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Branding basics for your Startup - 4 key things to consider

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by Startacus Admin

So, you've had your business idea eureka moment, undertaken appropriate market research, worked out your business model (or at least a business model) and you feel you're ready to take on the world (or even your local market) with your fab new business / startup.

But what of your business brand - pretty essential, but often an afterthought for many a first-time small business, freelancer or startup owner. With this in mind, we business brandingthought it wise to share a few basic pointers of some of the key branding basics you might want to consider...

Brand Perception

We recently wrote about gaining publicity for your startup and talked about having a 'Wizard of Oz' mentality to give the impression of being a knowledgeable bellowing voice within your industry. Of course, for some startups being a bellowing voice might not be appropriate, however setting out and understanding how you want your brand to be perceived is essential in the early days of creating your brand.

Sit down, grab a cuppa, and list some key words and phrases that you would like your business brand to represent and be known for. Then try and work out how your brand can be perceived for just that.

Not as easy as it would first appear!

Brand Name

Hopefully you all love the name ‘Startacus’. Although it now sits quite naturally as a key part of our brand and ideology, we took weeks to come up with the name Startacus and many a name was thought of,  occasionally chosen and then rejected. Choosing a great brand name is an essential part of establishing how you want to be perceived and remembered. Of course if we had called our website or something similar your perception on our website might be very different.

Your business name sets the tone for your brand so choose wisely!

Don't do it yourself

You may be the next Richard Branson for all we know! However the chances are that unless you are a designer or have some background in branding & marketing you will need to outsource some of your brand development and design to someone who specialises in that field. We recently chatted with Niall O’Loughlin, 99designs branding for your startupMarketing Manager for the UK and Ireland about the benefits of crowdsourcing your design requirements and it seems whether you use a crowdsourced design platform like 99Designs or a local design company, the key is to work together and agree goals to gain the most value from using experts.  

There is a tendency to assume that because you hold a certain level of business acumen, you must also be naturally gifted in the art of design… unfortunately this is rarely the case.  Even if you have a wonderfully clear vision of how you would like your branding to appear, turning this imagined design into a reality is a long, complex process which requires a high level of specialist skill and a certain amount of natural ability.

Just as an conductor wouldn’t attempt to play all of the instruments himself, nor should you attempt to over-burden yourself with a task more suited to the skilled and talented hands of a trained professional.

Get the design wrong and you risk creating a brand which appears ill-conceived and amateurish, which in-turn could create the impression that your business is unprofessional.  

Unified brand message and style

Yep, we appreciate that this is really two sections in one, but having a unified brand message and style is a collaboration of sorts. All your social media, messages, and marketing materials should have a unified message and style, and one that helps to highlight the perception you want your target audience to identify with and instantly recognize. This message could be through offline and online mediums - such as social media - Twitter, Facebook, banner stands and displays at trade shows etc. It could also be through the type of font and design styling you use, and perhaps even down to the clothes that you wear or the level of formality in your speech.

It’s really important to understand that every message, design element and even team member that you have, is responsible for representing and amplifying the brand image, message and style of your business.

Now over to you - Good luck! 

Ps - once you've done all of the above and you are ready to shout about your project or startup - why not showcase your idea, project or startup, collaborate and get support from others in our fab Collaboration space!

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Published on: 15th September 2014

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