Tag Archives: brand

Why Branding is Important for Start-Ups

Why Branding is Important for Start-Ups

Kris Kelley writes this week on the importance of branding for start-ups. Read on…

Branding is the process of creating a symbol, a name, a website or a design that identifies a company in consumers’ minds. It creates an impression and evokes an emotional response.  Every company needs to develop a brand.  This is particularly true for start-ups.

Getting a new company off the ground takes an incredible amount of energy, determination, money and time.  The urge is to start generating revenue as soon as possible, so the idea of creating a brand often gets pushed down the to-do list. It shouldn’t.  Here is why branding is important for start-ups:

Branding Builds Credibility and Trust

Getting customers to trust a new company is not easy, particularly if the competition is well established.  Strong branding in the form of a professional, sleek website and a powerful logo give a start-up a better chance of success when going head to head with a reputable competitor.  The more polished a start-up appears, the more credibility it has.

Branding Improves Recognition

A well branded business is easy to remember.  This recognition often starts with a company’s logo.  Think of the Nike swoosh, the Facebook “f” or the Disney magic castle.  Consumers immediately recognize these symbols and connect them with their company.  Strong logo or other design branding helps start-ups break through the noise and clutter from day one.

Branding Brings in New Customers

If a start-up has no branding or dull, boring branding, then how will customers remember where they bought their new jacket or got their hair cut?  If they can not remember the name of the merchant, how can they refer their family or friends?  How can they talk about their experience in a Facebook post?  Start-ups need all the customers that they can get.  Strong branding ensures that current customers will refer future customers.

Branding is key to any company’s success. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, then contact us. We are here to help you reach your goals.

Understanding Differentiation – How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Understanding Differentiation – How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Justin Williams wants you to understand differentiation. Read on …

Digging into your brand can be a scary thing. As a business, the last thing you want to do is focus on your flaws, and with good reason. But understanding what you can improve upon often helps you see the greatness that is already there. That’s why it is important that you involve your most valuable asset in the equation of differentiation: YOUR CLIENTS.

Your brand IS DIFFERENT

Your valuable customer base should always be a part of what drives your businesses growth and improvements. It’s no secret that they are the lifeblood of your business. Your brand IS DIFFERENT, and that’s why your tribe sticks with you. But where can you improve, and WHAT makes you different?

You might have a million ideas of why you THINK you are different, but you could be missing some important stuff. Sometimes, an outside opinion can offer you insight into your brand that you didn’t even know existed. So, ask other people. It’s a simple process that has helped thousands of businesses grow and stay competitive.

Send out some customer satisfaction surveys via snail mail. Include one in your purchasing process. Post a survey on your website. Ask face-to-face. Whatever it takes, find out what others LOVE and dislike about you. It’s going to help differentiate you from the pack.

Differentiation – How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Try it and learn

Involving your customers not only helps you understand how your brand is different, it actually makes you different! You keep your tribe engaged and show them you care, and you take the necessary steps to better serve them. Try it and learn. And when you are ready to find out what makes us different, and how WE CAN HELP you, go ahead and contact us.

How Branding and Advertising Form Your First Relationships

David Gusaas talks about how branding and advertising  form your first relationships.

“Friendship is so weird, you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like ‘yep I like this one’ and then you just do stuff with them” – Step Brothers

Though they of course have their differences, businesses as a whole are not that different from people that we form certain types of relationships with. If we’re lucky enough, they are just as weird as we are, and we come together like a Catalina Wine Mixer. Though, maybe not like the one in the movie..

In starting a business, everyone wants to get to that sweet spot where instead of going out and knocking on doors, people are coming and knocking on yours. The easiest way to do this is through branding and advertising.

Not just understanding this, but taking action on this, requires a strategy that includes branding and advertising as part of your start-up company’s budget, with someone who understands the dynamics of how this works most effectively, while retaining and conveying your company’s unique quirks and personality.

“There are millions of people walking around, there are millions of businesses to choose from – however both of them must earn the right to have a relationship with you.”

This quote from former Ogilvy & Mathers CEO Charlotte Beers, emphasizes this idea that businesses function on a relationship basis, and in a way similar to how our relationships with people in our day-to-day life may become friendships.

Strategies like cold calling and other traditional transactional outreach are at times necessary and even effective to a degree. But without a cohesive human element, and a personality so to speak to attach to the company, a brand to form a relationship with, the transaction remains just that, and is easily replaceable by a newer or cheaper competitor.

The relationship formed by connecting in a human way with a brand that speaks to something in someone else’s own personality, whether it be a certain sense of humor, world view, or other similar sensibilities, leads to identifying with this brand and developing a loyalty to them.

Within this equation, advertising plays a dual role. First, it introduces the brand to people who would otherwise be unaware of it, and it reminds them of the brand afterwards. Additionally, through the type, style, and way you advertise, you further the brand narrative, and connect with potential customers and clients who you will then form a relationship with.

This touches only briefly on how branding and advertising are a vital investment and a necessary part of your company’s successful future, and there is much more to it, so please contact us today to continue the conversation!

Warren Buffet on Economic Moats and Brand Differentiation

How is your company/brand/product truly different from the competition?

Matthew Cochrane talks about Buffet, brands and moats? Read on:

How is your brand truly different from the competition?

In today’s world, it is hard to distinguish your company’s products and services from a crowded field of rivals. To truly differentiate your company from the competition you will need at least one economic moat. An economic moat is something your company can do better than anybody else. It is a competitive advantage that will keep competitors at bay.

The concept of an economic moat is not new. Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors who ever lived, says a company’s moat is one of the first characteristics he looks for when considering a business as a potential investment.

In medieval times, land disputes between warring factions were fairly common. To protect themselves from invading armies, villages and castles would build a moat around the castle or town that needed protecting. A moat is a wide, deep ditch often filled with water. This was one of the most of effective defensive measures towns could employ against advancing enemy forces.

In the same way, Buffett explains, companies can build economic moats around their business to protect themselves from the competition. Buffett says, “In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.” These moats can represent a number of advantages. One of the most devastatingly effective moats that Buffett likes to see in a potential investment is brand power.

Looking for companies with real brand power has been one of Buffett’s secrets to his investing success. Consider Coca-Cola, a company Buffett first invested in decades ago. Warren Buffett has said, “Give me $10 billion dollars and how much can I hurt Coca-Cola around the world? I can’t do it.” Why? Because Coca-Cola makes better sugary, carbonated beverages than anyone else? Not really. It’s because they have successfully built up one of the most recognized brands the world has ever seen.

Building brand power is not easy.

For starters, it takes time and a consistently great product or service to build up a high level of trust with customers. Customers want to know exactly what they’re going to get every single time they make a purchase. One disappointing experience with a product can erase years of good will.

It also takes a special type of marketing savvy to know how to sell your product or service in a way that will have customers associate your brand with high quality, good value, and integrity.

Please contact us for assistance in how to make your company’s brand a “unbreachable moat”.