5 Ways To Brand Your Start Up Business
Have you noticed when a baby is born and people look at it for the first time. No one's really curious about whether it has 5 fingers and a proper arch in the foot, but instead whom the infant looks like. What they're really looking for is personality.
Startups aren't different. When customers hear about them for the first time, they're not merely interested in the need gap it addresses or the cool features it promises, but also that intangible little thing called personality. When founders decide to conceive an idea, they shouldn't merely think about whether four fingers on the right hand and a thumb on the left would be enough. They must think about how their product will in fact have a personality and therefore be a brand, not just another wailing toddler.
Kuber Chopra of Think Rasta having experience in bootstrapping creative startups shares 5 tips to brand a new born baby in business.
Branding is not a bolt on. It is integral to your product
If as a startup founder you want to piss off a Brand person, all you need to do is call Branding "Look and Feel". It's because in reality it is such a core element of successful products. Look at last year's product of the year: Slack. In 3 years it has turned into $2.8 bn enterprise without a single sales executive or a dollar of advertising on traditional media. Some part of that success can be attributed to brand elements smartly built into the product that make it so endearing to the user. The custom emojis, greeting screen, customizable slackbot make it worth having a conversation about, which is what drives word of mouth.
Brand building involves stitching together a great story. If you're starting up, you would have one. If not, might as well stop sweating the features that you think will change the world and focus on your story. Assuming you have a great story, it's time to start thinking about how it can be narrated. Check out this head turner by JukeDeck:
Your Customer is like your bae
The moment you think you know them, they change. No amount of effort spent understanding them is quite enough. But you have to be addicted to them, else they'll move on. Fortunately, there are free and public tools available to achieve this: Twitter is highly recommended to listen to your customer chatter and those who're with your competition. You can check them out on Linkedin too. Follow them through offline, go for the events that they're interested in and the films that they love and hate.
Consistency for Credibility
There is a reason why big brands are anal about their brand guidelines. It is empirically established that lack of consistency reduces credibility.
Decide who you are and how you want to present yourself. Then, stick to it for a time period that people notice this personality. For Eg. If you are an ecommerce startup, there should be a certain personality across your product imagery. Look at Bhane.com for instance. They are positively hipster in their product and their catalog imagery.
Identify your Heroes and Villains
For the purpose of branding it is absolutely necessary to know your strength and weakness. This not only makes your brand superior but also makes you understand where you may fail. While the strength is something to be flaunted, weakness is a learning lesson.