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The Basics of Branding for a Startup Business

Startups have challenges that are particularly unique from those faced by businesses that have been around a while. While full of drive, energy and passion, startups usually lack time and funds for a branding investment. Nonetheless, it is crucial to start branding early on, if only to build immediate brand equity that an be leveraged on in the future.

Branding Defined

Contrary to what many people think, branding is beyond a business logo. It’s more than having a professionally designed website and business cards. These are definitely important, but something far more crucial must be define. The good news is, it won’t cost money.

Based on the Business Dictionary, branding is providing a product a unique name and image in the minds of consumers, mostly through advertising campaigns with a constant theme. Moreover, it establishes a differentiated market presence that attracts customers and invites their loyalty. Hence, it is important for a business owner to think hard as to the image that will embody his brand in consumers’ minds. Before deciding on this image, the business owner should first define two things – what’s unique about the business and what unique value it offers.

Advantages Offered by a Good Branding Strategy

Businesses have a good number of benefits to expect from an effective branding stragegy. Brand design captures buyers’ attention, for one. Branding can also affect directly the prices that can be charged for a business’ products or services. With a strong brand, it is easier for competitors to fade in the background. Once a brand is established as a good one, it will encourage repeat buying and become as influential to the business as acquisitions, investments, talent and partnerships. There could be benefits that are specific to different business types, but the above are the most prevalent.

How to Create a Good Brand

It has to be memorable.

Brands that stand out, win. Being too safe with branding defeats the purpose. The goal is to give a brand a unique feel compared to the competition instead of simply blending in with the crowd.

It should come with a clear value proposition.

A value proposition that is too shallow or general will fail. Excellent customer service, for instance, is attractive to everyone. The problem is when everyone starts claiming it as their value proposition. Uniqueness is the most crucial element of a successful value proposition. It should offer something that people will usually not expect.

It should be consistent.

What makes branding really work is consistency. A brand can only be embedded in the minds of consumers if it conveys one and the same message through all of its campaigns. Having different messages is confusing and reduces potential brand equity.

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