Branding: making or breaking your startup?

branding for startups

Oftentimes misunderstood, branding is as much of a growth driver as funding. Think of it as a sprinkle of life that your company needs right from the start. Shaping your brand from the very beginning of your company’s journey is crucial. Not only for getting investors, for marketing purposes, and for generating more sales, but it also helps set you apart from the crowd right from the beginning. 

Simply put, well thought through branding creates a company culture for like-minded people and attracts other like-minded people, building a steady relationship with your audience and all your stakeholders. 

After all, your brand is essentially your company’s “home”.

Why is branding your company’s “home”?

branding for startups

Entering the market and leaving a great impression requires you to have strong brand guidelines in place. You can store these guidelines in a brand book, which serves as a reminder of how you started off and who you actually are or want your company to become. The brand book covers everything from mission, vision, image, and core values, to more detailed oriented items like fonts, and color schemes. 
Interested to find out more? Check out our advice on how to create your own brand book and the best ways how to use it here.

Branding allows you to shine among your competitors

branding for startups

Allow us to be corny, but also deadly serious: If your company is a rocket, branding is the fuel that sets it off into outer space. 

Word of advice? Branding strategy should be on your to-do list right from the start. What does this entail? Defining your purpose, mission, and desired impact, and thinking about the tone of voice and your company’s personality. 

Days, when companies could thrive without personalities defined, are far behind us. When people go to your company’s website, your brand needs to tell a story. Why? Because people want to know what hides behind the super-polished logo, of course. Studies have found that 57.5% of people are more inclined to do business or purchase goods or services from a company whose personality shines through, so what’s stopping you?

Think about it: what is it that sets you apart from all other competitors in the same industry? Is it your aesthetics, your services, your boldness, or the unconventional way of doing things? 

Let’s take Superman for example. What made him more special than other superheroes in the biz? With his Kryptonian origin, red fluttering cape, and bold logo on his chest, Clark Kent was definitely one of a kind. He’s got it all: a compelling brand narrative, a strong logo, and unforgettable values

Branding connects you to your target audience

branding for startups

We need to emphasize the importance of brand consistency here. Letting aesthetics and design aside, your brand needs to build an emotional connection with your targeted audience. 

First of all, branding consistency means that your brand is recognizable along all customer touchpoints and across all your marketing channels. This also means that your brand is always in touch with its values and elements that make up your brand identity. To be able to do so, you need to know how to effectively communicate your brand identity and make it recognizable to your target audience. This way, you’ll create a cohesive brand experience for all your stakeholders and potential customers. 

A very important piece of advice: one way to communicate your core values and opinions is to not be afraid to communicate them. 

Of course, a unique and bold personality can’t please everyone, so you might as well just be yourself and talk to the “right” people who’ll listen. Branding allows customers to get valuable insights into your company and get a sense of relatability, forming a loyal customer base. 

You might wonder, or not, what makes Superman so popular? How does he form a connection with his audience? 

Well, one of the things that makes him so likable is his humility. He is the most powerful being on Earth and is still so humble, that you would think he wouldn’t even hurt a fly. It’s his lack of god complex that makes his brand so irresistible. And yet, Superman uses this likable personality trait to his own advantage. He never misses a chance to show the world what a good guy he is. And it’s exactly this kind of personality trait that your brand needs. Feel free to boldly express your talents and services, while keeping in mind that your brand needs to be relatable – to the right people, of course. 

Branding reminds you of who you are

branding for startups

Branding is not only for polishing your image and building a reputation among your competitors and audience. Think of branding as a great reminder for everyone at your startup: a reflection of your values, drive, and what actually made you start this crazy journey of starting your own business. 

With great branding, comes a great company culture. Never forget that. 

Branding needs to be applied externally, as well as internally. Your employees are the heart of your brand and you need to take care of them. A company culture that is nourished from within is simply radiant. 

Happy employees make a healthy work environment which leads to more sales figures and a good reputation. 

We can’t leave out the importance of communicating with your audience here though – A strong brand communicates its processes and values in a transparent way, and soon the right people will reach out to you, and will want to work with you. As you can see, company culture plays a great role in retaining and attracting talent. 

We promise this is the last time we bring up Superman, but hey, he was one of the leaders of the Justice League. And you don’t get to be the boss of the freaking Justice League without being friends with all the superheroes in the league first.  

So there you have it. Take Superman and his Justice League for example. They were loved on Earth and in outer space because of their strong bond and friendship. Nurturing your work culture is one of the most vital “self-care” steps you can take for your brand. And trust us, there is nothing better than working among friends and colleagues you appreciate and they appreciate you back. 

Before you go

But enough about the importance of branding for startups. Wanna find out how to create and leverage your brand right? 

Download our free e-book with 10 insightful tips on how to grow your startup from the ground up with bold branding.