Ever wondered what made some startups stand out and get the investors they need to scale their business fast?
Well, on top of a stellar business idea and a dedicated team, startup business owners invested time and money in their branding too.
Branding is incredibly helpful for any business to succeed, but for startups, branding is not just “nice to have”, it’s crucial.
In fact, 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand. Strong branding evokes emotion and helps create loyal customers.
In this blog post, I will be bringing you behind the scenes of branding for startups and why branding is one of the most important ingredients to launching and growing a successful startup company.
Are you ready? Let’s dive right in!
“Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room” — Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Here’s a secret: you are your brand! Your startup, your story, your messaging, your visuals, they all create your brand.
So the question of whether branding is important for your startup does not even have to come up. It’s a given.
You have a brand already because you have a business already.
Now, whether you have a good brand or not, that’s a whole different story. If you want to learn more about what makes a brand great, read my previous blog post on what makes a strong visual brand.
Now, let’s get back to the meat (or portobello mushroom for my fellow vegans) of today’s blog: why branding is essential for startups.
Here are 4 main reasons why branding, and most importantly visual branding, matters:
Have you ever felt lost when asked what you do and who you serve as a startup? You’re not the only one.
Attracting your ideal target audience is absolutely essential if you want to grow your startup fast and make sales. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your marketing budget getting wasted on Facebook Ads that brought low ROI and your customer service team having to deal with leads that will never convert into sales.
With a stellar brand identity, you can rest assured that you will be attracting the right people, those who truly care about your business and want to do business with you.
How does it work: From logo and brand messaging to typography and web design, your brand identity will help guide your marketing strategy so that you are reaching the right people at the right time and create the impact you wanted.
If you are a startup, one of your priorities is to find angel investors to seed fund your business. These investors will only part with their hard-earned money if you give them a good reason to.
And even though you might have an amazing product or offer, these experienced investors know how important your branding and marketing are to guaranteeing your business success and sustainability.
Don’t let branding be the reason investors say no. An authentic, unique, and intentional brand promises to grab your business investors’ attention and get them actively listening to your pitch. When your brand is clear and impactful, your investors can feel more confident in what you are trying to achieve and feel more motivated to invest in you.
Close your eyes and think of all the companies that have gone viral recently. One of the things all these businesses share in common is amazing branding. That and the philosophy to move forward intentionally with their business.
You’ll rarely be able to influence your market and dominate your niche if you are not easily recognizable and relatable. Branding can help you achieve both these things.
How branding helps: An excellent branding strategy can help you identify what makes your startup unique and why your ideal customer should choose you above anybody else. Through your brand messaging and visual brand identity, you can choose who you want to resonate with. Once you’ve figured your branding out, you can go online and create the buzz that gets people to stop scrolling and start paying attention!
When you have a solid brand strategy and have showcased your brand uniformly on every platform, something magical will start to happen. Your audience will start to recognize you, tell others about you, and look for you online!
You might be wondering what does this have to do with visual branding? To that, I’ll reply, everything!
And before you call me out on my biases as a passionate brand designer, listen to this fun fact. Your brain processes visual information much faster than text information. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual!
So, next time you decide to skip planning your brand identity, think about the tired brains of your ideal customer trying to decide whether you are the right solution for them or not!
How to make this work: There’s a long, detailed list of things you can do but I will sum the most important element in one word: consistency. Yep, you’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true! Studies show that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Now that I’ve spilled all the beans on branding and why it’s so important for your startup company, let’s seal the deal with some examples, shall we?
Here are some startups that prioritized their branding and marketing efforts to help their business reach the masses fast.
Have you ever heard of Calm? I bet you have!
Calm is a mindfulness and mental health app that offers free exercises and programs for mindfulness and meditation. Calm users can use the app for meditating, improving sleep, reducing stress, and so much more.
Calm continues to champion their marketing, so much that they have won top App downloaded on Apple three times in a row!
How their branding helped: They made their entire visuals about calmness, flow, and stillness. In a world where every business on social media tries to be louder and brighter to grab your attention, Calm did a 180 and offered soothing graphics and audios to create a safe space where you can let go and relax.
WellSet is a marketplace for booking preventative healthcare practitioners like acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists, doulas, and more. Its goal is to help connect you with health professionals online, with ease and confidence.
I was brought in by the WellSet team to help them with their branding as they wanted to create a truly authentic brand that also conveyed their business mission in a clear manner.
How we did it: We made WellSet’s branding intentional by pairing their vision with all the visual elements we've created. For instance, we use circles in a variety of ways to show that the brand is all about community and connection.
How fast has BetterHelp grown over the recent years!
Indeed, this startup has flooded our social media and found itself on your favorite YouTuber channels to tell us about how they are revolutionizing the world of therapy.
If you have not heard of BetterHelp before, they are an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to mental health services. Mental health is still highly stigmatized in our society.
BetterHelp is changing this and helping people from all over the world match with their soulmate therapist online and navigate healing together.
How their branding helped: From the get-go, BetterHelp knew that they wanted to build their entire brand story around wellness at affordable prices. They partnered with a talented creative agency to design a solid brand identity and explore different marketing strategies to get their brand message through to the masses. Spoiler alert: it worked.
Ready to add the name of your startup to the success list? I sure am.
And if you prefer to outsource your entire branding process to a professional, you’re in luck! I just happen to be an expert when it comes to branding for purpose-driven small businesses and startups. And I have the perfect solution for you.
Fill in this application form so we can discuss your brand vision and create your complete brand identity. I’ll accompany you through the entire process so you can launch with a stylish, unique brand for your startup. You will never have to second-guess again!.
Whether you prefer to DIY your branding or hire an expert, I am always rooting for you and your business goals <3