The red bull’s-eye of Target. The golden arches of McDonald’s. The slightly nibbled apple that communicates more than a brand name ever could.
Customers recognize iconic brands at a glance. The logo, style, and general aesthetics of a brand represent everything from its products to its customer experience. Just like iconic companies, your startup has a story to tell that begins with its brand.
As you develop your startup’s brand, keep these factors in mind to create a solid foundation for your company to grow.
Don’t assume you know your customers.
As a founder, you know your business better than anyone. But don’t fall into the trap of assuming you know your customers without doing your research. If you don’t accurately understand your customer base, you could end up with a skewed brand promise.
Do whatever it takes to get inside your customers’ heads. Conduct focus groups and surveys, monitor social media, and strike up casual conversations. Pay attention to words you hear repeated often. If you let them, your customers will tell you what motivates them and the communication style they prefer.
Define your brand promise.
Once you know your customers, research the competition and talk to people at all levels of your organization about what sets your business apart.
What is most compelling about your brand? How is it different from your competitors? It might be your product, the personality behind your startup, or a unique customer experience. Whatever it is, this brand promise should be the focus of all your messaging and brand representations.
Birchbox is a great example. It found success by capitalizing on its uniqueness. Birchbox was the first in the subscription box space, and it sparked copycat businesses focused on everything from pets to wellness.
Birchbox was a pioneer, and it has kept its brand identity strong. It’s colorful, fun, and interactive. Customers feel a personal connection to the brand, and this experience has contributed to its continued success.
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