5 branding mistakes start-ups make.
This week, Lara from TNG shares her thoughts on where start up's can go wrong when starting out on their brand journey.
Author: Lara Allport
1. Don’t consider your branding too early.
In our experience, clients who come to us thinking they need branding – when they have not taken the time to focus on the business model, customer discovery and vision building first – end up wasting time and money. At TNG we have developed a fairly extensive brand workshop kit, that we insist our clients carry out before we even dip a toe in the brand process waters. It is very hard to get branding, marketing and launch assets bang on, if the vision is muddy. Get clear – crystal clear – and the process will not only be more rewarding, but more effective and probably less costly. We all like a tight brief ; )
2. Don’t think of branding being ‘just a logo’.
While having a good name and a nice logo is important, brand development extends far beyond this. If you want your idea to survive in todays market place, you need to think about the big picture. How do you communicate with your audience? Customers and clients are much more likely to engage with you, if they believe your story and what’s coming from the inside resonates with them. Branding these days is about connecting with people, on much more than a visual level.
3. Don’t worry about your competition.
Far too many entrepreneurial spirits loose faith and momentum in their idea and vision, getting themselves bogged down with what the competition are doing. If you spend your time and energy taking cues from other companies, you risk compromising the authenticity of your offering and diluting the strength of your own brand. How they do things, will be different to how you do things and you are much better off staying true to your own vision. Blaze your own trail, the competition – quite simply – does not matter.
4. Don’t launch half baked.
Your branding and marketing material should never feel like an after thought. The ideas of your brand should emanate from deep within your company, they should come from the inner core of your fibres and be a true extension of yourself. If you don’t 100% believe in what your offer is, why should anyone else? Launching with a ‘I’ll sort the look & feel out later’ attitude will cost you in the long run. If you are not loving your branding and marketing assets, don’t launch.
5. Don’t start with a URL.
Of course it is very advantageous of you can directly type your company name into a browser menu and for that to be your space. Don’t let it stop you sticking with a great name however. As the online world expands, availability is becoming increasingly more challenging for brands, but one thing to bare in mind is that people will find you through your awareness campaigns, searches, click links on social and warm referrals. You are much better off sticking with a great name that feels right for the vision, than compromising with a name you are not so happy with, just because the URL is available.