Setting-up a start-up, especially online, needs attention to a lot of details, branding included. However, branding is usually seen as an expensive and complicated task normally associated with big organizations.
In today’s digital world, as more organizations are moving from traditional to inbound marketing, things are changing. The barriers to entry are low, and anyone using social platforms and new media can establish a known brand.
While there are no definite rules or sometimes is worth breaking some of them, here are some notes you should take in consideration before you “go out” to the real world:
When done with good planning, the right thinking partners and a thought-out approach, branding need not be expensive.
What do you want to be seen as
Basically you need to know your brand positioning and proposition. Before you go out to your customers be specific and honest regarding your purpose.
Clearly define your product/service in detail. Think what are the benefits for the potential customer, what’s the need that you cover. Also know your customer’s needs, their habits, their way of life.
Every decision you make from the style of your homepage to locations of your ads will depend on who you are targeting. Who are your competitors. How are you satisfying your customers better/different that your competitors.
Get your brand elements ready
From logos to stationery, all the elements of your brand identity will play a major role in the process. People will associate you with these stuff in the long run identify you accordingly.
So, all of them must be well thought out and ready before you launch your brand.
Claim your online properties
Register the web domain with your brand name before somebody else gets onto it. The same goes for social media profiles too. You do not want someone else to have a site with your brand name and create confusions.
So nip these possibilities right at the bud by registering or claiming all online properties just before you launch the brand.
Ideally, you should check if they are available even before you decide the final name. If there is already a big organization with the same name owning these properties, then you may want to rethink.
There is no scope for vagueness in branding. You need to send out a clear message. Your target audience should immediately understand what you are offering and what kind of value can you provide to them. So, keep this in mind when you develop your brand communications.
Don’t be desperate
Do not insult your consumer’s intelligence. Honestly state what you are offering and how it can help people. Try to back up your claims with facts, numbers, case studies and reasoning rather than making overt sales pitches all the time.
Writing all caps and offering a coupon on every Facebook post is likely to be seen as too desperate.
Avoid false claims and shady techniques
Never make false claims to sell. You may sell once but you will lose the customer forever. Besides sustainable brands are not built on lies.
Avoid shady black hat SEO techniques or buying fake fans on social media. Such things do more harm than good in the long run. You may even end up getting blacklisted by Google and thus never show up on search.
Organic growth may take time, but it really will push your brand for the long run!