There's money for Google AdWords, budget for PR & marketing and cash for the accountants, but there's nothing in the coffers for branding.
"I'll find someone on Fiverr to make me a logo, my website will be yellow and I'll use Arial as my font. Then I'll pay a student £50 to design my business cards and letterhead. Wham, bam, I've just saved myself a few grand. The shandies are on me."
Of course you can do that. Or you can read on to find out why branding is a worth your time, consideration and investment...
"If eyes are windows to the soul, then your brand is the window to your business."
1. The branding process helps shape and define your business identity. It starts with a conversation that answers the questions: who are we, what problems do we solve, who needs us, and who doesn't? Having that conversation steers your business down a more focused path, giving startups a clearer direction.
2. Branding is perception. If eyes are windows to the soul, then your brand is the window to your business. Who is looking through that window? Customers, employees, stakeholders, suppliers and potential investors.
3. Consistent and quality branding conveys credibility, helping people trust your business. Would you want to work with a company that overlooks the fine detail, that does a good enough job, rather than an exceptional job? Would you trust a primitive website with your payment details?
4. Brand values permeate and bring consistency to sales, marketing, customer experience, and recruitment. This makes your business life vastly easier because the whole company understands, shares and promotes the same mission.
5. Compare Sainsburys with Harrods food hall. It all goes down the same way, but the prices, the branding, and the packaging are vastly different, even if the quality is much the same (both sell organic and fairtrade produce, for example). But a premium brand can command higher prices and still make sales. By positioning your business as head and shoulders above the competition through branding, you promise quality. That's the power of perception.
Think of a business you love. Look at the website, the blog, the email marketing, its PR coverage. Ask yourself why you love this company. It's probably a combination of a) the product or service offering b) the messaging c) the customer experience and d) the values it stands for. All of these things will be consistent, they all will be carefully communicated and they will all contribute to the brand.
How your business is perceived can – and must be – controlled by you, the start up owner.
Convinced? Tartle Media has launched four branding packages for startups. All are transparently priced, and include online consultations with our experienced brand designer on how to position the business with the target customer in mind.