9 Steps To Building a Brand Identify for Your Startup

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What is your best advice for startups on how to build a strong brand identity?

To help you build a strong brand identity for your startup, we asked startup founders and business owners this question for their best insights. From showing strong expertise in your field to bringing out the story behind your brand, there are several pieces of advice that you can follow to develop a strong brand identity within your niche.


Here are nine tips for building strong brand identities for startups:

  • Show Strong Expertise in Your Field
  • Define How Your Brand Solves a Specific Problem
  • Create a Unique Visual Identity
  • Develop Ways To Frame Your Brand Into Words and Pictures
  • Define Your Place in The Market Clearly
  • Start Talking With Your Audience
  • Plan a Grassroots Approach
  • Better Your Brand by Pitching it Against Competitors
  • Bring Out The Story Behind Your Brand

Show Strong Expertise in Your Field

Show strong expertise in your field. Brands that educate garner more attention and have better staying power than brands that don't. Seek to make your brand a source of knowledge in its field. People should come to your brand, not simply to buy products or experience your culture, but to use you as a repository of knowledge for topics of interest that relate to your brand. The trust you build by educating your audience feeds back into your brand.

You can educate your audience on all the benefits of your brand while speaking with authority and hard-earned respect from your customers. The long-term benefits of becoming an authority in your field can lead to years of sustained positive growth for your brand.

Boye Fajinmi, TheFutureParty

Define How Your Brand Solves a Specific Problem

The key to branding your product is identifying your customers' exact needs. So, it's essential to solicit feedback from your customers throughout the branding process. Focus groups, social listening, and keyword research will bring significant insights into what customers are looking to get from your product. You can then use this knowledge to position your messaging in a way that anticipates their wants, making you the go-to business that solves their problem right away.

Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth

Create a Unique Visual Identity

To establish a strong brand identity, start-ups must focus on creating a unique visual identity. They can do this by developing a unique logo and color scheme that will be associated with the company. The logo is the foundation of any brand's visual identity, so it should be memorable and attention-grabbing.

In developing a color scheme, startups should choose at least two colors that will be associated with their brand and use them consistently in their marketing materials. This way, people will automatically think of the company when they see these colors. Take the Google logo, for example. Its font is simple and easy to read since the company wants users to associate their brand with simplicity and accessibility. Using red, blue, yellow, and green in its branding, which are all primary colors, also supports this goal.

Ben Rollins, Axon Optics

Develop Ways To Frame Your Brand Into Words and Pictures

As a startup, you probably have a good idea of what your brand is, but putting it into words or pictures is a different story.

People always ask me “what is your branding process?.”  It’s a 3 step, repeatable process that you can use again and again to design everything from small logo brands all the way up to multinational corporate identities. The first step is a mental exercise that takes about 30 seconds. If your customers were one person, what would they be like? Your business needs to develop and grow a brand that aligns with your customer’s lifestyles so that they can identify with you, and buy into your brand. 

By now you should know your customer profile; your brand hook. Step 3 is to take all of these brand ingredients and use them to guide your design choices for each aspect of your brand.

Nicholas Robb, Design Hero

Define Your Place in The Market Clearly

The best advice I got when I was an Area Sales Manager for the 4th biggest building material manufacturer in the UK was "know your place in the market". I naively thought it was about getting the biggest orders from the biggest merchants but it was in fact the opposite. We made the exact same quality materials, all Kitemarked to British Standards but we operated on the lower end of the market deliberately at a lower price-point despite our products being identical.

What I learned was that the market is huge and segmented into different areas; some people will pay the premium prices, some will pay the mid-range prices and there will always be people willing to pay the cheaper prices. You have to be clear to consumers what price point you serve and your entire marketing and distribution have to be aligned with this. When customers think about your company, the first thing they will think of is your market positioning and price point. So it's important to make this crystal clear.

Sajan Devshi, Learndojo

Plan a Grassroots Approach

One of the initial challenges that a startup needs to overcome is how to distinguish themselves as a unique and trustworthy brand. By taking a grassroots approach, a new company can reap many benefits. 

The key is to find a niche audience, typically local. Through personal interactions with the audience, the startup can begin to build trust and gather direct feedback.  This method is also cost-efficient as it does not require expensive advertising.  With this bottom up approach, a startup can develop a strong consumer base, which ultimately will spread through word of mouth.

Lev Berlin, Recipal

Better Your Brand by Pitching it Against Competitors

Pitch yourselves directly against your competitors, the big players. Be the anti-brand.
What do you not like about their brand or company? If you don't like their social responsibility, show how you are better. Don't like how competitors have removed layers of customer service, be the alternative. Don't like the extortionate prices? Show there is a different way.

Comparing your new brand to a big established brand helps consumers in two ways, it communicates clearly what you do. Consumers will know and recognise this big brand. It also proves why you are better, and you can build a brand around that.

Luke Smoothy, Get It Made Ltd

Bring Out The Story Behind Your Brand

Your identity IS your brand’s identity. Your brand isn’t just your signature colors or your slogan. What do you stand for? Make the story behind it known and customers will show more interest and feel loyalty. If you’re passionate about a cause that’s reflected in your brand, let people know. Tell your people why you are, not just what you are.

Amy Keller, Climate Candy

 

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