Brand: Fundamental for Start-up success - simple tips
May 8, 2014
The one thing that will sell you above all else (except of course your product) is your brand. Your brand should be clear and customers should be able to understand what it is and why.
Don’t confuse them with something you yourself may not understand. Where possible use imagery because as we all know a picture paints a thousand words. In doing so, make sure your customers associate your brand with your story and your story with your product. You don’t need a brand consultant but if you are starting up you need to trademark and copyright your brand. Protect yourself and remember – don’t over complicate it!
In my first business start-up the branding changed four times in the space of the first six months. By branding I mean the look, feel, design, imagery and presentation of your business to the general public, partners and clients.Never launch your business or product without ensuring your brand speaks to your idea. If it doesn’t then the market will fail to see the connection.
Take McDonalds for example - everyone knows what the M stands for on its branding and even Burger King have it right with their logo being a burger. In other words it is clear to the consumer what these organisations do.In many cases people go with a brand that represents their own personality more so than the product or service they are selling.
Now, that’s ok if you’re selling a product such as “Bobs Hot Sauce” because the product will invariably come with a back story that people will be able to connect back to the purchase.So, the first thing to get right is why your brand, your logo and the look and feel of your business is connected to the product or service on offer.
Secondly, make sure your brand is consistent in everything you present in the public domain. Don’t use one logo for the website and another for a business card. This also means making sure you use the same fonts for text, colours and consistent imagery. When it comes to social media always use the same images and logos from one platform to another because you want to be consistent and not seen to be confused.
Finally, make sure, when you are ready, to take some time and trademark or copyright (or both) your brand and logo design. This will safeguard you from theft or replication from competitors but importantly it will provide you with a path to brand valuation which is fundamental when it comes to the sale of your business.
Remember, brand is equally as valuable as cash flow and sales.
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