Branding start-ups: The most important decision you make
As a start-up, you have limited resources and intense pressures to launch your product before your initial funding runs out. And you love your product; it’s natural to assume everyone else will love it too, just as soon as they find out about it. Surely they’ll realize we have the best features! That would be a mistake.
Branding begins with the relationship between the company and the customer. You can’t brand your product for yourself and ignore your customer. The brand experience will suffer. If you launch your product based on your own assumptions, you may fail to connect with the target market, fine-tuning around the wrong issues or too late to make a difference. If the product or service is flawed, a beautiful logo or great packaging won’t fix the problem.
Instead, you must start with the brand experience that you deliver to your customer. You must have a very clear idea of what makes your brand special and how you will build a strong connection between your company and your customers. This is often the biggest bet and the most important decision a start-up can make. Begin with your story and design your product experience around it. Once you have solidified the brand experience, only then should you scale up to brand awareness. The logos, tone, packaging and marketing strategy should all reflect and contribute towards the brand experience.