Ever wondered why some companies take off like your P-plate neighbour in his Nissan Pulsar and others flop like your first attempt at a Masterchef recipe? It’s one thing to develop an innovative product, but as the Microsoft dudes know, you need killer branding, sleek design and an ‘i’ in front of your product names to really boost your brand to infinity and beyond.
Startups with kick-ass branding are able to hit that sweet-spot from the get-go and have their customers hooked on their message like a hard drug. Take Facebook for example…
It was founded in 2004 after Zuckerberg punched out a few lines of code in his dorm room with a few mates. Fast forward only 11 years later, and the old Zuck-dawg is estimated to be worth $38.6 Billion – it’ll be his shout next Uni reunion, I’d say.
So why is kick-ass branding so gosh darn important for startups? The list is as long as the Great Wall of China, but I know y’all busy, so I’ve narrowed it down to 7 golden reasons.
Your brand is more than just a way for your audience to distinguish and recognise you in a sea of same-same. Your brand, especially when it is a kick-ass brand, is the experience and emotions your audience connects with your product. Let’s take Apple for example; its brand is one of innovation, cleanness and simplicity. Us Apple users feel connected and our lives enriched by the Jobs empire. These clever cats have created an experience that is more than just a piece of technology; it is a piece of identity that we are able to use to further expand our own identities.
Not only does branding allow your brand spankin’ new venture to stand firmly on its own two legs, but it will allow you to outshine the competition. Kick-ass branding should reveal your unique selling point and explain to your customers what it is that sets you apart from your competition. By effectively communicating this value proposition, your target market will begin to gravitate towards your pull naturally. #winning
Kick-ass brands will inspire loyalty amongst a customer base by establishing trust and connection. Every day, consumers are bombarded with thousands of different company names, brand images, and commercials. To catch the attention of the average Joe, a new company has to challenge itself to devise a unique marketing campaign—since without customers, of course, the business cannot succeed. For this reason, it is important that startups do not give short shrift to the processes of branding and marketing.
Investing in your branding and a clearly marketed identity serves as an assurance to your customers that you plan to be in business for the long haul. By building strong foundations of a kick-ass brand that coincides with your values, vision and goals, you demonstrate to your customers that you are 100% invested in your own mission and product. Showing commitment to this through all of your touch-points is a signal to your people that you intend to be a reliable and recognisable business for the long term.
Aside from the obvious awareness and credibility that comes with investing in your branding, a kick-ass brand will drive loyalty and affinity. The most successful brands inspire their fans into action, thus turning them into fully fledged advocates. Whether it’s sharing your campaigns on social media, shouting your name from rooftops or repping your logo on the back of the rusty shaggin’-wagon, your loyal customers will become your extended marketing team out there on the ground. It’s one thing to get your customers to purchase your products, but getting them to love, cherish and worship your brand is another and comes with a whole added forcefield of benefits.
During the infancy stage of any business, no matter the size, your main channel of advertising is good old fashioned, word of mouth. Almost as soon as a business is christened, its reputation is established. Many business owners feel as though their reputation rests solely on your customer’s perception and that there is very little one can do to change it. This is where kick-ass branding comes in handy. Strong and successful branding will allow you to take charge of your own reputation and eradicate the confusion in your customer’s minds as to who your company is and isn’t. Kick-ass branding empowers your reputation to be established in the exact way you envision it from the get go.
Branding is like a campfire at an awkward personal development camp. It brings everyone together to unify and get on the same page to better understand one another. By investing in your branding early on, you allow all of your people (both internally and externally) to fully understand the ins and outs of your business and rally the together to support your vision. By enabling everyone to ride the same wave from day dot, every person who connects with your company and its products has the same understanding of who you are and what your business stands for.
The goal is simple: you want to use branding to catapult your startup to infinity and beyond. The greatest boost you can give your brand is to love it, as the real indicator of success for your business relies predominantly on you. If you, the founder, director and visionary of your beautiful business baby, actively gives a damn about every minute and seemingly insignificant detail, then the sky’s the limit, Buzz!