One of the trickiest parts of launching a new business is capturing the attention of your target customers. People these days are so inundated with advertising and branding messages that the constant goal is finding innovative ways to break through the noise.
So how can you do this from day one and stand out from the crowd?
When you’re launching a startup, you need to think about how you are going to build your brand recognition. Whether it’s the name, logo, color palette, website or marketing techniques, a good company needs a strong brand to pull in potential customers. However, building a brand of your own in this digitally focused environment can certainly be a challenge.
The secret to creating a sustainable business is building a brand identity that is memorable and attractive to the right people at the right time. As an entrepreneur, there are some necessary things that you need to remember in order to successfully develop a brand for your startup.
#1. Perseverance Is the Key to Growth
The most important thing to keep in mind when launching and building a business is that everything takes time. Although the internet makes it possible to grow your company quickly by reaching wider audiences in a short amount of time, the truth is that you can’t expect to build a thriving business overnight. Plus, studies have found that consumers need to see a brand’s logo five to seven times before they recognize it.
Your best plan of attack is to keep persevering with your branding strategies, even if you don’t see outstanding results right away. Take your social media presence as an example. You’re going to start off with zero followers and little-to-no brand recognition. It takes time to build momentum, but if you make it a point to keep up with the latest sentiment, tactics, analytics, and audience preferences, doing things like building your Instagram following or your presence on Facebook and Twitter will slowly come into fruition.
In order to grab your target audience’s attention, you will want to increase the number of brand interactions and touchpoints by getting your name out there on as many relevant platforms as possible. Sprinkle in social media ads, blog features, and physical advertisements for a healthy marketing mix, and track the results along the way. Eventually, you will notice some upward growth patterns which will guide you towards the strategies that are working best.
#2. Keep Optimizing
When it comes to running a business, there is always room for improvement. The customer experience is an incredibly influential part of brand perception these days, and consumers are quick to switch over to businesses that offer them a better UX.
As you launch your business and make efforts for growth, you will want to constantly be on the lookout for areas that you can optimize.
- Is there a way to make your website easier to navigate based on how visitors are interacting with it?
- How can you improve your product?
- What are the most common issues that customers have and what are the solutions?
Customers will judge your brand based on the kind of experience they have, whether its in-person in your physical store or online through your website. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to create a better customer experience – no matter what. Pay attention to complaints and don’t be afraid to ask them what areas could use improvement.
#3. Develop Your Exclusivity
Today’s consumers are obsessed with feeling special. It’s the reason why personalization is such a hot topic in marketing: customers want to feel unique. Plus, offering personalization is a huge competitive advantage that can help you stand out.
There are plenty of ways that you can make your brand feel “exclusive” in a way that builds meaningful connections with your customers. For example, requiring shoppers to make an account that gives them access to special discounts, personalized shopping recommendations, and other perks will incentivize them to share their data with you and make purchases.
You can also build brand exclusivity by emphasizing community among your customers. Incorporate UGC (user-generated content) into your website and social media or respond to emails and customer inquiries with personalized messages. Little details like these build connections between your brand and your customers, and those connections will lead to loyalty and conversions.
#4. Brand Name and Aesthetics Matter
When it comes to your logo and overall brand aesthetics, even the little details matter. For instance, your color scheme can determine what people think of you initially. Some colors can make customers trust your brand immediately, while others can actually deter them upon first glance.
The key here is to define your brand personality and voice before you start designing your logo and aesthetics. Figure out the kind of words and feelings that you want your customers to associate with your business and determine what design features correlate with that message.
Customers are quick to judge your brand based on their first impressions. Therefore, every single detail needs to match up with the message that you are trying to convey.
#5. Learn from Your Competitors
While you certainly shouldn’t copy from your competition, you can absolutely use them for inspiration on what to do (and what not to do). Your first step of course is to identify who your main competition is. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the businesses that are performing best in your industry; there is plenty to learn from the brands that are struggling, too. Take a look at other companies that sell a similar product or market to an overlapping demographic of yours.
- How do they interact with their social audiences?
- What sites and platforms are they marketing on?
You should also try to put yourself in the position of a customer when evaluating a competitor’s brand. Browse through their website, take a look at their advertisements, and check out their social media posts.
- How would you react as a customer?
- Is their messaging clear and does it make you want to purchase from them or learn more about their company?
- What elements are positive or negative about their branding?
- What is their reputation or what is the initial perception you get from them?
Glean what you can from the good, the bad, and the ugly and use it as a guide for your own branding strategy.
#6. Promote and Outreach to Your Target Audience
Casting your marketing net too wide is a huge mistake when you’re starting as a new business with a limited budget. You want to really hone in on your target audience to get the most bang for your buck in terms of branding. Don’t be afraid to get super specific here, either. By breaking your audience down into the clearest and concise niches possible, you can create branding and marketing messages that are highly relevant to them. This will be more likely to capture their attention and peak their interest.
Building a brand isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. While you may have a marketing plan all mapped out as you launch your startup, your brand association is going to build and develop and change over time. Make sure that you get things off to a good start by understanding all that goes into the process of brand building, and don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and make changes along the way.
About the Author!
Manish Dudharejia, is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in White Label Services for Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, he is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.