Even start-up business owners should be thinking long-term. And that involves creating a brand image that will support the structure of your start-up marketing plan.
Branding is a critical aspect of marketing. And the size of your business is irrelevant. Branding has no barriers. Whether you are a lone freelancer or a multi-international corporation, communicating with the right type of customers is crucial to business growth.
And that’s what branding essentially does. It appeals to customers that resonate with your business on an emotional level. The colours you choose, the images you use and the message you send all play an important factor in branding.
But branding involves many elements, so today we’re going to run through the basics. The information in this article should form the basis of your start-up marketing plan and help to steer your marketing campaigns so that you stay consistent and appeal to the right audience.
What your branding should do
First and foremost, branding should tell your customers what they can expect from your business services and products. This is a “brand promise”. Always deliver on your brand promise so don’t make claims you cannot achieve.
Your brand must also differentiate you from your competitors. You do this through the design of your logo, your website and marketing materials. Choose colours and images wisely.
Ideally, the visual designs of your business should appeal to the audience you are targeting. So learn about colour psychology and use visual aids that best represent your business.
Start-up marketing plan
You will need a marketing strategy. Determine the type of customers you intend to target and where you will find them. There are many distribution channels both online and offline such as search engines, social media, community forums, brochures, public spaces etc. Use as many as possible.
Regardless of the advertising platform you use, be consistent with the messages you send. This includes the type of content you share on social media. Even if content is not related to your business, you should still communicate the values and interests of your start-up. Everything you publish should express your brand image.
Make a profile of your brand and your ideal customer. The profile should identify the pain points of your audience and answer how you can resolve the issue. Furthermore, why should consumers choose your brand over your competitors.
Defining your brand
It is vitally important to define your brand before you start marketing or creating the visual designs for your start-up business. Invest a sufficient amount of time researching the market, your audience and your competitors.
You will find plenty of resources online with advice how to develop your brand and the essential elements to consider. For now, let’s start with laying the foundations. Make a list of the following questions and answer them as fully as possible.
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the key benefits and features of your products and services?
- How can you improve the life of your customers?
- What qualities do you want to associate with your brand?
- How do you want to communicate your key messages?
- What are your core values and how will you promote them?
Defining a brand and developing a marketing strategy can be complicated, especially if this is your first business. You may therefore want to consider leveraging expert advice from a start-up marketing plan consultant.
Other branding considerations
Branding extends to every aspect of your business; how you answer phones, email signature, taglines etc. If you have employees, make them aware of the brand image you intend to project and give them appropriate training.
How you project your brand image is done by creating a brand personality. The voice should reflect your brand and appeal to the type of customer you intend to attract.
If you plan to market your business online with a website, we strongly recommend maintaining a blog. Developing a brand personality will mostly be implemented on your website.
One of the most important goals for any brand is to earn the trust of consumers. You do this by delivering on your brand promise. Customers want to see businesses that are honest, transparent and care about the community.
A brand promise must be reinforced at every touch point from marketing materials, sales assistance and customer care. When you consistently earn the trust of consumers they are more likely to return and tell their friends and family about your products and services.
For assistance compiling a start-up marketing plan for your small business contact Brand Development.