This is why you should care about branding for startups.

You have launched your startup, your friends and family plus a few people outside your circle have bought some of your products. At this point all that matters to you is recuperating all the costs that went into launching. The rest of the products are collecting dust and no one seems to be talking about your business anymore. There's a new kid on the block. What do you do now?

You are not alone! Branding, to many startup owners, is the last thing on their to-do list to launch their business. However, branding has a lot more benefits to your business if considered and it doesn't have to cost you a fortune (although investing in proper branding has a long term benefit for your business than a quick fix).

In this article, we are going to explore what branding is and why you need to be intentional about it even as a startup. But before we dive in, be aware that you have a brand already whether you know it or not (the perception that people have of your business).

What is branding?

Branding is the process of building or influencing that perception (brand) people have of you. It is a wholistic experience that you build both for yourself and your people including, employees, team members and customers.

Now, when we talk about branding, many people think about a logo, colours and typography. While all these elements form a part of your brand identity, they are just at the tip of the iceberg. Branding goes deeper than we think consisting of the brand purpose, mission & vision, message, personality, values, etc. All these come together to form your unique brand identity and influence the visual aspects of your brand and how you interact with your people.

Why is branding important?

Build connections with your people

People do business with people. Building a brand is about building relationships with your people. We see how some popular brands have loyal fans who, no matter what other brands offer them will never change their minds. A typical example is Apple. Some of its customers do not even know how to use their products apart from the fact that they can take good pictures and have some bragging rights yet nothing will ever make them change their minds even if competitors offer theirs for free. That's how strong a powerful brand is. Everyone is selling something but a strong brand sells experience, belief and a lifestyle. Your people are a reflection of your brand.

People associate themselves with brands they have a connection with unless you just want to be one of those corner stores, you have to take intentional steps to build a proper brand. Being intentional about your brand helps you nurture relationships and overtime these people become loyal fans of your brand. Meaning you wouldn't have to put much resources into advertising as these people will do it for you.

Set your business apart

The sole aim of every business is to make money but what sets you apart is your unique way of doing business; your personality, values, the way you communicate and your purpose beyond making money. These and more are what attract people to your business. By building a brand, you strategically define who you are as a startup, who your people are and who your competitors are.

Imagine being asked who you are in an interview and you have no answer or you fumble, that would be embarrassing right? It can be likened to your brand. Yes you know what you are selling but deep down you don't even know specifically who you are, what you stand for and what you want to achieve with your business except the generic answer: "to be one of the biggest names in the world". Being aware of yourself, your people and competitors opens your business up for opportunities to make a difference in your industry and your customer's life. Consistently, you create a voice and space that people can easily recognize and resonate with.

Create clarity and focus

I started out as a logo designer whose main aim was to do something to earn money for myself. I didn't think about strategically building a brand; all I knew was making logos with pretty colors and typography and making money. Due to this, my business went through a lot of stress from changing my business name, logo and colors countless times to the point of even deciding to quit altogether. I was swayed by the trends and comparing myself to what industry experts were doing when all I needed to do was to focus.

There are always new trends and it's very easy to wander around with nothing to guide you, building your business on hope. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision and guides your marketing efforts saving you time and money.

I like to compare branding to building a house. Let's see the analogy:

You have decided to build a house. I'm not sure you will just start by painting the house (you've not even built the house yet so it doesn't make sense). You first need a plan designed by an architect considering your needs, the area and so many other factors. An engineer then comes in to check for safety and functionality. All these steps help you to build a house that will not break down after a few months or years and you will enjoy living in.

It's the same with your brand. It's not just about making money (unless you don't want to grow). It's about building connections and a business that stands the test of time. You need to consider your purpose for being in business, mission & vision, what you believe in and stand for, what and how you intend to communicate with your people, who are these people and what are their needs and aspirations. All these elements will now help you design a visual identity that aligns with every aspect of the brand. This is why you should care about branding to grow your startup.

Our mission at Updeep is to empower you to build your brand with confidence.

Book a free discovery call and let's set your brand up for success. Don't forget to share your thoughts about this post and how this has improved or you are going to implement it in your business. Also do well to subscribe to join the tribe for exclusive content delivered right into your inbox.

#brandingforstartups #brandstartups #brandingforgood #updeepbranding #brandingupdeep #brandpurpose #brandingupdeep #brandidentitydesign #brandstrategy #brandimage