Let’s put it this way. When you want to order soda at a restaurant, do you say Coke, or Cola? When you ask your friends to check something on the internet, do you recommend them using Google, or Yahoo!? When you ask your friends to edit and give effects to an image, did you mention Photoshop, or Adobe photo editing program?
Without realising, sometimes a brand has been too deeply etched on consumer minds to associate with a product or service, that we tend to use the brand name most often to generalise its advantage. Interestingly, given this brand association with need, people spontaneously understand what you actually mean.
Brand awareness is the key for every business success. And startup is no exception either to the brand building norm either. Launching your own tech startup could be a great milestone to turn your dreams to reality. However, the next thing you should do is to realise greater achievement and ensure that your startup functions and grows, as planned.
Building a brand image is often overlooked by founders in their early-stage startup. Sometimes, they are too focused on developing new products and services or expanding new client base, which makes them ignore focusing on company’s brand and reputation itself. Brand image is not about a mere logo or an effective tagline that helps you position differently from other startups or competitors. More than this, a solid brand could give you recognition from consumer base, which will add to your business value.
While it is true that an established need cannot be created overnight, and you startup has a way to go to achieve the same position as reputed brands in the business, it simply does not mean that you can do nothing to build and boost your startup brand awareness. Here are 8 ways techpreneurs can build their brand and possibly be the next Google:
Be authentic and unique
Be the first, or be different. In today’s competitive world, it takes a revolutionary idea to create something truly original. You need not be too ambitious to develop a radical idea. Instead, it is okay to get inspired by other brands. For example, if you want to develop a software for image editing. Though this might sound like another version of Photoshop, you need to innovate and look for ways that make you your product unique and more valuable.
Define the concept
What kind of vision does on your startup bear? How would you like to help customers solve their problems with the products and services you offer? Before introducing your startup brand to the public, it is imperative to sketch out the core concept of your startup first. Therefore, you should take time to think through and outline strategies to achieve the goals.
Create a compelling story that sells
Everyone knows the history behind how Facebook came into existence, who created it and so on. There’s even a motion picture about the brand and its social connecting experience. A compelling background of how your startup is founded could be a great strategy to raise brand awareness among the public.
Not only will a great storyline motivate employees and end-users, it will also help give your brand a whole new identity and perhaps even change your user base. This strategy will help shape positive and powerful perception of your brand among the audiences.
Choose a good name
Shakespeare might say, ‘What’s in a name?’ Well, your startup name speaks a lot about your offerings and purpose. While you might have heard couple of awful startup names that make no absolute sense and are unrealistic. Not to mention, some of them use weird portmanteau that makes it difficult to memorise the name.
Avoid this mistake of using weird name, invest time into thinking something simple, catchy, and memorable for your business name. While your brand name should be simple and easy to understand, be sure to add some unique touch to it that will linger on people’s mind.
Invest in brand design
Catchy name in itself is not enough to grab people’s attention to your brand. To stand out, you need to invest in designing an attention-stealer logo or image. The discovery process of an epic logo requires considerable effort and research, given that you will hold onto this image for years to come. The right use of color, font, size, and image is the key to attract and retain customer attention.
Analyse and study the competition
Proliferation of SMEs has now become a global phenomenon. That being said, there are high chances that you are not the only startup which works on a particular business model. Do your homework to analyse your competitors, who are also offering similar products and services. How do they develop and structure their business model? How does your startup differentiate from theirs? Gather as much information as possible, as this will help you know your business positioning and sketch out a business plan accordingly.
Leverage on social media
Even with a limited budget, you can broaden your reach by leveraging on the power of social media. You do not have to start big. Instead, start from smaller scope first, such as getting your closest family and friends to follow your startup’s social networks. From thereon, you can encourage your relatives and friends to promote your business to their colleagues. Despite its small scale, if done persistently, this strategy can help raise brand awareness, and eventually drive sales.
Your employees play the most important role in defining an efficient brand. Make sure that everyone in the team understands the concept, ethics, and goals that the company seeks to achieve. This way, you realise that each of their action will impact directly on the startup’s reputation.
When it comes to company brand image, it is easier to build one from scratch, rather than ‘purifying’ tarnished ones. Therefore, while you are still on the process of building a brand image, make sure that you sketch out a solid plan and take the right steps. Happy branding!