Brand building for start up businesses

branding for start up businesses

You’ve got a great business idea, now it’s time to take the plunge into the world of brand to bring it to life.

Not that we have favourites, but we do love a good start up business branding project. There is usually bucket loads of passion, enthusiasm, a brilliant idea that can change the market and shake things up, did we mention that we also love challenger brands? To top it off we get to be part of creating a brand from scratch to really shape the direction of the business and how it will play out in the market.

Bringing the brand dream to life

Start up business have usually been years in the making, years spent dreaming up the idea and years getting the courage to take the plunge to actually start the business and bring the dream to life. It’s no easy feat, it takes guts, determination and vision.

Brand quickly becomes the next milestone as the start up business needs a name and a visual identity to bring it to the lives of customers. Here is where we come in. For us this is the best part, but  some of our start up clients can find this challenging, they have to hand over trust and invest in the future of their brand.

Budget challenges for start up brands

One of the challenges of start up brands is there are often limited budgets available to invest in building the brand. We understand the pressures and challenges that this can bring. Time after time we see business owners who want to build a brand for their dream, they have the best intentions to do it properly from the start but because of budget pressures end up investing less in their brand.

We certainly don’t recommend that a business allocates unproportional investment upfront to brand but the advice we give our clients is that it’s better to develop the brand with direction to start with, rather then spending more time further down the track to get it right. A brand with no strategic intent and visuals that let it down can in fact cost the business money in the form of lost opportunities and sales. You may miss the opportunity to connect with your target market, distributors, suppliers may look the other way and you may be left wondering if it is your product or service that is letting you down. In some cases, it might be true, but it could be that your brand is not compelling, beautiful or engaging.

Not all brand designers are created equal

There are a lot of businesses and people offering brand design, all you have to do is Google it. It’s tough for start up business, if you don’t have a personal recommendation how do you know who you can trust with your dream?

What we would suggest is that you choose someone who can bring strategic brand led thinking to the creative process. Without this you may be simply getting a logo that looks pretty good but it may completely miss the mark when it comes to engaging and connecting with your target audience. You want your brand to be a beacon that your business can grow into and aspire to, something that your target audience can’t resist.

If the funds are available, we would always recommend doing a strategic session and spending the time to craft a differentiated and beautiful brand that is well considered. But we also understand the realities of the start up world so we never suggest a rigid one-size fits all branding approach. Every business is different and as such there are opportunities to develop some quick wins to get the brand off on the right track and then implement a phased approach as the business starts to generate revenue and momentum.

In the early days it’s about getting into the market, getting cut through and quickly building loyalty and momentum. Once you have a compelling brand there are quick and efficient things you can do with your marketing activities. Resources such as Kochie’s Business Builders have some great resources for start up businesses.

Some small start up brands that we’ve helped to build:

Versus | Duquessa |  Etto  | BounceAyomo | Gelati Sky | Get Farmed

If you’ve got an idea and what to chat about how brand can bring it to life we’d love to talk through it with you.

Image source: http://managingfibromyalgiaandibs.com

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects

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