Success in any activity requires the right ingredients and basic fundamentals. Winning a sports championship requires skill and years of practice, baking requires the right mix of ingredients, – similarly a business requires the basic fundamentals to start, grow and establish a presence in the market. A strategic business plan, clear goals and a robust brand from day one are certainly key ingredients towards a strong foundation and success for any large or small business.
Starting up a business is an exciting space to be in, it requires drive, passion, skill and strategy. Assuming that one has a good product and idea, positive impressions and associations play an instrumental role towards customer perceptions and success.
A company or product will be talking and communicating to investors or directly to customers in the early stages, both require believing in your brand. Credibility, quality, positive associations are key for investors or customers to make a purchase decision. A strategic branding platform will assist in communicating what you do, who you are and your credibility.
So why is a strategic step in a business often compromised or overlooked by start-ups?
Many start-ups compromise on their branding, with an attitude that it can be worked at a later stage after the brand is launched or funds towards branding are not a priority. This is a short-term “quick fix” approach that lacks a well thought of strategy with a clear vision. Early positive impressions and associations are important for brands, for companies to change an impression or shift a perception is costly and takes time.
In today’s fiercely competitive and saturated environment, a memorable and distinct brand will stand out from the crowd. Your brand certainly requires a well thought of strategy, vision and value proposition, whichever industry you are in, be it fashion, FMCG, service or technology.
A name is one of the first introductions to the brand, an easy to pronounce and distinct name helps in differentiation and recognition. Google, one of the greatest business success stories, is an example of a distinct and memorable name.
An identity design and brand story will give the brand a presence visually and emotionally, “Blue Bottle Coffee” is a beautifully crafted brand that was started by a passionate coffee enthusiast in Oakland, CA and has grown into a network of cafes. The personal care brand “Lush” was founded by Canadian entrepreneurs, that introduced a fresh, fragrant, natural cosmetic shop in Vancouver selling handmade personal products. The branding is true to the brand’s essence and tells the story passionately and has a beautiful visual tone and message. Today, Lush has expanded internationally and is a great success and inspirational story.
If you are start up, keep the time and funds aside to partner with a brand specialist to build a strong strategic foundation for your company, product or brand from day one.