If you think branding refers to what farmers do to unsuspecting cows, you’re very much mistaken.
What is a brand then?
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, says, “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
If you want people to say positive things about you behind your back, you need to have a strong brand. However, it’s not that easy. Building a brand from scratch takes time and requires consistency.
You may be thinking, “ah come on, deciding on correct logo usage and making sure my font use is consistent throughout isn’t overly important.” Well, you’re wrong!
Building a strong brand for your startup plays a pivotal role on your company’s growth.
Therefore, I’m going to break down 5 benefits of branding and show why brand reputation is important for your business.
Helps you build trust with customers
A strong brand image is invaluable for creating trust in your business.
Customers tend to trust brands that are familiar to them. Think of it this way, imagine you’re a child who’s buying cereal in the store.
Which cereal box looks more appealing? The store’s own brand or the one with a dinosaur swimming in a chocolate river?
The dinosaur. Every time.
In the child’s head, the chocolate dinosaur is familiar and, subconsciously, more trustworthy (it’s also pretty damn cool).
Extinct mascots aside, here are some branding tips on how to build trust with your customers:
Be honest – People appreciate it when brands are upfront and clear with their messaging. Transparency’s not simply a trend, as is well-evidenced by brands like Instarem who is upfront about their charges, rather than keeping its Ts and Cs buried away:
Keep your brand consistent – Maintaining consistency is the foundation of building a strong brand as it ensures that your prospects and customers know what to expect. You can set both internal and external goals to maintain the quality of service.
Boosts employee morale and motivation
Brand reputation isn’t only important when building trust with your customers. The importance of branding is evident also when strengthening employee motivation and loyalty.
A company that has a strong brand identity and working culture is more likely to hire new employees. And in turn, keep its current employees happy.
Brand reputation is everything. For example, 86% of U.S. women and 67% of U.S. men wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation.
Furthermore, it’s becoming increasingly evident that millennials like to feel like they are working for a company whose social views and culture align with their own.
How can branding help with that?
Without sounding like ‘1984,’ informing all your employees of your brand identity and values build a perception that your employees are working towards a common good.
However, the best way to get the ball rolling here is to work on your mission and vision statement.
A mission statement describes your function, market, and competitive advantage. Whereas, a vision statement defines the way in which your product or brand distinguishes itself from the competition and how this benefits your customers.
If you need further clarification, here’s a handy image that outlines what questions you should ask yourself when crafting your mission statement:
Helps to build customer loyalty
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s hard to disagree that brand loyalty is harder to build than ever before.
You cannot blame customers for this.
The internet has allowed customers to research the best deals and make direct comparisons with ease. This is particularly a problem for eCommerce businesses. A better offer is seemingly always around the corner. Moreover, even if you offer an initial discount to new customers, it’s sometimes still not enough to guarantee returning consumers.
However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on keeping customers around.
77 % of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do.
To give yourself an advantage when it comes to building a loyal customer base, you need to ensure your brand matches the values of your target audience. This will help you to build a strong brand identity and keep your customers coming back.
Gives you greater understanding of your audience and industry
The process of re-branding or building a brand has knock-on benefits for your startup. Brand building requires you to strip off all the parts of your business and take a real good look under the hood.
Anyways, enough of me pretending I know anything about cars, here are some things to look at when building a brand for your startup.
- Brand Personality
- Brand Color Scheme
- Brand Narrative
- Brand Logo
- Brand Typography
In the process of deciding on these things, you need to research your competitors and your target audience. While you may already be doing this for your content or social media marketing already, it’s never a bad thing to research these two further.
A great startup brand building example is a social networking site ello. Its brand is carefully built with a clear and consistent visual style and ambiguous brand narrative.
Helps you stay on track and increase your value
As the great 21st Century philosopher Beyoncé once said – “If you fail to plan, plan to fail”.
A clear plan, manifesto or brand guidelines document can be invaluable to your startup in creating a consistent brand image and making the difference between succeeding in your industry or barely getting out of first gear (OK, no more car metaphors!)
Don’t think that a single slideshow about your brand is enough. Brand building is an ongoing process. However, having that first initial blueprint can help you stay on track and remember why you do what you do.
According to a study, staying consistent with presenting your brand has been seen to increase revenue as much as 33%.
Consistently following your brand guidelines leads to a strong brand that will increase your company’s market value and allows you to set higher prices. According to research, B2B companies with strong branding generate higher EBIT margin than weak brands.
It’s no secret that people are willing to pay more for something they perceive as higher value—and the value is often linked with the brand. You wouldn’t pay the same price for a new pair of Nikes and some unknown sneaker brand.
Wrapping things up…
So there you have it! You now have a better idea why branding is important for your business. Brand building is a relatively vague term but once you have a grasp on how to build a brand, you’ll be able to start putting these startup branding tips to fruition.
To find more branding tips for startups and to learn the dos and don’ts of brand building, check out our How To Build A Brand Toolkit.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was anyone’s brand. Therefore, you have to remain patient and stick to your guns throughout the process. However, start building your startup brand strategy today and you’ll develop a brand stronger than the colosseum.