So many parts of a successful brand launch have to come together. There’s your business model, providing value to potential customers, funding, sustainability, and scaling, just to name a few. But maybe the most important in all those stages of a startup is branding.
Branding isn’t just a logo or a fancy graphic. It’s so much more than that. It’s all the small bits and pieces that make up how a customer feels about your business.
Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room
So what makes a successful brand? Read on.
Great brands start with a deep knowledge of who they are. It’s more than just the product. It’s the people behind the product and how they care about other people. Steve Jobs was a known narcissist, but he cared about people’s user experience. He was willing to be a complete jerk just to wow users with his products.
Most of all, he knew what he was about. The same is true for every great entrepreneur. They understand themselves enough to know what they offer. Great branding starts there. We call that a deep dive. We ask questions that help new business owners find their deepest self.
No great product leaves this piece of the process out. The best brands show how a product adds value to a consumer’s life. They show how a product can make your life better. It illustrates value.
Continuing with the Apple theme, the iPod did exactly that. All the advertising for the iPod didn’t talk about specs or even its iconic design. Instead, it showed people using the iPod and how their lives were different because of it. That’s communicating value.
Branding is really about storytelling. It gives people a glimpse into what makes you unique and draws them into that story. It makes them want to be a part of the story.
Any brand can be compelling simply through effective storytelling. Nike masterfully uses storytelling.They start with a celebrity athlete and tell part of their story, even if it’s just them playing their sport. Then they put regular people into the story by dressing them the same way. It engages their target market.
Of course there’s more. Great brands are built around these three elements, but that’s just part of what branding does for a startup. It takes a great plan and the execution of that plan to make it work. It takes market research and great design. The real problem is that most entrepreneurs aren’t also great designers and great marketing experts.
That’s really ok. There are great people out there who can help. If you would like some help with this so that you don’t have to guess at what works, let us help. Step one is a simple conversation about you and your goals. There is no commitment, Just the possibility of a great relationship.