Why your startup needs a grown up brand
Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, once said “the Disney brand is our most valuable asset. It is the sum total of our 75 years in business, of our reputation, of everything we stand for.”
Of course, when you haven’t been in business for 75 years you probably won’t feel your brand carries the same weight. Branding might not even be one of your top priorities. Starting a company from scratch involves a lot of hard work. There are so many things to get done and certainly not enough hours in the day.
But branding is important for startups. It’s not a step that should be skipped or put aside to think about later. If you intend to grow you need a grown up brand, and you need to start thinking about it NOW.
Your brand encapsulates everything. It’s not just the logo you’re going to stick everywhere. It includes who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Ultimately, it’s what other people are going to think of when they think of your company. Having a grown up brand from the start can help guide your company. It can help you do a lot of things.
Here’s why you need a brand for your startup:
You need to stand out.
Today’s marketplace is highly saturated with companies doing everything they can to get attention. Your brand can help your startup carve out its own identity and differentiate you from the competition, making you recognizable and memorable.
You need to connect with people.
Your brand can resonate with your customers and make an emotional connection, leading to what will hopefully become a long-lasting relationship. You can be a company that’s admirable, that makes people feel good. You can show people that your values are their values.
You need to get people on board.
Your startup might be doing something that’s never been done before. You’re about to disrupt the world with a new and exciting idea. Surely that should be enough to get people to notice? Well, not always. It’s going to be hard for people to buy into your company if they don’t understand what you’re actually doing. Getting your branding right can be a huge help in communicating your startup simply to customers.
You need to think about what other people think.
It’s easy to get caught up in creating and developing an idea you love, all the while forgetting that other people might not love it as much as you do. Building a brand forces you to pay attention to your audience and what they think of you. It will help you to develop your business with them in mind and create a great customer experience that will have them coming back.
You need funding.
All of the things branding can do to help you reach customers can help you reach investors too.
There are a lot of things you need to think about when you’re a startup. Make sure branding is one of them. It might just be your most valuable asset 75 years down the line too.