Why you shouldn’t neglect your brand strategy as a startup

Why you shouldn’t neglect your brand strategy as a startup

Top tips on how to design a brand strategy for your new business. There’s more to it than just your logo and colours. Here we discuss some insightful elements to help set you up for success.

If someone were to ask you to name the most famous brands across the globe, then you wouldn’t hesitate to answer with companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, McDonald’s or Coca-Cola. 

Google logo

These companies have spent decades building their brand strategy, their reputation, and their values. 

Because of their efforts, these brands effortlessly exist in your mind. 

The name of these brands sells itself. In fact, some places in America use “coke” to refer to any fizzy drink, and many people use ‘Google’ as a verb when they are using a search engine. 

Coca Cola bottle

As Jeff Bezos once said “your brand is what someone says about you once you leave the room.”

However, your new business doesn’t have the benefit of decades of reputation building to neglect their branding. Let me explain why it is pivotal to implement a solid brand strategy for your startup.

What is a brand?

Many people consider building their brand strategy as creating their logo, deciding on a few colours, and writing their tagline. And while they’re not wrong, they are just scratching the surface on the branding of their new company. 

Seth Godin, THE Marketing Guru, explains, “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

colour mood board

Your brand is not just the colours, logo, or tagline. The experience your customers have with your products or services, the memories connected with your company, and the feelings they have towards your company, this is your brand.

Branding is not just your logo.

Since 1976, Apple has redesigned their logo 6 times with multiple different colours, but their brand still stays the same. 

Since 1948, McDonald’s has redesigned their logo sixteen times, and while their colours have stayed the same, they have changed their tagline several times.

A well done branding strategy for a new startup should be interwoven through the DNA of your business. Your brand lives past colours, taglines, and logos; it showcases your values, demonstrates your attitudes, and explains your journey.

Why do you need branding for your startup?

Many people are working within an extremely tight budget in the first few months and even years of their startup. 

coins spilling out of jar

Branding is certainly one area startups choose to cut corners, but let me explain why it is a mistake to just focus on your logo and colours and call it a day.

I get it – you’re focused on getting sales, maximising profits, and establishing your internal systems within a limited budget.

But finding your brand’s voice is just as important as all of those steps. I would even argue, more important than them. 

The reason why?

Your startup doesn’t exist in people’s minds yet. 

In fact, it more than likely your startup doesn’t have a face, voice reputation, or identity. 

Startups who fail to create a cohesive brand strategy across all social platforms, websites, adverts, and physical stores will inevitably confuse customers and are setting themselves up for failure. 

On average, it takes someone 7 times to see your brand before they commit to a purchase. If each of those 7 times, they are reading different key messaging, seeing a different logo, or feeling a different emotion, then the impact of your marketing efforts will be lost. 

You want to make sure, when they are seeing your brand the third or fourth time, they are thinking to themselves “oh yeah I remember seeing their email blast two weeks ago”. When they are scrolling through Instagram, we want them to know it’s your brand from the image in the feed without ever seeing the username.