New Company….Brand or not to Brand….that is the question?
You dream of one day working for yourself and being your own boss. Finally that day has come to get your start up off the ground. You are running on limited funds, sleep and extra hands to get everything done. Most startup companies do not thing about branding as a “Must Have”. Your brand is one of the most important things you need to get right when starting a company. This takes time and commitment to perfect. It’s not just a fancy logo, flyer or brochure that attracts customers. Your brand is represents you and your company in many different ways.
At Etch Marketing, we work with our clients to identify 5 key characteristics to help establish your brand.
Target Audience: This sounds easy but you would be surprised how many companies don’t know who there target audience let alone how to market to them. A 15-year-old boy won’t understand the same message as a 15-year-old girl. Find your key demographics and figure out what appeals to them. This can take a lot of research and time but is worth it in the long run. Your marketing dollars will not bring you a return on investment if you don’t have it right.
Commitment: What does the company look like in 10 and 20 years: Don’t brand for today. Look down the road and ask what your customers want when you are established. Take the steps now and make sacrifices to do things right to establish your brand. This isn’t only monetary, it is actionable too. Write a mission, vision and value statement for your company and make decisions based off of it.
Style: Once you establish your style, follow it. This will dictate the path of your company to help ensure that you reach your target audience. If your style and standards for work is determined upfront your employees will be able to follow it even if you aren’t present. For example, if your office documents aren’t organized and aren’t consistently branded and all of the logos are miss-matched, your employees will think its ok to do business this way. Your customers won’t pay more for your services and your margins will be lower or non-existent. If this seems ridiculous or extreme it isn’t.
Don’t cheapen your Brand: Be what you are. If you are a low cost provider be the best low cost provider, but if you are a high-end custom provider let your brand be that. Don’t cheapen it by taking short cuts or trying to be a low cost provider. The minute you start to change directions, your customers will notice the change and start to question the quality of work.
Listen to your clients: Feedback and response is the key to success. If you customers are not happy with your product or service then your business will eventually fail. You might need to stop what you are doing and evaluate the current brand that you are using. Sometimes companies need to re-brand their company to gain more interest from clients. We recommend sending out a customer survey to get feedback to base your decision off of. It’s ok to be wrong but don’t be stubborn…sometimes change is the key that opens the gate to new opportunities.