Startups
Branding

Importance of branding for startups. How to stand out?

Alexandr Korshykov
Alexandr Korshykov
5 minJuly 8, 2024
Importance of branding for startups. How to stand out?
Importance of branding for startups. How to stand out?

Branding is a key part of any business, but a few realize how crucial it is for startups. Young entrepreneurs mistakenly believe it is a prerogative of larger companies and postpone branding to better times. However, it is one of the most valuable intangible assets that a company owns.

No matter if you are a small team or even a freelancer, your online presentation can greatly influence your career opportunities and business growth. Want to know more about how your branding efforts will be rewarded? Read on to discover how branding for startups turns into their powerful success ingredient!

Importance of branding for startups

One of the biggest mistakes of startups is underestimating the role of branding. Young companies believe it is something to care for when they grow and become successful, and they postpone it to a later stage. In fact, branding is a thing to start with if you really want to grow bigger.

You may have a sharp idea, a brilliant team, and even a cool product. But do customers know all that? Will they trust to purchase what you offer? Studies have shown that up to 90% of startups fail within their first few years. A notable portion of these failures can be linked to poor market differentiation which is directly influenced by effective branding. That’s about your brand recognition!

However, even realizing the need for brand identity, many startups mess it up completely. Quite often, their brand strategy narrows down to creating a logo and merely showcasing their work. The process goes far beyond – it is about effectively conveying your values, skills, and experiences to a wider audience.

Scott Cook, a co-founder of Intuit, says: "A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it's what consumers tell each other it is.” It separates you from the pack and builds customer trust. A strong brand attracts investors, boosts customer loyalty, and lays the foundation for long-term success. It's your brand voice that tells the world who you are and why you matter.

Brand differentiation in a competitive market

Visual branding distinguishes a startup from its competitors. This differentiation helps convey the startup’s unique selling proposition (USP), mission, and values clearly and compellingly. It may not be easy to capture a market share in today’s overcrowded market. So, a unique and unconventional approach is a must.

How do others do it?

Dollar Shave Club entered the busy razor market in 2012. It was impossible to compete with giants solely on price or product features, and they have chosen a humorous approach! The company used a bold tagline, "Our blades are f***ing great," that was adored by a younger, internet-savvy audience tired of overpriced razors. In 2016, the company was worth $1 billion!

Building trust and brand credibility

A cohesive brand identity signals expertise and reliability. A good professional image happens when your branding matches the quality of what you offer and how customers feel about it. When people see positive reviews or hear good things about your brand, it makes them trust you more. Brand consistency helps people remember you and come back for more. So, good branding doesn't just make you stand out, it also helps people trust you.

How do others do it?

IFTTT (If This, Then That), a web automation platform launched in 2010, faced the challenge of gaining user trust while handling personal data. And the company decided to empower users! They introduced "recipes," allowing customers to create automated actions that connect different online services. This approach put users in control, emphasizing personalized experiences and data management. No need to say about what a winning solution it was – the brand has 27 M users today!

Driving customer loyalty and advocacy

Strategic branding helps startups strengthen emotional connection and build community. Through branding, startups can incentivize loyalty, reward repeat purchases, and encourage brand advocacy. Authentic brand storytelling is what inspires customers. This approach drives sustainable growth and success and turns the company into a trusted and valued choice in the market.

How do others do it?

Pawsome Pals, a pet-sitting service, cultivates loyalty by creating a fun and engaging brand experience for both pets and pet owners. They offer personalized profiles for pets with their pictures and funny quirks. Adorable real-life photos and videos of pet-sitting adventures on social media encourage user-generated content with the hashtag #PawsomePalsAdventures.Thus, pet owners become brand ambassadors.

Facilitating marketing and advertising efforts

A strong brand image significantly simplifies marketing. Your visuals, brand messaging, and tone create a consistent and memorable experience. This makes it easier to craft targeted ads and social media content that resonates with your ideal audience. People who understand your brand are more likely to engage with your marketing efforts. It leads to higher conversion rates and a loyal customer base.

How do others do it?

Duolingo, a language learning app, was launched in 2012. The developers decided to make the learning process fun and created a mascot – a playful and friendly Duo the owl. We bet you immediately have its image in front of you! This gamified experience has brought the startup almost 600 million users worldwide!

Supporting long-term growth and adaptability

Your core values and message should remain constant, but your offerings or target audience will surely expand. A well-defined startup branding strategy allows you to adapt smoothly. Your brand voice and visuals can be tweaked to resonate with new audiences as you grow. This consistency contributes to brand awareness and allows you to experiment with new marketing channels without confusing your customer base.

How do others do it?

TransferWise (now Wise) financial platform started in 2011 with the vision to make international transfers cheap. In just a decade, the company strategically expanded its offerings to multi-currency debit cards, borderless accounts for businesses, and even bill pay services. At the same time, brand values have not changed - transparency and low fees. Now, every quarter, over 10 million users move more than $25 billion via Wise. It’s a scalability success!

Conclusion

Branding is a crucial asset for startups. It goes beyond logos and marketing campaigns, helping startups create emotional connections, attract investors, and encourage customer advocacy. Successful startups use branding to tell their story and connect with their audience. Investing in branding from the beginning lays the groundwork for sustainable success and growth.

If you feel your brand image needs professional polishing, DreamX offers comprehensive branding services for startups. Our team of design experts can identify strong and weak points in your branding strategy, ensuring your market presence is elevated. Trust professionals to take your startup to the next level. Contact us today and let’s transform your brand together!

Founder & CEO
Alexandr Korshykov
Founder & CEO

Alexandr is the founder and CEO of DreamX, a company transforming the digital design landscape. Under his guidance, DreamX consistently delivers innovative and user-focused UX/UI solutions.

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