Being the owner of a small startup company can quickly become overwhelming. While there’s a lot to learn and take care of, from fiscal management and administration to operations and planning, the marketing and design aspect of your business can be an equally difficult to traverse. The following list of tips will offer a good place to start by building your business on the foundation of solid brand messaging and brand visuals.
1. Work from the ground up.
Branding your startup business means so much more than deciding what your logo will look like. Think of your brand starting out as a small seed, the ‘why’ behind your business. From that seed grows your values, mission and message. Only when you’ve laid this groundwork and done your research should you begin exploring the visual elements of your brand.
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2. Define your audience.
A big mistake that many businesses and their brands make is not defining their audience. You might be saying the right thing, but you might not be saying it the right way or to the right people. Clearly defining your audience will help you develop a clear picture about what types of messages and the channels through which you need to communicate your brand. If your audience is adolescent girls, then your messaging would be vastly different than if you were targeting middle aged men. Consider where and how your brand will resonate with your audience the most.
3. Your logo isn’t everything.
With a new business comes a flourish of ideas and possibilities you may want to try to incorporate into your logo. While your logo is important and should represent your brand, it is a misconception that it must say everything to everyone. Your logo is just one piece of the brand puzzle. What may not be communicated explicitly in your logo can be shown through other elements: color, texture, materials, style of voice or even customer experience.
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4. Be unique. Really.
When I say unique, I mean really! DIG DEEP! Sometimes it’s easy to jump on the ‘brand wagon’ and adopt trends or fads into your brand that don’t necessarily fit. Think about what is unique to your brand and position this as the cornerstone of your decisions. This will allow you to stand out, separating yourself from competitors, and increase the value of what you deliver to your customers.
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5. When in doubt, consult a professional.
Developing a brand can be a daunting task for even the most ambitious entrepreneur. An experienced consultant can help point your brand efforts in the right direction. Whether you crave the industry power of a large firm or the individual attention and personal experience of a freelance designer, qualified design and brand professionals have the expertise and ability to grow your business’ identity from even the smallest seed of an idea.
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What do you think? Have any other great tips for building a solid brand? Contact K Design Co. to learn more about we can help you with branding your startup business.
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.
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Kristin Pruis • May 24, 2014