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How to build a strong startup brand identity?

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Startup development and creation of brand identity involve various marketing activities that ensure the construction of a coherent working concept of the brand, its strategy, and the creation of an appropriate visual and communicative image. As a rule, the creation of a new brand takes place in several successive, interconnected stages, the strength of the connections between which determines the integrity of the entire future brand strategy.

To illustrate the processes that involve in the creation of a startup brand identity process, we prepared a simple breakdown of each major point every startup should know. So take care tips and let’s see how you should start developing your first startup brand identity.

What are brand and branding?

A brand is a set of perceptions, associations, and emotions in the mind of a consumer. Branding is a marketing strategy, the main purpose of which is to form the necessary perceptions, associations, emotions in the consumer’s mind. The strategy includes the creation of a name, a slogan, a logo, and other design assets (for example, certain symbols and color palette), which will distinguish a company from its competitors.

The main goal of brand development is to increase customer loyalty. Loyal customers are people who become attached to a company’s certain services/ products and buy them on occasions, and who recommend them to their close ones. At the same time, a loyal consumer will choose a product from a company he is familiar with, despite the availability of analogs.

How to attract attention to the brand

To attract attention to your startup you need to develop a memorable and recognizable brand advertising campaign. Try to be as dynamic as possible in presenting the business and its unique advantages over your competitors.

It’s important to treat branding as the first date. When trying to make a good first impression, everyone chooses the best combination of clothes, all while changing 10 times. So, it’s important to stay friendly, have manners, listen, and say appropriate things yourself. Your company logo is also important just as the shirt you choose to wear. You can grow your consumer base through the quality of your products, their particular preferences, functionalities, and affordability.

Stages of Startup Branding

Branding Steps
Steps of Startup Branding

1. Follow your Roots

Go back to the beginning of your journey and describe your personal story as a project founder. Think back to when you first thought of starting your venture, what principles guide you, etc. Maybe you were influenced by the place where you were born or the institutions you attended. As you “dig” deeper, you will understand the truth behind your motivation to start a business in a particular niche.

2. Form a slogan.

Once you’ve thought about your story, isolate the key factors that will become the main company slogan and brand voice. The easiest way is to write down every word that comes to mind as you think about yourself and your business. It can be “quality,” “integrity,” “money,” “people,” “family,” or any other thought. After writing out all the words, pick out three keywords that comprehensively describe the atmosphere in the company. Consumers should be able to feel the spirit of the company.

3. Choose a company name

There are several important factors to consider when naming a company:

  1. Spelling simplicity – There are many examples of founders naming their businesses in a variety of complicated names. Eventually, customers didn’t remember the right brand name and couldn’t find information about it, which affected reputation and search engine rankings.
  2. Memorability – Similar to spelling, people may simply not remember your brand name. The name should be short, concise, unique and, preferably, instill certain associations.
  3. Scalability – Choose the brand name that can be modified and expanded. For example, the name “Nuts of Athens, Ukraine” might be the perfect descriptor for a business now, but what if you expand and want to change the flagship product? Imagine if Jeff Bezos called his business “BooksOnline” instead of “Amazon.”
  4. Accessibility – The easiest way is a quick Google search followed by a domain name analysis. If the “.com” domain for the name you want is already taken, it’s worth considering a better name option.

4. Company Mission

The mission is a core element that influences the internal culture and future promotion strategy of the company. Your product, tagline, values, and aspirations should be directly related to the mission.

For example, Facebook’s mission is “To empower people to build communities and bring the world closer together”; Google’s mission is “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”; Sony’s mission is “To be a company that inspires and satisfies your curiosity.”

5. Assemble a mood board

Create a folder of images that you associate with the project. It may not be the most logical move, but it’ll come in handy down the road. Alternatively, you could create a mood board on Pinterest and search for images using keywords that relate to your business. By collecting about 50 different images, you’ll already have a general idea of what your brand will look like.

6. Decide on colors.

The same mood boards we talked about in the last point will help with this one. Take the inspiration from the colors that dominate the images in your folder. If let’s say, it’s dominated by blue – there should be some shade of blue in the palette.

To speed up the process of finding a color palette, use Adobe Color (it’s free). You can upload images to this platform that convey the mood of the brand, and Adobe Color will automatically create an appropriate color palette.

7. Create your Logo

The logo should be associated with your brand key slogan and match the color palette of the brand. For example, Airbnb used keywords in a very interesting way to create their logo.

Any logo is a personality, which should meet 3 criteria: simplicity, relevance, and uniqueness. It is better to involve an experienced person (we advise involving an experienced outsourced agency) to create a logo. Test the logo this way: let the person look at it for 5 seconds and give him a piece of paper to redraw what he remembered. If the logo passes such a test, move on.

8. Choose your typography.

Before you choose the right font, you’ll have to go through dozens or even hundreds of options. That said, don’t rely on intuition. There are two key decision factors that one should pay attention to.

The feeling of the startup brand identity. Suppose if it’s friendliness, consider rounded and easy-to-read fonts. If the company projects confidence, you could try working with compressed fonts.

Functionality and context. Depending on purpose and context, use different fonts. At a minimum, headline and paragraph styles should differ. At some points, you can use all capital letters or use the font as a part of your startup brand element.

9. Form a brand identity

Now, with all the bits and pieces you have put together, you assembled everything into a unified brand identity. This is a necessary and obvious step on the road to brand building. All of the previous steps to forming a brand book will become a style guide, a bible for everything you do going forward.

10. Be consistent

Even though the brand book is already formed, the process of developing a company’s brand doesn’t stop. To be honest, its development will not end in principle. The key thing here is to stick to the brand’s formed brand identity in everything you do.

Create any other things that will be associated with your brand like the website, business cards, packaging, investor presentations, merch, etc. Everything has to fit the startup’s uniform style.

By creating a quality style guide for your startup, the future design challenges will be solved in the same breath. When you think about creating a sales website, flyer, or business card, you’ll already have a logo, color palette, fonts, and examples of how to use it all.

Startup Brand identity Frameworks

Constructing a brand identity for your startup can be puzzling. However, there are numerous frameworks, canvases, prisms, and other resources available to assist company owners in developing effective startup branding. This section will discuss three widely used strategies for developing a brand strategy for your company.

Brand strategy framework

The first framework we’ll discuss focuses on brand identity, personality, psychology, and equity. According to this framework, brand identity is the visual language you use to communicate with your customers. Choosing a logo, colors, and overall design is a critical first step in branding the startup.

Startup Brand Identity
Brand strategy framework

Another important factor is the personality of your brand. The majority of consumers are loyal to your brand because of its personality. A compelling brand personality can bolster purchasing decisions and forge an emotional connection between seller and buyer. Psychological aspects are also important. Understanding your target audience’s tastes and habits provides invaluable insight into how to construct your brand effectively. Brand equity is the way customers perceive your brand, and it is directly related to the brand’s market position and financial performance.

Kapferer Brand Identity Prism

The Kapferer Brand Identity Prism is the second framework in our article. The Kapferer Brand Identity Prism assists companies in developing a long-lasting and recognizable brand. The prism’s central concept is based on a synthesis of the following elements: physique, personality, culture, relationship, reflection, and self-image.

Startup Brand Identity
Kapferer Brand Identity Prism

Brand identity canvas

This is Jeff Whitlock’s canvas for developing a workable brand plan. This structure is very comprehensive, and it enables you to establish the purpose and vision of your company. It encompasses all aspects of branding, from identifying the brand’s meaning to selecting the appropriate colors and tone of voice.

Startup Brand Identity
Brand Identity Framework

All you need to do is fill this brand identity canvas from left to right, as the categories on the left direct the categories on the right. You should begin with the essence of your brand. Choose one word that best defines your brand. Then continue by filling out the “Characteristics and Antonyms” parts with the characteristics of your brand’s personality. The words “Voice,” “Messaging,” and “Stories” all refer to how your brand expresses itself and interacts with customers. The following categories – “Visual”, “Color”, “Typography”, “Form”, “Line”, “Texture”, and “Space” – are all about the visual language and design of your brand.

Conclusion

All in all, the process of developing your own brand identity is not an easy one and requires a lot of attention. Depending on the startup type and the digital product you want to establish, you need to adjust various factors that determine your brand identity. However, what if you have enough capital to raise your product development process and configure the right brand identity, but you don’t understand how to gain the most effective result out of them

If you have stumbled across such a thing, then our service is just for you. For the past 10 years, the JetRuby team has developed a specific product development technology, called a Product Development Strategy. Which is a first step towards the construction of your potential MVP. During this free business consultation, our experts will produce a general plan covering the future product development life cycle and an action plan with high-level features. So, if you are an entrepreneur who is looking for a correct methodology and wants to understand his project development process, then leave us your project description. We’ll contact you within 24 hours after our experts will receive your inquiry.


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Mark Polskii
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