As a startup business owner, you already know that building a brand is one of the most critical steps toward success. However, with a limited budget and abundant competition, creating a strong and memorable brand can be a daunting task.
But here's the good news: with a clear strategy, the right resources, and some creativity, you can develop a branding technique that truly sets you apart. In this post, we will explore why branding should be your startup's priority and how it can lead to significant growth in your business.
Making Your Startup Stand Out
Creating a brand that is unique, outstanding, and durable is difficult, but crucial. Without a powerful branding strategy, it's tough to differentiate yourself and stand out among the competition. Furthermore, a robust brand establishes intuitive trust and credibility with your potential customers, which makes them more likely to choose your products or services and more willing to adopt an innovation. A solid brand essentially adds capital value to your company, which is an essential factor when talking to potential investors.
The Millward Brown study found that good branding can add up to 23% to a company's value. This percentage, though small, could have a significant impact on your business, hence why relying on a structured, professional branding process, having access to the right resources, and investing personal time and effort are critical.
Marketing Your Brand
Brand awareness and visibility are critical when building a startup. Strong branding can help you reduce marketing expenses while simultaneously making it easier and faster to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. A memorable brand helps you command a higher premium, which will offset marketing expenditures. It's a delicate balance to find, but remember to raise your prices rather than sacrifice quality to maintain or maximize profit.
Customer retention, cross-selling, and customer self-selection are all critical benefits of branding that you'll be able to leverage. Repeat customers are not only more profitable, but they also offer valuable word-of-mouth marketing. A strong brand will help you build loyalty and trust with your audience, making them more likely to stay with you and continue doing business with you, directly lower your marketing and sales costs.
Funding Your Business
Attracting investors is another obstacle that startups face. Investors naturally want to invest in those companies that will succeed in the future, and a well-established brand can show that you have a solid reputation or the ability to create one. A robust brand can help you command a higher valuation, which is excellent when you're negotiating with investors. According to Harvard Business Review, startups with a strong brand attract investment up to 50% faster than those without and raise on average 30% more money.
Investor relations are crucial to fundraising, so don't neglect them. A robust brand can help you build long-term relationships and establish trust and credibility with investors, making it easier to get their attention. This is critical as they want to see a clear vision and strategy for a startup, which a strong brand can effectively communicate.
What Are You Waiting For, Exactly?
Building a brand shouldn't be something startups overlook or do halfway. Good branding impacts every aspect of a startup, making it easier and faster to acquire customers, build loyalty, and attract investment. You can achieve remarkable results with proper branding; invest in the right resources, stick to the foundational elements, and monitor it regularly. You have the power to take charge of your startup's future by developing a strong and memorable brand that will stand the test of time.
Remember, your brand's unique strategy platform, messaging and voice, brand identity, and architecture are essential elements to creating a lasting impression on your customers, investors, and competition.
Millward Brown, “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” (report, Millward Brown, 2016)
HubSpot, “Why Branding is Important for Small Businesses (And How to Create a Strong One)” (blog post, HubSpot, 2018)
Forbes, “Why Startups Need to Focus on Branding” (article, Forbes, 2018)
Harvard Business Review, “Why Customer Retention is More Important Than Acquisition” (article, Harvard Business Review, 2015)
Entrepreneur, “The Importance of Cross-Selling for Small Businesses” (article, Entrepreneur, 2019)
Small Business Trends, “The True Cost of Marketing: What Small Business Owners Need to Know” (article, Small Business Trends, 2017)
Inc, “The Importance of Investor Relations for Startups” (article, Inc, 2018)
Harvard Business Review, “Startups with Strong Brands Raise 50% More Money and Attract Investment Faster” (article, Harvard Business Review, 2021)