Starting a new business comes with many uncertainties, as you have no idea whether it would succeed or fail. Even though you have an airtight business plan and have done your due diligence, several variables might affect your chances of being successful.
The only way to mitigate this is by consistently putting in efforts to grow your brand. Good branding is one of the fundamentals of a profitable business, and from the start of your business, it must lead people to you.
Keep in mind that growth is a continuous thing and never truly ends. Thus, to generate growth, you have to understand the market and where it comes from. Be intentional on the pattern you want your increase to take, and never rely solely on luck.
Growing your brand might seem like a herculean task because of the time frame it might take to move from point A to B. Nothing is unachievable in business as long as you combine hard work, dedication, and consistency.
This article would show you easy ways to move your start-up from where it is to where it can/where you want it to be. Here are six actionable tips to growing your start-up’s brand for you to consider:
Tip 1: Discover your target market
Human wants are insatiable, and every business idea comes from discovering a need and finding ways to meet it. To this end, there is a target market for every business. The first thing you have to think about is demographics.
Research the different age groups that are likely to buy what you are selling. You can’t hope to sell children’s books to every adult unless they have kids with a need for books.
Similarly, what appeals to teenagers will not appeal to adults between the age of 21 to 35, and those above that age would also have different tastes. Therefore, use language and imagery that is unique to those you want to reach.
It is a terrible business practice to target everyone simultaneously, primarily if you do not provide essential products and services required by everyone. Casting a wide net only wastes time and reduces your relevance.
Pick a single demographic to reach at a time, and ensure you adequately cover it before moving to the next one. Ask critical questions having who, why, what, and how, in the beginning, to get a sense of your audience and what would interest them about your products or services.
After knowing the demographic, you want to reach, get to them. Find out what attracts your audience to a brand and why they are buying from your competitors and not you. You can gain insight into what your audience wants by personalizing your services and encouraging feedback.
Tip 2: Research your competitors’ brands
For every business idea you come up with as a start-up, the chances are that someone else has the same idea, and the business already exists. After all, there’s nothing new under the sun, but uniqueness is what sets you apart.
To stand out, grow, and know how to measure brand equity, you must find out what your competitors are up to. Study their branding language and style and the impact it has on their customers.
Take note that your competitors have been existing longer than you as a start-up and have a lot of goodwill working for them. Look at their logo designs, and discover what makes one different from the other.
Avoid copying another brand’s logo, but take note of what you can imbibe in making yours. A business logo is more than a simple drawing; it is your company’s image and has the power to attract people to you.
Tip 3: Set your unique differentiators apart
What separates one brand from the other are little details in elements like their logo or product design, or marketing strategy. What is vital here is making your brand unique by giving your audience something different from what they are used to from your competitors.
One way to set your unique differentiators apart is by offering discounts for products or services than your competitors. You can also take a more contemporary approach to how you relate with your customers if you are in an industry filled with traditional and conservative brands.
Being unique is about finding out what your audience needs that no one is offering and delivering it to them. It’s about discovering more than one workable way to provide value and doing it distinctively.
Tip 4: Give your brand an identity
Your brand identity goes beyond designing a logo, although this is an essential element of its identity. What kind of image do you want to project with your brand?
If your brand is a person, what kind of person would it be? Would it be more masculine or feminine? Adolescent or adult? Would it be hip or more conservative? Having answers to these questions would help you create the right identity that fits your business.
An excellent example of a brand identity is Colonel Sanders on Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) logo. When you see it, you automatically think of crispy fried chicken and everything else that comes with it. The Colonel has become synonymous with KFC such that you identify a bucket of fried chicken with it.
Another example is the tagline “Just do it” by Nike. Simply seeing that line tells you that a product is from the stables of Nike, without any further information on the item. That is what you should strive to achieve with your brand identity.
The elements that make up your brand identity, including the logo, typography, colors, product packaging, tagline, etc., should always be something that your audience can identify with and find memorable.
Tip 5: Use your brand’s identity to your benefit
Your brand identity should be like personality traits that translate into practical and tangible areas for your marketing strategy. Personality traits can be colors, logo design, and the communication voice in your promos and ads. It should be something people see or hear and instantly connect with you.
When people can positively distinguish your brand from your competition, it appropriately positions your brand. This means that people can now recognize you, and what you do with this recognition matters to your growth.
Picture your identity as someone who has a message that they must pass across to gain trust and loyalty. As your brand begins to connect with your audience and evoke a type of emotion in them, their loyalty to the brand grows, and your brand awareness grows.
Remember to maintain consistency in tone, quality, and design elements. It leaves strong impressions on prospective and existing customer base.
Tip 6: Take advantage of social media
Social media is the bedrock of marketing in today’s world and a vital tool in building your start-up brand. Marketing and a brand image go hand in hand, and one cannot do without the other.
At the beginning of your start-up, use different social media platforms to promote your brand image and get it in front of your audience. Find out the social media platform they love and when they go online on this platform the most. Now plan your marketing campaigns in line with that information.
For example, if your products or services are teen-centered, then you might consider using Twitter or Instagram to promote your brand. Conversely, if you hope to reach professionals and older adults, then LinkedIn and Facebook would be a better fit.
Getting your brand on social media will help you reach a larger audience. You would also get real-time responses from your ideal customers to help you shape your brand and imbibe business practices to serve your clients better.
In line with the six tips above, these are tried and trusted tips that many forerunners in their various fields have employed:
- Assess your business from an objective perspective. It’s easy to think you have a fail-proof plan and get carried away with it without paying attention to your customers’ reviews. Remove yourself as the company’s owner and look at your brand through the customer’s eyes.
Keep in mind that you are not in business for yourself, and the success and failure of your start-up are dependent on those whose needs you cater to.
- Keeping track of the processes, ideas, and plans that come with starting a business can get overwhelming with the tendency to forget important details lurking close by. Slite is an expert tool that provides a knowledge base for many start-ups to get a firm grip on their procedures and ideas as the business shoots up.
Building a business from scratch and making it successful takes a lot to achieve. There will be times when you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel but don’t. Maintain your focus with the right vision and strategy, and combined with excellent products or services, you will go a long way.
Applying the tips discussed in this article will help you grow your start-up and make it into the success you believe it can be. Finally, after your business kicks off, stay aware of the changing trends, and capitalize on them.