Creating your brand is very important.
Branding is more about just the logo you have a designer create.
It’s about all the ways your target customers will perceive your business. That includes you, partners, employees, vendors and all the people that have a say in how your business operates.
It also includes the things you say and even more importantly, the things you do.
When you think about all this it can be scary to think about creating your startup business brand. You want it to be perfect, but the truth is that no brand can be perfect.
Here are the factors that are most important as you develop your brand image.
The most important element of anything you create or do with your brand is trust.
For you and those you work with this means doing what you say or delivering on promises. It means not taking advantage of customers. It means taking a few hits in the short-term so you can build relationships for the long-term. It means offering help to your target customers without pressuring them into sales.
When you work with potential clients or people that have influence over your potential clients you have to have a long-term focus. You have to think about what you should do now that will be best for the long-term. When you start making decisions about what’s best for you right now you can lose trust and your startup will often get into trouble.
Trust also goes into branded items like logos and websites. Design needs to reflect the type of style your client will trust.
If you’re targeting high-end clients, a low-end looking site will not give them trust in you to deliver.
Conversely, if you’re targeting regular people with regular incomes and lives then you don’t want a high-end design or a low-end design. Either would make them feel uneasy and out of place with your brand.
Make your design fit your brand for it to make you feel trustworthy in the eyes of your target customers.
2. Simple, Vague And Unoffensive
Your business is one thing right now, but it could warp into something different in the future. It’s best to start with simple design and vague design early so your brand can grow into a perception.
I’ve worked with teams that have tried to name businesses. It can be really hard, but ultimately your brand will become what you make it. Pick something that doesn’t offend anybody. Pick something that’s simple and easy to remember and go from there.
3. A Vision
The entire branding process is assisted if you create a vision for the business. You might simply be trying to get through each day right now with no real idea what the business will become. It’s okay to not really know what will happen with the business in the future, but you need long-term thinking.
Consider the path you want the business to take. Imagine what the company will look like in 5, 10 or even 50 years. From there you can work your way backwards to figure out the steps.
A vision helps you develop the brand. It also helps you make better decisions. You can ask yourself, “How does this logo fit our vision?” or “How does this decision get us closer to the long-term vision?”
Final Advice: Done Is Better Than Perfect
A final parting note is to not get caught up in the perfect logo, the perfect design or the perfect vision right now. You need these things right now to get started. It’s okay to make tweaks as you go.
With GBW, I think we’ve had at least two logos and maybe even three logos since 2010. We had to learn what the brand was. I had a vision, but it’s crazy what you can learn in a year or five years about your customers and about the business.
Get something up now and learn about yourself and the customers over time. Then use that understanding to make revisions as you go.