Do’s and Don’ts in Branding a Startup

Setting-up a start-up, especially online, needs attention to a lot of details, branding included. The enthusiasm of a new beginning is indispensable for a new endeavour but can put some important things in the blind spot. There are DO’s and DON’Ts, things to look up for or things to avoid. While there are no definite rules or sometimes is worth breaking some of them, here are some notes you should take in consideration before you “go out” to the real world.

7 To Do’s for Startup Branding

Define yourself and your product

Before you go out to your customers be specific and honest regarding your purpose. What are you going to provide? Clearly define your product/service in detail. Think what are the benefits for the potential customer, what’s the need that you cover. Continue reading

7 Elements of Small Business Branding

Every business can increase the value they offer their customers by promoting one of the above. Before choosing which one you’ll offer customer, it is important to understand what drives the consumers to buy. Many ecommerce businesses think the secret to success is ‘low price.’

  • Trust – can you deliver ‘on time?’
  • Security – Does your program focus on client’s privacy and security?
  • Relationship – Can clients IM you, ask questions, follow the project step-by-step?
  • Increase Customer’s Potential – Can you offer something no one else can offer?
  • Social Standing – Can you make them look wealthier, sexier, more influential?
  • Power – Do you have what it takes to increase your client’s power?
  • Free – Consumers who are motivated by price can feel they are being ‘treated right’ if they give their clients something real. Not an ebook – but a membership or passing on an association newsletter.

Entrepreneurial Branding

Entrepreneurial brand building is an area of study in its infancy. The nature of entrepreneurship which typically implies serious limitations on the availability of resources suggests that entrepreneurs need to take an unconventional approach to brand building.

When an entrepreneur brands his or her product, business or concept, inadvertently the entrepreneur himself often becomes associated with that brand.

Basically the decision is to determine which company relies most on you personally for its brand recognition.
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Small Business and Branding

Branding weekend food for thought:

Karen Post, author of Brain Tattoos: Creating Unique Brands That Stick in Your Customers’ Minds

Your brand is not your logo or tagline, but the sum of what your business does every day. It’s what the market thinks, feels, and expects from you.

If you want to make the buyer’s choice easy and finish first, you’ve got to be truly distinct and communicate those attributes on all touch points every day.

Bill Schley, author of Why Johnny Can’t Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea

Small businesses can do this better than giant corporations, because they have the passion for their business, an understanding of their business, and live or die for it. There are no layers of bureaucracy between them and a great brand idea, like in big organizations


Key Elements of Small Business Branding

Jay Lipe is CEO of and the author of The Marketing Toolkit for Growing Businesses : Tips, Techniques and Tools to Improve your Marketing is identifying the Keys to Branding Your Small Business.

Name: the First Step

How different would you be if your name were Clem or Matilda? Your company name sets a tone for your brand, right from the start. Names can be generated from invented words (Xerox), initials (IBM) and founder’s names (Johnson & Johnson). Some of the best names, though, communicate a benefit (U-Haul or Budget Car Rental).
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Small Business and Branding

Interesting issue posted at, regarding small and/or emerging businesses and branding.

Answering the question: what’s so urgent about branding, when there are so many things to worry about when growing a business like making payroll and meeting sales goals? the answer comes like this:

Branding a small or emerging business is key to the early success of that business. It is the quickest way for the company to express who it is and what it does. Inaccurate branding of a new business can make it difficult for people to fundamentally understand why the business exists in the first place.

For start-up and small businesses, branding can often take a backseat to other considerations, such as funding and product development. This is unfortunate; a company’s brand can be key to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is as important and vital as any other start-up activity.

Basically you have to know who you are, what you’re doing, where do you want to go and how will your customer find out about it and these are as important as getting the funds to do them.

Read the full article here

10 Rules To Turn a Small Business In a Big Brand

Starting from the idea that in the last few years, we have witnessed a growing number of small companies that are starting to realise that branding is not the reward for success but the reason why strong brands become strong brands in the first place, The Business Times of Singapore is publishing an interesting list of 10 fundamental rules of branding, nothing new, but still interesting:

1 Perception is the truth

The battlefield of branding is in the minds of the customers. And as far as customers are concerned, perception is the truth, regardless of the facts.

2 Fortune favours the first

Many experts argue that the first mover advantage is a fallacy as there have been many first movers who failed. Being first only gives you the opportunity to lodge your brand in customers’ minds first. Fail to exploit that advantage and your competitors can, and will, catch up.

3 If you are not first, move the battlefield

If you are not first in the market, then you might need to shift the battlefield by creating a new category in which they can be first.

4 Keep a clear focus

If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. Focused brands concentrate on owning one thing in the mind instead of creating line extensions indiscriminately.

5 Differentiate or sell cheap

In the absence of any perceived difference between products, customers will focus on the price.

6 Use PR for brand building, advertising for maintenance

Many companies make the mistake of using advertising to launch their brands. As advertising is a self-declaration, it has near-zero credibility in the eyes of consumers. Public relations, however, involves what others say about you, and hence carries with it the weight of third party endorsement.

7 Find a great name

In the long term, the name of your products is what separates you from your competitors as your unique ideas and concepts can be copied. To ensure greater brand recall, a short, unique and memorable name should be adopted.

8 Be absolutely consistent

Successful branding requires unwavering consistency

9 Find an enemy

To have credibility, you need to have an enemy. What would Superman be without Lex Luthor? Competition between brands creates excitement in the media and with the customer base, thus helping the category grow.

10 You may need a second brand

Your brand cannot stand for everything, thus necessitating the launch of a second brand in order to enter a new category. It is advisable, however, to launch a new brand only when your existing one is a dominant player in its category. If you struggle to increase sales in a category you know well, what are the chances of you doing well in a category you know nothing about?

Read full article here.

Small brands

Should a small company use branding as a part of its competitive strategy? There are some factors that imply that brands with a small geographic market have a good chance to steal market shares from the gigantic, global brands.

The most important thing from a small brands perspective is to be strong in its own defined market. A smaller brand has an opportunity to serve its customers in a more flexible and in a more creative way than its greater counterparts. Most of all that goes for small brands that live and breath closer to its customers than big, global brands. Many of these small brands have a chance to get stronger if they stop having inferiority complex against the bigger brands and start to make their brands more clear and focused, and build their brand in a new and exiting way.

Small companies with local and regional markets seem to have accepted the global brand´s dominance over their customers and live by the convention that branding costs too much money and they are left to compete with product offerings and price. Even though they have realized their opportunity to offer personal service, it is seldom you come across companies that manage to do so in a unique or exiting way. Therefore they do not manage to overcross the hindrance which the credibility of the big brands put up.

You do not build a strong brand only through advertising and media, it is the collected, over all experience that makes a strong brand. This experience is infl uenced by all encounters you have with a brand, how the salesperson act, how other personnel interact with you, service, packaging, public relations, etc. The bottom line is to which degree you manage to satisfy those needs that you have promised to satisfy.

Small companies have flat organisations, the decision making process should be a lot easier and they are physically close to the market they wish to attract. Yes, small companies may have less money to spend on large media, but due to their small sizes a possibility to create a near, unique and possibly also an exciting experience for their customers. In a small organisation it should be much easier to manage and perform a consistent branding strategy. The possibility lays not in thinking big, but to think further.

Make Your Small Business A Big Name

Brand building is simply a new label for a collection of functions that have always been necessary to make a business successful, requiring ongoing effort in several areas to increase the public’s awareness of your business name and logo as well as to build a strong company “essence” that inspires loyalty and trust in your current customers and provides a level of familiarity and comfort to draw in potential customers.

A carefully built brand is worth more in actual dollars than all the tangible assets put together and is what will reap monetary rewards when you’re ready to sell your company. The first thing you have to do is decide how you want people to perceive your business, and then figure out what you have to do to get there.

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