5 steps to avoid a start-up brand flop!
Because a skin-deep approach to your brand isn’t going to reach the hearts of anyone
We love working with start-ups. There’s nothing more exciting to us than bringing that vision to life for a brand new company or product. Start-ups are special. They are unique and powered by real people – which is what floats our boats!
The sad fact is though, that a lot of start-ups struggle. With the purse strings being oh so tight, businesses can prioritise the more tangible elements of their business. The costs of launching can add up very quickly. The expense of having a brand developed seems like something that can be done later, right? As long as there’s a logo then we’re good to go!
Although a good logo design is a very important component of your overall brand – alone a logo isn’t strong enough to carry the emotive and influential messages of your business without any backing. A logo, over time, represents your businesses values, beliefs and purpose and becomes synonymous with these characteristics that your audience creates a connection with.
Sure your logo looks good, but a skin-deep approach to your brand isn’t going to reach the hearts of anyone.
Without some substance behind the logo, even the prettiest of designs can’t guarantee your success as without a purpose they are just a bit of fluff! This can become a deflating (and costly) experience for the hopeful entrepreneur when their marketing efforts bomb.
So, to help you avoid a branding flop – here’s 5 things you need to define during the branding process to give your identity more bang for your buck!
1. Know your purpose / make a promise
Your purpose is the reason your company, product or service exists beyond making a bit of money! Its your brand’s promise. Making a promise to your customers is how you create a brand that resonates with people, which is the foundation for building relationships and generating consumer loyalty.
2. Know your audience
Now you know what your purpose is, we need to figure out who this serves. Who is most likely to need your services or use your products? The answer to that is not everyone, unfortunately! Customer profiling is used to create a picture of your most typical customer. A design agency can then tailor how your brand looks, sounds and feels to interact with them. Your entire brand will be shaped around these people and their needs.
3. Work out what makes you unique
In a world full of choices, your individuality is your strongest asset. It’s that special something that makes people pick you over the rest (aka your USP – Unique Selling Point). Work this out and you have the key to standing out amongst your competition.
4. Create your values
Creating a set of core values that define the principles and beliefs, give your brand integrity and heart. They are the rules you live by that enable you to keep your brand’s promise. They create a culture that allows your employees to embody your brand and act out its intentions. Giving your brand some soul is how you inspire trust and connect with people on a human level.
5. Know your competitors
Knowing who/what you’re up against is vital for the survival of your business. Analysing the pitfalls and risks of the market, your rivals’ strengths and weaknesses, but also your own, is a worthwhile exercise to determine where you fit in, and how to compete in your market.
All these factors inform a design agency of who you are and what your message is. It dictates the tone of voice used in your marketing, and every last detail in your corporate identity right down to colours and fonts. If you know who you are and what you stand for, then your customers will too! Taking the time and making the investment into your brand from the beginning avoids flimsy and lazy logos being slapped on your great service or product and devaluing what you do.
How do I Figure out all this stuff?
We’ve got you! At OLO we provide an interactive workshop as part of our branding service called The Juicer that examines all this.