10 Essential Brand Development Tips For Startups

Feb 19, 2018

So you’ve learned that brand development is just as important as productivity for a successful startup. Now you need to understand and define what this means to your business.

On the saturated modern market, creating a strong brand is key to standing out amongst the competition. Without it, you’ll be another drop in the sea of startups.

Your brand is also how you attract investors and customers, and even workers in certain cases. This can make or break your startup.

But knowing how important it is to develop a strong brand is only one step on the journey. Where do you go from here?

This list of 10 brand development tips will answer that question.

1. Choose a Strong Startup Name

Never underestimate the power of your startup’s name to attract investors, or scare them away. A well-thought-out name will put you ahead of the competition.

It has to be concise and catchy. Avoid over-complicated words, nonsensical spelling, and weird capitalization.

People must be able to remember the name and how to spell it.

Make sure not to use names that are associated with other organizations, products, or platforms. This includes names that are too similar.

2. Learn from Your Competitors

You can learn a lot about your industry if you examine your competitors’ brands.

What are the common denominators and differences? How do they market their business? How do they communicate with customers?

The goal isn’t to copy what they do. Look into WHY they do what they do.

It’s just as important to learn what doesn’t work for them, and how you can do it better.

3. Define Your Unique Characteristics

Now that you know your competition, you will figure out your unique selling point.

Perhaps your prices are lower. Or you’re selling a more luxurious version or something that lasts longer.

Whatever it is that makes you stand out, make that your main brand development element.

Appeal to emotions and ideals. Are you more traditional, or more futuristic? More exclusive, or more inclusive? Sell these factors.

4. Put Your Brand in a Context and a Story

Making a great product isn’t enough to inspire sales or workers. There must be something to grab attention.

This is why you create context, write the story of your business and the problems it solves. Use this to raise awareness.

A good story will get people talking about your brand. It’s more than a product or service, it’s almost a movement. An identity.

5. Avoid Excess Jargon

From the creator’s perspective, technical specifics are important and exciting. To the average consumer, it’s complicated nonsense. It doesn’t convince people that your brand is good.

You should be able to explain and sell your brand to anyone.

People don’t buy the technical structure or idea. They buy the feeling and convenience. This is what you need to appeal to.

Have your brand speak like a human, to a human.

6. Make the Most of Social Media

Social media makes a great marketing channel for your brand. You’ll have a massive reach and the ability to target the right prospects.

Each social network comes with great opportunities to reach a bigger audience and get them talking about you. Not to mention building customer loyalty.

Share content that appeals to your audience. Think of ways to go viral.

7. Recognize Cultural Differences

Startups are often designed with the idea of going global or otherwise selling to the widest possible audience.

This brings another challenge to your brand development journey.

What works for one region or demographic may not work for another. You need to research each new market before venturing into it.

Otherwise, your marketing may be ineffective, or worse, you may end up ruining your image on a potential market.

8. Be Transparent

You can’t control everything about your brand. The company, workers, and customers may have an unpredictable impact on your public image. This can send a very negative message.

Denying, ignoring, and suppressing the issue has cost many brands their popularity. It’s a better idea to be real about things.

Admit that you’re a company consisting of humans, that a mistake was made. Tell them what you’ll do about it. Of course, you should consult experts first to make sure it doesn’t make things worse.

Don’t take offence at negative reviews or comments. Don’t take things so personally, but make every effort to improve.

Keep your calm and make decisions based on intelligent thought, not heated reaction.

9. Master Content Marketing

You’re not likely to get much attention when you first start your brand. This is where content creation comes into the picture. It’s a way to get attention and establish a voice for your brand.

Use your business blog and social media accounts to produce, and spread, content that will draw people in.

In fact, this article is an example of such content.

Anything relevant to the general topic of your brand and your industry that people will search for is a content marketing opportunity. Find out what people are searching for, write a catchy or helpful article, and enjoy the results.

It boosts your sense of authority and brand presence.

You’ll get more traffic, especially if people share your content. And you can put sales links and calls to action in the content, where it’s relevant.

10. Get Professional Help

It’s ok if you can’t do all the brand development work yourself. It takes research, marketing skills, graphic design, copywriting, and much more. And it takes a lot of time.

Solutions include outsourcing and hiring in-house marketing staff.

It’s also a good idea, in the long run, to invest in media training. It’s better if you and your staff are trained before you need it, than finding yourself needing it when you don’t have it.

You still hold the reins, but you also have access to experts and resources that help secure your brand quality.

Brand Development and Startup Resources

With these 10 branding tips under your belt, you’re one step closer to startup success.

Opstart has more helpful articles and useful services for your startup.

Start building your brand today!



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