Branding Tips for your Startup Company

Branding is tough. Getting it right the first time never really happens, it is more of a journey than a onetime event. Quality branding requires a substantial budget, and substantial input from a creative, passionate team.

Branding isn’t about a creating a logo, it’s about the company values and principles, and the ways that this is communicated to your audience. Branding will play a huge role when it comes to the way the business is perceived by a target audience, and when you step back, you really can’t afford for it to be an afterthought, your brand must resonate with the people viewing it.

Research

Just like our time in education, the start of a business project should begin with thorough research. Research your target audience; who are they? Age range, gender, hobbies, jobs, salary, political or ethical opinions, where do they shop? Build a couple of audience profiles, complete with pictures – this often helps to build emotional connections to the target audience.

Knowing exactly who you are aiming to appeal to will mean that all of your branding efforts are focussed and consistent.

Next, look at the competitors; how are they performing? What are their prices – (you may need to get a little sly here and make some fake enquiries) How is there branding perceived? Taking the time to conduct market research and ask people within your target audience their opinions and feelings towards the business based on its brand is insightful.

Finding out how your competitors branding is perceived will give you direction for your own, making the process far more streamlined.

Don’t Do It Alone

When it comes to your business, you are the expert. You may have some strong concepts when it comes to the visual side, but don’t attempt to manage the whole process. Design and branding agencies have trained for years, hiring experts and have gained ever important experience and knowledge. Your time will be best spent creating a solid set of company values that will be lived and breathed by every part of the business. A good agency will be a great long term investment.

Learn To Let Go

You have to be bias at times. For obvious reasons, your business is always going to remain very close to your heart and the emotional ties you have to everything that relates to it will be strong. Learn to detach yourself from those emotions. When you are presented with ideas and concepts from your agency, don’t think as a business owner – think like your target audience. It’s vital that you place a degree of trust within the team at the agency and understand the reasons for the concepts being presented. The designs may not be to your personal tastes, but ask yourself would it appeal to your target audience and does it reflect your business?

Pay Close Attention to Your Website

There is nothing worse than reading or hearing great things about a brand to be greeted by a poorly designed website (yes, even in this day and age), a website that doesn’t work or for some unfathomable reason, no website at all. Why would you not have a website?

There are so many options when it comes to website creation, it is possible for someone with little knowledge of web design to create a functional, albeit basic website. However, it depends on the businesses values and target audience, what are their expectations? A well designed, functional website with well written, relevant content will provide a massive return on investment. Just make sure that you are given the back end logins from the developer and be sure to discuss the cost for ongoing maintenance.

Welcome All Feedback

If you want to know what your customers think of your business and your brand – you are going to have to ask them. Talk to them about their brand journey and experience with the business and the things that they believe could be improved.

You may not agree, but again – this honest, unbiased feedback is invaluable and should be taken on board, it will do wonders for increasing client engagement!

If we are honest, social media platforms mean that you are going to receive feedback whether you asked for it or not. You will find you experience both positive and negative comments on social media, and while you should amplify, share and respond to the positive – the negative needs attention too. Acknowledge the negative in public and of its legitimate resolve it in private, it’s all a learning curve.

Developing a branding strategy that calls upon creativity and expertise will mean you can build a brand that immediately evokes emotions, positive connotations – and ultimately sales. It’s always worth the investment because the most powerful brands always tap into emotion. Figure out the message first and build the rest from there

How the right team in your startup will make the difference

Today, in a rapidly growing industry of Startup’s popping up everywhere you look, everybody seemingly wants to be an entrepreneur. This is a good thing, small businesses everywhere are being created, the economy is growing, people are taking a shot at being their own boss and growing their product. But the success of your product and company 99% of the time does not solely revolve around only you. TEAM WORK will ultimately dictate your success.

Hands down, when looking at a business one of the most important factors to analyze is the Founder and what role they play within the business. This person , typically CEO, needs to be committed, they need to be passionate and they always must be a strong leader. However, almost as equally as important to this, the next most important factor is the team that is supporting the growth of the company. A strong team whether it is 2 people or 200 people, must exist to also be passionate, supportive, positive and hard working. A team that works together to reach goals, will always succeed.

There are often many occasions within companies that are detrimental to success. One of the most common occurrences is a negative environment, and unsupportive people being on the team with negative attitudes. Things like jealousy, anger and bad attitudes, can lead to laziness, negativity and poor effort. This will sink a ship. This is why its crucial for the leader of a company to select the team that is brought on board, this should be a very selective and thought out process before bringing people on board and paying them salaries. The right people around you will make you successful.

So how do you keep a team motivated? Even the best of companies, products and teams go through periods of lows. A true leader will motivate the team by being one of them. You must always be part of the team, you must lead by example, you have to work hard to get your team to work hard, you must be passionate, committed and put your employees first. You must care about your people and your team, you must coach them train them and help them. Even the highest caliber of employees need a boost and a pat on the back. Patrick Mackaronis, CEO Of Brabble, uses a simple and long standing tactic, an employee of the month program. Brabble has about 11 people in total in the company. WHat Patrick Mackaronis does is motivate each employee by recognizing one of them each month and announcing them as Employee of the Month via a newsletter company wide to the team, consultants, vendors and investor list. On top of that recognition , a caricature of the employee goes on the wall forever for that month and it stays there, and they also win a small bonus, gift card, lunch, dinner, etc. This is a simple trick, but it goes a very long way.

Pick the right team, and keep them motivated. Very powerful words today in the life of a startup company.