learn from them and fill the gap. This comparison exercise is also helpful in defining your startup’s identity, meaning, what your business is and what it isn’t.

4. What are your unique selling points? What problems are you solving?

Your startup needs a clear place in the market, In other words, a strong positioning statement. Think about a sentence or two that clearly defines your startup and explains what problems are you solving. Consider your audiences emotions in relation to the problems that your product/service helps to solve. Finally, think how do you do things ‘your way’ and why is it better than anybody else?

5. Where do you see your business in 3 years?

Here, alongside your financial goals, you should be looking at a desired success defined in non-monetary terms. What’s your brand’s bigger vision? What’s its underlying cause? So here you are thinking along the lines of ‘We exist to…’ This takes us back to our original question, what defines your start up? And what made you build your startup in the first place?

Over to you

Beyond Social Buzz specialises in assisting startups in their marketing journeys. If you need assistance with developing the brand for your startup, get in touch! We would love to hear from you!

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