Why Your Startup Needs a Great Brand Strategy to Succeed
Naturally, as humans, it’s easy for us to either overlook or overestimate the amount of work that it took to create many of the things that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. That rings especially true when it comes to building a successful brand.
Whether it’s your favorite clothing brand, your favorite snack brand, or even your favorite professional sports team; it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the efforts and measures taken to build those brands to what they are today is either too difficult for the average person to accomplish—or so easy, that even a caveman could do it (shoutout to Geico).
In all actuality, the truth lies closer in the middle of both opinions. While building a brand that is truly beloved by its ideal audience (which is the epitome of success for a brand) is a very strenuous quest; it’s not as impractical as many would think.
Like building a beautiful home, building a successful startup brand starts with a well-detailed blueprint. In other words, in order for your startup to have a secure foundation—it’ll need a great brand strategy.
The pitfalls of your startup not having a brand strategy
If you were a business major in college, you were probably taught the core components—that for decades, higher learning institutions emphasized as being the most important elements required in order to run a successful business.
Courses like accounting, advertising, business 101 (or 1A), business communications, and marketing, are just a few of the required courses college students must pass in order to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree. But have you ever noticed one course that isn’t required (because most universities do not have a class for it) is a course dedicated to branding your business?
Sure, there’s a tiny section in your marketing textbooks that may cover branding. But an entire course dedicated towards brand strategy? Forget about it.
Unfortunately, that's because, and to their detriment; those who set the curriculum in academia, as well as many founders, totally undervalue the power of branding. But as the most successful startup founders would corroborate, a business without a brand strategy is destined to flail in the wind known as the market. Which leads to failure.
Having a strong brand, which is the result of applying a great brand strategy, gives your business the ultimate advantage to separate itself from others in its industry by winning over consumers’ hearts and minds; instead of having to be one of the many companies that competes in the marketplace simply based on having the lowest price.
As management expert Tom Peters said, “In an increasingly crowded marketplace, fools will compete on price. Winners will find a way to create lasting value in the customer’s mind.”
The advantages of having a great brand strategy
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Well, that certainly applies to startups that aspire to have a prominent brand without having a great brand strategy. Great brands do not become that way by happenstance. Great brands become great by meticulously planning and implementing great brand and marketing strategies.
Whether your startup provides products or services to customers, brand equity is just as, if not more so important as the products or services that your company provides to customers. So, instead of only looking at your company’s assets along the lines of tangible things like what it is that you sell, try to think of your startup’s brand itself as the USP (unique selling proposition) that will give you an unequivocal edge over your competitors.
“When brands are considered assets, the role of brand management radically changes from tactical and reactive to strategic and visionary.” Says consultant, author, and creator of the Aaker marketing model David Aaker, in his book, Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles That Drive Success.
On the surface, it’s easy to view super successful Silicon Valley startups like Airbnb, DoorDash, Impossible Foods, and Zoom, as companies that are worth billions of dollars solely due to their superior products/services or the vast amount of capital they have at their disposal.
But if you were to ask the CMOs of those startups what was their secret sauce, they’d tell you that it lies in the relationship their brand has with their customers. That relationship was a result of customers resonating with the brand's: identity, imagery, positioning, development, and messaging—which are all components of a well-detailed brand strategy.
Let’s create your startup’s brand strategy
Having a comprehensive brand strategy is a must in order for your startup to be able to stand out and succeed in today's marketplace. We’d love to speak with you about your vision for your startup which would assist us in beginning the process of creating the perfect brand strategy that’ll help you reach and exceed every goal that you have for your business.
Contact us to schedule a chat, and we’ll take care of the rest.