In the last few years, the startup scene has seen a considerable boom, especially within the tech community. However, statistics show that only two out of five startups end up being profitable, making potential investors very wary. Securing funding presents a challenge to young startups, especially if they haven’t developed a strong brand identity. To entice investors and ensure long-term profitability, startups need to establish a unique yet straightforward brand right off the bat.
The primary purpose of branding is to establish individuality. Hundreds, if not thousands, of ventures sell very similar services and products. So what makes your business stand out? Your brand identity should communicate to potential investors and customers the key features that make your startup different.
Modern branding strategy typically revolves around four elements:
- brand image,
- brand message,
- brand differentiation, and
- brand communication.
To bring the unique aspects of your business to the forefront, all of these elements should be connected in a meaningful way and be represented by the brand name, logo, positioning, and messaging.
In turn, prospective customers and clients can differentiate your brand from the rest in the market. If customers can pick your brand out from a sea of competitors, it signifies you have a strong brand and a clear message. A well-cultivated brand makes your business memorable and increases its viability in the crowded startup market.
Beyond The Basics
Once you have successfully established your brand identity, the next step in the branding process is telling your brand’s story. All the core elements of your brand identity should form a loose narrative. Stringing this narrative together and presenting it in a creative way will help you win over investors.
What does a successful brand story accomplish? It expands upon the brand identity and conveys why the business came to exist and what it intends to achieve. A brand story includes the struggles you faced along the way, as well as your long-term mission and vision for the business. Building a brand story helps startups establish their unique selling proposition, often referred to as a USP. When pitching to investors, a clear USP can convince investors of your venture’s viability.
Together, your brand story and USP should create an emotional connection with your audience of customers and investors. This is where many startups stumble; they fail to create a compelling enough USP to resonate with their target market. If you find yourself in this situation, you can find a branding agency that works with startups to help you get back on track.
Branding agencies specialize in crafting brand stories that truly stand out. They help you establish a clear voice and also a visual identity for your business. Professional agencies can also take your branding strategy to the next level with compelling video presentations, which have become increasingly popular among seed investors.
Telling Your Story
Creating a strong brand identity and story is only half the battle when it comes to marketing your startup. Once you have developed a unique name, sleek logo, and compelling brand narrative, you have to successfully communicate with investors and your target audience within the market. This requires high-quality visuals and clear and engaging copy that accurately convey your brand personality.
Once upon a time, a good slogan or a memorable name was enough to stand out among competitors. But today, brands no longer have that luxury as art and illustrations have become particularly important to customers and investors alike.
To succeed, startups need to have great visuals that make data easy to consume and relate to. Many non-artists struggle to create compelling illustrations that communicate a specific message. For memorable visuals, many startups hire a professional illustrator and graphic designer.
Once you establish a successful brand identity for your business, everything runs a lot smoother. High-quality branding leads to investment and successful viral marketing campaigns down the road. Have opinions on branding for startups or any experiences you would like to share? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.