Realmac Identity made by Avivo
Branding is perhaps the most crucial step in building a new business. Yet all too often, the branding efforts of upstart companies are only marginally affecting the bottom line, or in some cases even driving away potential customers. However, while successful branding does take a great deal of thought and care on the part of a company’s leaders, ambitious entrepreneurs can master the art and science of branding without the aid of an MBA.
One of the primary missteps for early companies attempting to brand their products and themselves is a failure to clearly define to themselves what they are aspiring towards. Industry experts stress the importance for startup companies to ask themselves what they are truly aspiring towards. Companies that promote without taking the time to map their content to the proper consumer roles can lose money on large-scale production while simultaneously investing large sums into marketing that only confuses, turns off, or leaves no impression at all on the desired audience.
Frequently, young companies working to find an audience misstep by aiming for every audience. By trying to market their product to “the general public”, especially in today’s highly segmented market, companies are casting far too wide a net to stand out in a very competitive market. Brands “should have a strong point of view that captivates the early adopters and influencers of their target audience,” says David Mielach, writer for Business News Daily. Mielach offers Toms Shoes as an example of a company that was “really successful at building an army of brand advocates early on. They were able to do so because they created an experience that socially conscious Gen X consumers, and consequently their friends, wanted to be a part of.”
“Toms Shoes.” Photo, Online, n.d. Theycallmejane.wordpress.com. 11, Sept. 2012.
To avoid the frequent branding mistakes, companies should begin their branding with a plan. While companies should always remain flexible to changes, making some broad choices early on and remaining committed to them can make a big difference in a branding’s overall success. Simple, strategically chosen logos, for example, can leave a symbolic imprint in a consumer’s psyche that they then bring with them in every interaction with a company. “If you think about a name like Apple,” it seems pretty simple at first blush,” says Neil Patel, co-founder of business analytics provider KISSmetrics. “But behind it is the mythic story of Adam and Eve eating the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Steve Jobs seemed to be saying knowledge is a good thing”
Phi Gold product Identity made by Avivo. Phi Gold is a Swiss company which produces the finest quality of precious metals coins.
Small businesses almost always face the toughest hurdles in maintaining a presence for their brand, as airtime and publicity almost never comes without major costs. However, by utilizing online venues with logically chosen, search optimized keywords and links, startup companies today are able to expose their brand to millions without much overhead investment at all. While competition is fierce, the modern day marketplace allows for companies that have put thought into every aspect of their brand to become noticed, and if the product serves a valuable function to it’s targeted consumer base, the potential for large-scale success is all but unlimited.