We often hear people talk about branding when it comes to business and products, but what is branding and how does it affect the outlook of your business or product?
Branding in simple terms means a marketing practice where a company creates a name, symbol, or design that can be easily identifiable to belong to the company. This can be a very challenging and important phase for business owners as it will define you and your company going forward and customers are going to use your brand to distinguish you from your competition. The thought of this alone should let you know the importance of branding to your startup businesses and how it can help build a representation of how you want your business to be perceived.
Today, we are talking about the importance of branding for your startup and why you should consider it in the very early stages of building your company, not as an afterthought. Branding affects every aspect of your business and there are endless benefits of building and maintaining a strong brand. We will highlight a few benefits your startup stands to gain when your branding is done right.
What Makes A Strong Brand
There are different factors that come together to make a brand strong.
Quality, Uniqueness, Company Philosophy, Target audience, Mission Statement, Logo, and Tagline among others. What makes a brand strong and amazing isn’t just one thing, it’s a combination of several factors.
A great example will be Apple. They are not a startup, but they sure do exemplify a powerful brand, and here is why. They have established deep lasting bonds with their customers, Apple is about Imagination, Design, and Innovation. From the way they reveal new products and features on their latest products and their promise of assured quality, Apple’s branding strategy has always focused on emotion and it is difficult to not fall in love with the brand Apple has carved for themselves. Marketing experts like Marc Gobe argue that the Apple brand is the key to the company’s success and not their products. He said “Without the brand, Apple would be dead.” “Absolutely. Completely. The brand is all they’ve got. The power of their branding is all that keeps them alive. It’s got nothing to do with products.” By now, you should see the importance of branding for your startup and some factors you need to consider when creating a strong brand.
Why is Branding Important
Branding is very important from the onset of your Startup because it creates a unique identity for your company and people will use that to recognize you. A strong brand forged with consistency goes a long way to add more value to your startup. Here are some 3 benefits your startup will gain when branding is done right.
Branding Gets Recognition
This is one of the most important reasons for branding. It is how your startup will be seen in the public eye. This can be done through visuals like color, your logo, or audio associated with your startup like a jingle. So anytime your logo is seen or a jingle is played, it is immediately associated with your startup. This helps you stay in the mind of consumers and potential customers. You can only accomplish this through consistency. All But do not confuse this with brand awareness, there is a difference.
In simple terms, brand recognition is the visual and audio cues people use to identify a brand. Brand awareness, on the other hand, is the knowledge that a brand exists and also the ability of customers to recall information, emotions, and general impressions about your brand.
Branding Creates Trust
Branding, when done right for your startup builds trust with your consumers. Most often this is communicated through your brand promise or word of mouth, and needs to be done consistently. Take Unique Trust Bank for Instance when they were in operation. The tag line was “ A loan in Less than 24hrs” this was a brand promise to consumers and once they lived up to that promise consistently, they built trust with their customers. To build trust for your startup through branding, your customers need to believe that;
- You will deliver on your promise
- You have their best interest at heart
- You are genuine and honest
Once your startup consistently delivers on brand promises, you begin to create a connection with your customers and they begin to trust you and put a good word in for you. This goes a long way to helping grow your startup.
Branding Carves A Strong Image For Your Startup
Close your eyes and think of your favorite brand. What is so great about it? What makes you a big fan? Is it their affordable pricing? Customer service? Or social engagement with their followers?
If we want to go a bit deeper as to why you have brand favorites, do you feel like the brand gets you and knows exactly what you are looking for? All these thoughts and perceptions of this brand are what is known as the brand image and it is important that every startup has a brand image.
Having a strong brand image from the start is very important for your startup as it helps generate referrals — customers work with you, stay with you, and tell others about your business. This, in turn, helps increase your revenue. Because it influences consumers’ buying decisions as people always look to buy or pay for the services of companies that can be trusted.
Take Wendy’s for Instance, they have carved out an image for themselves on social media for being funny and sarcastic and people love it. This has helped them grow their social media following on Twitter. First off, look at the tagline they used on their Twitter profile.
Now let us take a look at some of the most sarcastic and famous tweets by Wendy’s and you will understand why people love this Fast Food Restaurant.
This kind of funny sarcastic engagement they have with their customers has made them a fan favorite online and the trolling does not end there, they even go ahead to troll other fast-food restaurants and everyone loves it. This is the image they have carved for themselves online. Even if you have not tried their food, their social engagement can drive you to visit one of their many branches.
What do we learn from this? When you visit their Twitter page, there is a promise to their followers, “We like our tweets the same way we like to make our hamburgers” They deliver on their promise with constant trolling of other fast-food restaurants online and sarcastic responses to their customers every now and then. So if they already delivered on this promise, it should not take much to make you believe they make great hamburgers as well.
Summary: Why branding is important for your startup
A lot of startups are made to believe a quality product and functionality is all it takes to succeed as a business. forgetting that there is a high entrepreneurial wave ongoing right now with new startups springing up all over the world.
What makes you stand out from the crowd and why should consumers choose you over your competitors? Answering these questions will help you create a strong brand for your startup. Startups that take the time to understand their market, what their consumers need and want, and create a brand around that to cater to those needs will always have a competitive advantage.
So arm your startup today by taking time to think about creating a brand for yourself.
Just in case you’ve read this and you believe your business may be in need of quality branding, you’ve found the right partner. QodeHub builds customer-focused products like brands for startups, SMEs & Enterprises. You can learn more about our Branding & Strategy Services here or shoot us an email here to start a conversation about your project.
Written by Ian Frank Hutchful — SEO & Content Writer