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The Basics of Branding for a Startup Business

Startups have different challenges to face compared to those which older businesses encounter. While full of drive, energy and passion, startups usually lack time and funds for a branding investment. Nevertheless, branding should begin early on, if only to immediately build brand equity for future leveraging.

Branding Defined

Contrary to what many people think, branding is beyond a business logo. It’s more than having a professionally designed website and business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. The good news is, it won’t cost money.

According to the Business Dictionary, branding is a process that involves creating a unique name and image of a product in the mind of the consumer, mostly through consistently themed advertising. On top of that, it is a way of giving the product an established differentiated presence in the market, attracting customers and their loyalty. Therefore, a startup business owner must think deep into the image that will embody its brand in the minds of customers. Before deciding on such image, it is important for the business owner to identify two things – what makes the business unique, and what unique value it offers consumers.

Benefits of a Good Branding Strategy

There are many benefits awaiting businesses that implement a good branding strategy. For starters, brand design grabs the attention of potential customers. Branding can also affect directly the prices that can be charged for a business’ products or services. With a strong brand, it is easier for competitors to fade in the background. A brand also encourages repeat buying behavior after it has been established as a good one, and can be as vital to a business as acquisitions, investments, partnerships and talents. There could be benefits that are specific to different business types, but the above are the most prevalent.

Creating a Successful Brand

It must stand out.

Remarkable brands always win. Being too safe with branding defeats the purpose. The idea is to make the brand unique from competition, instead of just going with the flow.

It should have a clear value proposition.

It is important not to be shallow or general when offering a value proposition. For example, excellent customer service is something people want. The problem is, it has become the value proposition of too many brands. A value proposition should be unique. It should offer something that people will usually not expect.

It should be consistent.

Consistency is the real secret to successful branding. A brand can only be embedded in the minds of consumers if it conveys one and the same message through all of its campaigns. Having different messages is confusing and reduces potential brand equity.

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