Commit to consistency.
Consumers view brands like people: Each has its own story, personality, and way of relating to others. If your brand has conflicting personalities, it will confuse customers and cause them to lose trust in your business. That’s why consistent branding is so vital.
Visuals, tone, and general presentation must work together to communicate the right vision. Once you’ve determined what sets your brand apart, create a brand document to guide your content and marketing output. This will help your team create consistent messaging and maintain consistent presentation.
Focus on the front line.
A key element of brand continuity is the customer experience. Delivering a great customer experience is the No. 1 way to guarantee people will love you. And because you’re a startup, you have the bandwidth to give each customer interaction a personal touch.
Trello, a free project management app, has focused on customer service from the very beginning. It replaced traditional project management tools with an unbelievable product that people and businesses love. It doesn’t matter that it hasn’t had massive user adoption. What matters is that it’s slowly building a strong base of fanatical customers who are loyal to the brand.
To ensure your startup gains a reputation for being genuine and focused on the customer, set clear expectations with your front-line employees. Explain to them how their day-to-day interactions contribute to the broader business goals.
Proactively gather feedback.
As an entrepreneur, your business is your baby. Although you’re open to opinions, you ultimately feel that you know what’s best. But for your business to truly thrive, you need to seek out feedback from customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
Everyone has blind spots. To ensure you’re not tripped up by yours, share ideas with everyone, from designers and investors to family members and friends. Your brand is just like a person in the way it presents itself, speaks, and treats others. It’s also human in its need to change and grow over time. A strong brand promise is key, but don’t be afraid to shape your brand based on feedback.
Most importantly, focus on delivering the very best product or service to your customers, and before you know it, your brand could be as iconic as a red bull’s-eye or the golden arches.
This article has been edited and condensed.
J.R. Garrett, co-founder of LogoGarden, a free DIY logo-creation platform, has years of startup and management experience, including early-stage and late-stage VC portfolio businesses. J.R. and LogoGarden are passionate about providing resources to entrepreneurs and startups. Connect with @logogarden on Twitter.
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