Start off right with the truth about 5 startup branding myths.
Every new business should understand the importance of branding: here are 5 startup branding myths, along with our response to those errors.
Startup Branding Myth #1: “Branding is important only after I start growing.”
Don’t underestimate the value of branding. As much as half of your company’s value is the result of perception and branding. This is because properly executed branding turns your product or service into something distinct and unreplicated: the unique value that you offer consumers.
This means branding is not only relevant, but critical, for start-up companies. When you first enter the market, no one else will announce your arrival. That’s up to you. You must be able to communicate the value of your product to the world: don’t face the market with just a soulful idea. If you don’t invest in branding, consumers will create their own perception of your product, and it might not be the one you want. Take control of that story before you walk into the room, and attract the audience that is best for you.
Start-up Branding Myth #2: “Gosh, I don’t have the budget for that kind of expense!”
Stop thinking of branding as an expense. It’s an asset. Brand equity includes 3 main components: 1) consumer awareness, 2) qualities associated with the brand, and 3) loyalty. That article reveals that no one may agree exactly on how those elements are valued; still, create a budget for branding as an asset.
How much? Our rule of thumb is 15% of your desired gross annual revenue should be invested in brand building exercises. This budget should be used to pay for a branding strategist, graphic and web designers, copywriter, marketing expert, social media expert, and related expenses.
Start-up Branding Myth #3: “Branding is too complicated.”
We believe it’s more complicated not to invest in branding. The perception of your product created through branding comes from more than a logo or a name or a color scheme, but from the collective voice of several attributes. And if consumers don’t understand your value, the problem is your story.
Invest in the beginning, in the FOUNDATION of your brand strategy. Organize. Identify your story and make it clear and cohesive and repeatable. It’s less complicated to have a set of branding guidelines for future decisions than to reinvent the wheel and rehash what you want when, for example, you try a new social media outlet or advertising venue.
We break down branding into five structured phases to help prioritize the process so that it feels less overwhelming. Our methodical approach gives you a chance to focus on brainstorming and exploration, for instance, before worrying about how to execute anything.
Start-up Branding Myth #4: “I have a good company name, can I brand with that for now?”
Here’s one idea: think of your brand as a person. Does a name alone tell you that person’s story? Similarly, does your company name tell your whole story? Does it explain who you are and why you’re different? If your company isn’t another Jane Doe (and we doubt that it is), then your name alone isn’t enough for branding.
Still, naming is an important and strategic part of your brand. We have our own selection criteria and examples of different types of names that companies use.
Start-up Branding Myth #5: “I just come up with a good story, right?”
No. As this article notes, “saying it’s so won’t make it so.” Your entire business must be aligned with your brand’s story. Consumers are savvy and want more than lingos and logos. Another way of looking at this idea is through authenticity: if your story is authentic to your business, then your business will be accountable and deliver whatever it promises to consumers. Accountability creates customer loyalty. That means repeat business and revenue for you.
Startup Branding is a multi-billion dollar industry. Everyone will have an opinion on what is best for you, whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or a start-up excited to jump into the field. We love new business adventures, and want to challenge key start-up branding myths that will slow progress and prevent your success.
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