According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were 30.7 million small businesses in 2019 across the country. Looking from a global perspective, San Francisco and Silicon Valley account for 13.5 percent of all startup deals. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the United States is emerging as a major hub for startups, and the culture is showing no sign of slowing down.
When so many startup companies on the rise, a hike in the level of competition is undeniably inevitable. Each business has to set itself apart from its competitors in order to thrive. But sadly, most of these new companies fail after a while because they tend to ignore one very crucial aspect—branding. Irrespective of the nature and size of the startup, each new company has to brand itself in a particular way to remain competitive.
Here’s a rundown of all the reasons why branding is and will remain one of the most important aspects for startups to consider:
Building the right company image
For most novice business owners, a brand often means the logo or a mere design element. But, in reality, branding goes beyond these visual elements to include everything that shapes the perception of customers. It rarely exists just in the organization; it exists in their customers’ minds.
Branding ensures that the startup creates the right impression before its customers by establishing meaningful interactions and relationships with them. It helps in the creation of a brand identity that customers can relate to and remember by expressing their business methods and core values. For any startup to achieve success in the long run, it has to state its vision clearly right from the beginning of its journey. Only an effective branding exercise can help startup owners do that.
Have you ever wondered why some brands are so memorable while others are not? That’s because they have branded themselves in a way that sets them apart from their rivals and cuts through the clutter of messaging. For a startup to thrive, it is extremely important to gain visibility in an already flooded market. When a brand becomes visible, there will come a steady flow of opportunities, all of which can be leveraged by startup owners to rise in the long run.
Branding brings a new company into the perspective of people and helps them recognize its existence in the market. Besides customers, branding promotes the visibility of a company before potential investors and key stakeholders. It gives a startup the real value it deserves by positioning it in a manner that makes it intriguing and irresistible.
Securing necessary funding
A startup owner may pool all of his or her financial resources to set up their dream company. While bootstrapping is somewhat trending these days, it’s not always possible for startup owners to rely solely on their personal finances. Costs are rising, and it takes money to pay employees, expand teams, and then take the business to new heights.
In such situations, startup owners need to rely on external funding from venture capitalists. But for them to invest in the business, they demand a strong proposition—something that convinces them that their funds are in safe hands and that their investment will grow in the future. It’s only through a well-planned branding exercise that a startup can raise necessary funds from investors and show the company in a good light. Branding can communicate the company’s strengths and show investors that it has the potential to bring about a wave of rewarding, positive changes.
Gaining trust and loyalty of customers
Branding is all about building relationships with customers. A startup owner should know that customers are the lifeline of their business; it’s because of them that the company exists. It is simply not enough for a company to just launch a product or service in need into the market. It’s also about fostering relationships that ensure proper need fulfillment.
Branding seeks to gain the loyalty of customers. There are many companies selling similar (and sometimes the same) categories of products and services. Each of these companies bombards people with different images, names, and advertisements. For a startup to succeed, it has to somehow prove that it is different and trustworthy. Only a unique branding campaign can do that magic. It can help owners communicate the benefits of their offering and touch the hearts of their customers. As such, startup owners have to give their customers enough reasons to trust their company and show their loyalty.
In a competitive business world, ‘the survival of the fittest’ is a rule that no startup owner can disregard. Given the tough competition between companies, the odds of a new company failing just after entering the market are high. What differentiates an established brand from a new one is the fact that it is here to stay. This promise that a company will sustain itself in the industry is enough for it to be counted amongst the most recognizable and reliable organizations in the market.
Branding serves as a guarantee to customers that the startup will be running for a considerably long period of time. It aligns a company’s identity with its goals, values, and beliefs and shows its commitments towards serving customers in the best way possible. Whether it’s through television, radio or print commercials, social media ads, or an appealing website, every marketing tool in a startup’s arsenal assures the demographic that the company will always cater to its needs.
From the above points, it becomes clear that branding is something that no startup can ignore in today’s business landscape. It becomes all the more important in an era where digital is ruling the scenario. It’s extremely important for startups to connect with customers on a deeper, more emotional level by communicating in a language that resonates with them.
It’s only branding that can help startups achieve their initial goals and eventually establish their strong foothold in the industry. All this may be challenging to do, and making branding mistakes would seem unavoidable. But by working with an agency like Crafted, they can navigate these challenges and set a mark for themselves.