Building a brand is tough, but at the same time, it can be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding process. Here are our five key branding steps for every startup company.
Have you ever been asked, “where do you see yourself in ten years?” It’s the kind of question reserved for interviews, and occasionally if she’s feeling inquisitive, your grandma. It’s the sort of question that makes you feel uncomfortable, but rest assured, you and your startup company are not alone.
In contrast, however, when you ask where you see your business in ten years, you can likely answer immediately or at least with a bit more confidence.
Although the two questions are virtually the same, it’s perspective that changes our ability to answer. We look at our businesses externally despite pouring our sweat and tears into them during development.
So, here’s the thing when it comes to planning and strategising your business, you should be thinking on a grand scale and not planning week by week for a small business.
Having brilliant branding is what gives your company personality; it’s what makes potential customers choose you over your rivals, and it’s what will eventually make you a considerable player.
In this blog, we are highlighting five key steps to building a startup company. So, let’s get into the good stuff.
Step One: Your Startup Company Journey 🗺️
When was the moment that you first decided to build a brand? We’re hoping you could think back to that exact passing thought. Whether it was a dream or you were sitting on the train, in the pub, maybe even over your morning bowl of cereal. The reason for this question is because your story is likely the driving force behind you doing what you do.
So, you’re a sports brand. Your first thoughts were probably a modern sleek brand with an element of mystery around it. Well, that’s precisely what we don’t want here.
Customers want the full story, the eye-catching stuff that’s easy to market and glamorise. Where did you grow up? What led you towards the sports sector? Were you a promising athlete who got injured? Or maybe, you saw the benefit that sports brought to those in an impoverished area.
Either way, this is the info that matters; find that story, and let’s build a brand around it.
Now you have your story; you can develop your brand voice. Think about those words and phrases that really stand out in the novella of your business journey.
‘Quality, Honesty, Innovation, etc.’ Those are the words that will build your brand voice. They will feature throughout your branding packs and your marketing. So grab a piece of paper or a notepad, the back of an envelope, whatever you have to hand and start digging out those words. Go, Go, Go!
Step Two: Names and Plans 📝
So once you have your story and brand voice in mind, it’s time for one of the most challenging jobs…the name!
You can find lots of handy tips online when it comes to picking a name, but let us offer some simple yet practical food for thought.
Don’t call your business something that people can’t pronounce. It immediately limits your reach as people don’t want to sound stupid. Also, if there’s the potential to misspell or mispronounce your name, any initial brand awareness will become much more difficult to achieve.
Look at that brand voice again and draw a name from the words that truly represent your business’ core. Again, nothing too complex – thought-provoking is great, but confusing can be deadly.
Once you have something, make sure your business name is available to register (check on Companies House) and for all online purposes, your URL, socials etc. If someone is already dominating your sector with something remarkably similar, get back to the drawing board!
Worry now, not later. When it comes to planning, we know how tedious and draining it can be. However, developing your mission statement and all of your strategies will strengthen your brand from day one.
Every box should be ticked! From the brand strategy, building the way you intend to market your business. A solid mission statement that explains exactly what you do will help your brand develop multi-directionally.
Call to Action – If this branding guide is helping your startup company get off the ground, you may also find benefit in our marketing blogs. Follow the link below to see our one-stop marketing guide.
Step Three: Time for colour 🎨
Logo, colours and type 🤔
The moment you’ve been waiting for, drumroll… logos! OK, as you probably know by now, your logo is a big part of your brand, but it’s only a part of the brand.
So, think of your logo but also think beyond it. We know that if you aren’t a graphic designer or an agency, this may be a little tricky, but sketch something up. Having an idea will help you formulate the next steps. Who knows, you may end up with a designer who can sharpen that sketch to perfection!
If you literally have no idea what you want your logo to look like, the best thing to do is gather a collection of images, existing logos and styles that you like. Share these with your graphic designer. This will help them understand your opinion of your brand and develop your branding accordingly.
Think long and hard about colours, discuss them with your graphic designer, they will know what will work best for your brand.
The colours associated with your brand will affect the way potential customers feel about you. Seeing specific colours makes us immediately expect one thing, is it the right thing for you? The right colour can help you stand out against the competition and drive sales in your direction.
Typography is also something you should overlook at your own peril. Some typefaces (fonts) may look great on paper but terrible on a mobile screen, which is likely where your brand will be seen the most!
Think about how your brand looks in every format; failing to do so could mean making a U-turn and amending things you’ve already completed, spending extra money and wasting time in the process.
Step Four: Finalise and consistency ✅
You have your pieces of the branding puzzle all laid out in front of you. Now is the time to put it all together and be proud of your brand.
You will hear businesses refer to the complete puzzle as “Brand Guidelines”. This will be the document that you can have produced, highlighting all of the pieces of your brand.
All that hard work and those sleepless nights deciding on ‘off white’ or ‘eggshell’ for your business cards. Your Brand Guidelines will inform people that the decision was eggshell, never use off white for your branding. It’s a complete guide to your brand, the fonts, logos, colours, tone of voice and more.
Be consistent 👍🏻
Your brand never stops, and it certainly doesn’t sleep. To allow your brand to flourish, you must support it every step of the way. The key is consistency. Any slight change in behaviour, style or tone of voice can potentially cause confusion amongst your existing and loyal customers.
As an entrepreneur, you must remember that your brand is essentially everything you do. From the way you converse with clients to the way you dress for meetings. Your brand needs to be nourished and allowed to develop if you want to make it to the business stratosphere.
Step Five: How? 🧐
The final step is understanding how to construct and develop the whole process. Step five could easily be merged with step one.
Whether you take the job on yourself or hire someone else, it will primarily be down to your knowledge and skillset; if you have the necessary tools to build a successful brand, go for it! Consult our branding guide where possible and do the nitty-gritty yourself.
However, if you’re not as confident, why not choose Create8? As branding specialists, we have helped develop countless successful startup brands and supported them along the way as they have flourished.
To be able to create great brands, you must have a versatile skill set, and that’s precisely what we offer. We mix our talents with a sprinkle of innovation, a desire to create thought-provoking projects and the passion for seeing our clients succeed.
If this blog has been beneficial to your startup company, let us know. Or, if you want to see any of the brilliant brands we have built in the past couple of years, follow the link below. We can’t wait to hear from you, and if you have an exciting brand project that you can’t wait to develop, we are waiting, on the edge of our chairs, of course.
Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: