I can bucket a startup entrepreneur into either of 2 buckets – one – Branding-is-for-Biggies! and second who believe -Branding-is-important-after-Series-A-funding”. And first bucket is full till the brim.
Let me start with a simple question with a possibly simple answer –
What is Branding? – It’s a determination of how well do you understand your consumer. Nothing more and nothing less.
Often the startup founders fuss about the color in the brochures, font not looking or texture not looking aspirational. it is always when they have NOT understood their own brand or not spent time in understanding their consumers and their likes and dislikes.
Branding is a very powerful tool and it can help boost your startup from Day 1 – here is how –
1. Makes you think and think hard on who you are talking to – who you are NOT talking to.
Consider this –
Dialogue 1 – I want to start an online ecommerce company for women in India.
Dialogue 2 – I want to start an online ecommerce company for women who love to buy M·A·C Cosmetics and have time crunch and hence will go online to buy – Women of age group between 21 to 45 , probably working professionals.
Which one made more sense to you?
2. Branding brings Loyalty –
Branding brings consistency in experience to consumers and alleviates the fear – for e.g. “I hope I get my pizza on time” for Dominos. They have branded themselves as pizza chain which brings great food in time for your hunger.
Same color, same fonts, same feel will always help a consumer to avoid worrying of experience and just use your brand again and again.
3. Branding gives stature to your startup – Not everybody is comfortable talking to a company which is 6 months old – especially if you are a B2B company catering to big businesses. A preschool that we are working with has found parents trusting their services more today when we have revamped their entire identity and every collateral now looks part of the same family.
4. Branding creates sustainability image for your startup – Look around you – Doesn’t the visual consistency of Vodafone, Airtel, Domino’s, Google make you simply admire them? Everyone looks forward to a brand which is good looking and has their reason of existence laid out clearly. Pivoting can always happen and changing business model will happen but if done in a stride that consumers feel that it was done for them – will help bolster your brand even more!
Do you have a startup and thinking about branding today or later? Do it today .
Want to know what are the basic branding elements to get done in the first phase? Watch out for this space.