With thanks to our Burners Recomazing who gave us permission to publish Dawson Whitfield, Founder and CEO of Logojoy, on how to brand your startup effectively.
Recomazing have caught up with the team over at Logojoy to show you how to approach branding for your startup. From branding strategy to implementation, the guide takes you through the basics of branding.
You can find the original version of this post here.
Before you build a website or send out marketing materials, you’ll want to clearly define your startup’s brand so you can apply it consistently across channels. Developing a strong brand will help you gain credibility and become recognizable as you grow. Here’s how to nail down what your brand represents and communicate it to your prospects and customers:
Research, research, research
Creating a brand involves deeply understanding your target market and that market’s desires and habits. For example, if you offer an online vegan meal-planning platform, you’ll want to understand the motivations behind why people go vegan, the best demographics to target, the biggest pain points people have with vegan cooking, and the trends that are popular in plant-based food.
You’ll also want to find out what other brands your target market respects, and what keywords they’re using to search for your products or services. Use a keyword tool or a website like Answer The Public to get a better idea of how people talk about your product, service, or industry.
Ask, “How is my business different?”
Remember: you have to be different to stand out. After you’ve researched your target market, ask yourself what makes your business different from everyone else out there — is it your customer service? Your approach to educating users? Your exclusive rights to distribute a certain product? As a follow-up to your target market research, pinpoint how exactly you’re solving customers’ problems differently.
Write down answers to the above questions, as well as the specific benefits, features, and qualities you want your business to be known for. Then ask yourself, how can I position these things as differentiators?
In the meal-planning platform example, you may want to be known for soy-free recipes, ingredient swap suggestions, and the exclusive email offers you provide to users through partnerships with vegan food companies. Tip: Read through this guide by Fizzle or sign up for one of their online courses to get a better grasp on your unique selling proposition.
Write a mission statement and brand voice guidelines
After figuring out what makes your business different, it’s time to boil it into a mission statement, which can serve as a strategic guide when it comes to your future branding efforts. According to the book Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose, you can start brainstorming a mission statement using these simple formulas:
We make XX for XX.
We help XX do XX.
We want to XX XX so they can XX XX.
With a mission statement crafted, you can start defining your brand voice — in other words, how you want to talk to your customers and prospects. Brand voice guidelines can start as a few simple adjectives (e.g. friendly, helpful, unfussy) and evolve as you start communicating with your audience.
For example, once you start using social media, see what messages resonate with customers and what patterns emerge. You can also use a tool like Crowdfire to see what type of content connects with your audience, and use that knowledge to further cultivate your brand voice and positioning.
Finalise your business name and logo
You may have already come up with your nameand logo, but if you haven’t, it’s the big next step in building your brand. (Note: it takes time!) If you have a name and logo figured out, or they’re in the works, apply your new brand research to check if these elements communicate
your business values and appeal to your target market. Also, take advantage of great logo makers online such as Logojoy to help bring your brand to visual life.
After your logo is complete, you’ll want toknow the exact colors it contains and what other complementary colors you wantto apply to other brand materials. Stick to three to five core colors to keep things simple and memorable.
Apply your brand consistently across channels
If you’re not consistent in how you appear, talk to, and service your customers, your brand can quickly become diluted. To prevent that from happening, think of consistency as your “brand juice.”
Ensure your name, logo, and key messaging appear consistently on your website, business cards, social channels, email signature, customer service systems, and anything else you’re using tocommunicate. Do you offer “a vegan meal-planning platform” or do you help people “plan, prepare, and cook delicious high-protein vegan meals every week?” Is the blue you use HEX code #4f7ba8? Do you get back to customer service inquiries in 24 hours or 48 hours? Codify these decisions, refer to them often, and share them with anyone who ends up working with you.
The final thing to keep in mind as you build your brand is that it should never be all about you. Keep your customer top-of-mind and always be thinking about the service and expertise you can provide to meet their needs.
Dawson Whitfield is the founder and CEO of Logojoy, an online tool which uses artificial intelligence to design beautiful, custom logos. Dawson is the unique combination of a creative designer and a talented developer. He built his first website at the age of 11 — the first of many. He continued working in tech, nurturing skills as a designer/developer through freelance experience and design work for Weebly. Dawson founded Logojoy after experiencing frustration creating logos for clients, thinking there must be a better way. He is now runs the daily operations of the rapidly growing startup.
Thank you to Dawson for sharing your tips on effectively branding your startup, to find out more about Logojoy click here.
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