startup culture

Startup Branding – What Factors Can Help You Win in a Crowded Marketplace?

Getting noticed in a marketplace as a startup can be challenging. On top of having to be innovative, you have to compete with established leaders that can quickly snuff you out before you get going. So when it comes to making your big debut and sustaining the buzz you’ve created, the proper startup branding strategy is essential. It can be the one factor that can make or break a company’s momentum.

There are multiple aspects of branding that you need to think about before developing your plan of attack. You have to first become aware of what competing brands exist in the marketplace and how they have positioned themselves. This will allow you to see how you stand out in the marketplace and how to position your uniqueness to generate buzz and build momentum.

For example, one company may have centered their brand on premium prices for premium products. Another company may have built their brand around medium class products for fair prices. Obviously, price is just one part aspect of the product and there can be other characteristics to think about from customer support, quality, features, warranty/guarantee, etc. You have to find out what’s important to your market and see how to build your brand around that.

In addition, branding is no longer about forcing feeding an agenda to a specific audience. Startups that are succeeding with their branding efforts are doing so by utilizing their audience. They are building stories that engage and draw in people to take part in their brand. They are also making their audience a part of their story by getting their fans to submit their own stories and share them on viral marketing channels like social media.

Some companies get the branding strategy right but fall short when it comes to their presentation. How your logo, website, and marketing materials look is a big part of whether or not your brand and story connects with people. Startup branding is about getting as much attention as possible, so everything from your web design, storytelling, to your video presentations need presentations that are going to get people to stop and take that time out to see what your brand is all about.

To solidify everything, companies are doing their best to deliver a customer experience that is consistent with their brand. People are sick and tired of companies and brands that overpromise and under-deliver. In order to keep the momentum going, your company needs to build a satisfactory website, shopping, and customer service experience. That is what will really get people talking and spreading the word about your brand. Your goal is to get people to start liking you then end up loving you.

The fact is that most startups struggle to get their name out and in the chance that they do build some buzz, fail to translate that into long term success. Everything from marketing, finances, to the product is important, but without a strong brand build a solid foundation, trying to carve out position in the marketplace becomes an uphill battle.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a creative director at ArtVersion Interactive. Chicago based web design company and full service creative agency.

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