Practical Tips to Build Your Startup Brand from Scratch
When you decide on building up your brand from scratch, certain things need to be kept in mind. For whatever reason, you will always be asking how to improve upon your existing model, and what can be done better to encourage and supplement growth within the system.
However, it goes beyond creating just a catchy website design or a captivating logo. These are important, but they are not enough to run a start-up business. Sure, you can earn profits in a matter of months, but to truly prescribe yourself the ideology of building a brand from the beginning requires sustained efforts and hard work to become recognized in the market and for the value of your brand to grow in the eyes of the audience. This is called a brand identity, and this article will guide you as to you would be able to establish and grow your brand’s identity and take it to new heights.
So, Let’s begin!
1. The Brand’s Purpose
It seems easy enough initially, to write down a few lines about the company’s mission, vision, and objectives and label them as the brand’s purpose. However, without the organization’s crux revolving around the purpose of those statements, they will never have value to them, and would just remain as fluff. For those who are well aware, they should always ask questions such as:
- Why did I start this business in the first place?
- What are the goals I want to achieve in the next 3,4, or 5 years?
- What are the targets which will help me move another step upward?
By constantly asking yourself such questions, you will be able to construct not just the purpose of the brand, but also the role that you and your team have to play in growing it.
2. Hire Diversified Talent
Your employees are the ones who will either going to take the start-up to the moon or will inadvertently crash it into the ground. People that come from a variety of different backgrounds usually have a variety of diverse experiences and, as a result, have their own unique opinions. For example, in startups, the brainstorming that goes into marketing and communications campaigns will result in more creative and innovative ideas with many different insights involved. In a similar vein, when it comes to assisting clients in any way, it is essential to have a multicultural and diversified sales or customer support team in order to identify relevant solutions.
Antoine Boquen, CEO and Co-Founder of Horizons in an email interview via HARO shared “When members of a team feel they are respected and included by the company, not only are they more likely to play to the maximum potential, but they are also more likely to act as ambassadors for the newly launched startups.”
3. Analyze your Competitors
By optimizing your market research, you would have a better understanding of the direction the market is moving. Naturally, first and foremost you should research the big brands within the industry. That does not mean that you should imitate them. How would you be able to distinguish yourself from them if you would do so?
However, that does not mean you should not keep an eye out for what they are doing currently.
In doing so, compare your brand with theirs. You will be able to understand the positions where their strengths lie, and in doing so, it can also allow you to find potential drawbacks and weaknesses in their systems which you would be able to use as your own. There are different kinds of benchmarking; and by using these, you would be able to gain a holistic understanding of now only how the companies in your industry work, but you can compare the processes which exist within your organization.
Martin Lassen, Founder & CEO of GrammarHow says “A simple yet effective way through which the
is research can be done is by creating a spreadsheet that would have the organization’s core competitors, as well as a list of all the variables which would be useful in benchmarking yourself against them.”
4. Research your Audience
When building your brand from scratch, it is imperative to have a look at the entire population, and consider who will become your audience? Who will become interested? And finally, who will become your customers in the end?
For that, you intend to create a brand persona. you must know who you are selling to. This can be segmented into various categories which include, but are not limited to:
- Nature of their role in society, and so on.
Mark Valderrama, Owner of Aquarium Store Depot, adds “If your market research can grant you an understanding of how your potential customer’s mind works, it would be easier to relate your products to them.” Successful identification of the target audience can help with greater conversion levels. After all, when demand coincides with the brand, is where the magic happens.
5. The Benefit of Obtaining your Product
Once you have an idea of your potential customers and your competition, you should focus on outlining the key qualities and the benefits which exist in your product. After all, those are the qualities that make the company and its branding unique.
Abdul Saboor, Full Stack Developer at The Stock Dork says “When mentioning the benefits of obtaining your start-up’s product, the benefits are not the features that would be part of the product or service. Rather, they are the outcomes and experiences through which you would be able to provide value that would improve the lives of your consumers.”
An example of this is “Apple”. One of the benefits of using their products has always been the cleanliness of the design and the remarkably easy-to-use interface.
Find your Brand’s voice
As you build your brand from scratch, it is important to associate it with the organization’s mission, audience, and industry. Your brand will begin to create its voice from there, and it will be reflected in how to connect and communicate with your customers, and how those customers can respond to you.
There are endless ways through which the voice of the brand can be identified, and the voice can be distinguished, makes sense, and most importantly resonates with your audience. Some of the possible types of voices can be noted as being:
- Friendly and Service-oriented
- Professional and so on.
Alex Uriarte from 1-800 Injured in an email interview shared“ A voice that changes itself, again and again, will confuse its customers. Maintaining its tone would help the customers to easily associate themselves with it and can help the startup become a recognizable force on multiple channels.”
6. Embody your Brand 24/7
You are the face of the brand. You and your start-up need to be synonymous with one another, not just another face that you wear when you meet your corporate investors, clients, and others. Alex Savy, Co-Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Comfynorth says “Your confidence in explaining and supporting your brand should be second nature to you. Every detail should exude the purpose of your brand.” Your daily choices and actions should reflect your brand’s focus and personality in a positive manner. Once you can successfully embody your brand,
7. Narrate the Story of your Brand
As a start-up brand building your business in the world, you have a story to tell the Audience. The customers who are willing to buy your products and services will be interested in knowing what makes you who you are.
Veronica Miller, Digital Marketing & Growth Director at VPNoverview says “By building your startup, you are crafting a story that can be referred to over time. With your successes and your struggles, the customers would want to be a part of the journey where they see how the company is in process of creating success in the long run.”
8. Brand Logo and Tagline: A Must for every Business
This is one of the most exciting parts of your brand-building process and is important when coming to the visuals of your storytelling. It is the brand logo and the tagline of the company.
Kenny Kline, President & Financial Lead at BarBend says “The purpose of the logo and the tagline is that it is going to follow through with everything connected to your start-up business. It is the strongest form of visual recognition and interpretation and ensuring that you can build a strong brand style means you would need to include elements such as the logo style and placement, color palette, the type of font and icon used, image style, and the elements from the web which would integrate the logo better.”
9. The Online User Experience
In the age of the digital, one of the first things, which is crucial for any business, whether it is a start-up or an established one, is to create a website that would cater to its users. However, this is all the more important for a startup as it would allow your consumers to learn about the business and help to act when they are ready. Sumit Bansal, Founder, and CEO of TrumpExcel says “Your website needs to not only just be attractive but should be able to connect the prospective customer to your brand from the moment you reach the site.” Similarly, the website should be responsive and mobile-friendly, which would be a sign of it being a responsive web design.
10. Marketing your Brand on All Forums
Many forms of branding exist now, and each one of them is useful for your start-up to spread its presence.
- SEO and Content Marketing is one of the sought-after marketing tools, where organic traffic can be diverted towards you via search engine optimization (SEO) along with the relevant content available. By supporting them through their content journey, the trust with the brand will begin to grow, leading to sales.
- Social Media Marketing – Considering the widespread pervasiveness of social media sites, it’s no wonder that brands curate, publish original content, engage in community building, and used paid advertising to get their message across. Joe Davies, CEO, and Founder of FATJOE says “Having a strong strategy to connect with your customers would help the startup to gain required loyalty from customers.”
- Email Marketing – While older, do not underestimate the power of building your lists and treating them like your closed-knit community to connect with for email promotional and non-promotional campaigns.
11. Secure Appropriate Funding
Some startups can begin inconspicuously from a single room, whereas others would cost you money in the millions. However, regardless of the situation, it is important to realize that for a business startup being grown from scratch, it is necessary to have adequate capital which would help the organization to successfully get itself off the ground. It should always be remembered that the cost of doing a business is much higher than what people think it ought to be, and hence they become underfunded.
Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager at Buyer’s Guide says “Remember to consider the banks as a last resort. Since your business is still starting up from scratch, the banks would be hesitant to lend you anything because you do not have any assets or collateral. Or they may charge you exorbitant fees in the guise of dissuading you from going forwards.”
So, what now?
Remember, there are always investors. They can come in the form of:
- Angel investors and
- Venture Capitalists
While it depends on which industry your business brand lies in, there are opportunities to secure funding regardless. However, the chances to obtain it vary, as shown below:
As long as you can present your startup in a way that would pique the interest of the investors, there is a good probability that you would be able to secure the funding you desire.
12. Keep your Financials in Order
While you are focused on building your brand, it is important to focus on other aspects of your business as well, such as setting up accounting systems and taxes, and choosing the right business structure. Forming an LLC, and having a dedicated business bank account for your business will help you separate personal and business finances, track transactions, and manage your finances more efficiently.
Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor of ReviewGrower says “From steps such as opening your bank account by choosing the right bank to support you, understanding your startup’s accounting, financial, and filing responsibilities by recording your financial transactions, creating monthly and yearly reports, and hiring the relevant accounting personnel to take care of the numerical sides of the business, there are many other steps which need to be taken to fulfill your accounting obligations to the business. Failure to do so can lead to a loss of lots of time, and money, and can even lead the organization towards legal persecution.”
13. Secure your Intellectual Property (IP)
Josh Tyler, CEO & Founder of Go2Tutors shares “Your startup may be working towards an idea, service, or even a creation that has been sparked by the creativity of your dream. However, it is possible that there would be a threat to those ideas from theft, mimicry, and manipulation. Hence, it is equally important to protect your IP as a business as it is protecting your tangible assets from physical harm.”
Josh further added “To do so, the name and brand must be trademarked and secured so that it prevents anyone else from using it. Similarly, applying for a patent of your product and service will grant you legal ownership of the invention, and grant you exclusive rights to it.”
14. It is okay to get Help!
Finally, Myles Robinson, Digital Marketing Expert at LoanCorp says “For a lot of those who are venturing out in starting their businesses from scratch, they assume that they are the only ones who know how to their startups from the ground towards success.
That is not the best way to move forward, because you are not expected to be experienced in every single facet of running a startup, and you would need professional help in running the business, and help you flesh out your vision.
It is up to you, whether you would want to outsource a particular function or hire a resident authority to run the facet. Plenty of business coaches out there to help you build your brand. Just make sure to choose the one with a track record of success and an esteemed signature coaching program.
That does not mean that you remove yourself completely from the equation, as you and your team should be in line with the changes proposed by the expert. This way, you’ll continue to learn while your startup gets the required professional treatment it deserves.”
In a Nutshell
Understanding how to build and run your very own startup allows you to go through a unique experience, with no experience quite comparable with another one. However, these 15 tips mentioned above allow you to ensure that you will be able to build yourself faster and avoid some of the common shortfalls which are normally prevalent within the market. We hope that this article has been helpful to you, and we hope that you can achieve the success you have desired.