The three Fundamentals of Startup Branding
One of the most important steps in starting a business is branding your new business. Do you know what your brand is all about? Three elements – logo, website, and domain name – are key to building a startup’s brand.
Let’s take a look at what makes each element so important to successfully branding your business.
A logo is a design or symbol created by an organization that identifies its offerings and services. Iconic logos like the Nike Swoosh and Coca-Cola scripts are instantly recognizable to consumers.
In addition to recognition, logos play several important roles in small business branding:
- You make a strong first impression. Even from a distance, the sight of the Golden Arches will remind you that you are near a McDonald’s restaurant.
- A logo can help convey the company’s values and personality. For example, if you look at the FedEx logo, you will notice a subtle arrow design between “E” and “x” in “FedEx”. This optical illusion suggests the company is known for its speed and accuracy in parcel delivery.
- Logos ensure credibility. Customers build trust with logos and the associated brands. For example, the apple found on Apple products is a reminder that not only are you buying an authentic Apple product, but that there is a team of experts that can help you if something negatively affects the product.
- A logo creates familiarity over time. The recognizable green siren on every coffee mug means you always know you are at a Starbucks location. In fact, you can probably easily imagine this logo with little effort!
How do you create a logo? For new startups, the logos are usually created from scratch. Companies already in business can update their existing logos. When it comes time to register a trademark for your logo, you will need to do a logo search before completing the application. This ensures that you are not infringing a registered trademark with a similar or exact logo design.
If you don’t have a website, you are missing out on the benefits of having a web presence. Having a website, especially in the Covid-19 landscape, has many positive and long-term effects on a small business and its brand. Look here:
- Websites increase visibility. You can find customers you search online, especially if your website has been SEO optimized for search engines. The more online visibility you have, the more you can grow your business, sales, and customer base.
- Customers can contact your company through your website. You can give them email addresses and phone numbers to reach you. In some cases, chatbots can be used for conversations while the customer is on your website.
- Websites show offers and praise. Post high-resolution photos of the products you sell or services you offer on portfolio pages. This entices customers to click, learn more about your listing, and make a purchase. If you have positive customer reviews or good press, you can also post these articles on your website. This gives your brand more credibility and shows the recognition and trust you have with the media and consumers.
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3. Domain name
For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a domain name is a component of the URL used to access websites. For example, www.mycorporation.com is my company’s domain name. At this address, users can access our website and find us online.
Choosing the best domain name for your business ties in with the brand again. Whenever possible, it is preferable that the company name match the domain name. Think of Netflix and netflix.com, for example.
However, this is not always the case for all companies. Brands don’t always have to choose an exactly matching domain name. Some choose to create domain names that are rich in SEO optimized keywords. Ideally, these keywords also match your company’s offers and location so that customers can easily search and find your company online. In addition to using keywords, remember that domain names should be short, memorable, and easy to pronounce by your customer base.
It’s also a good idea that your domain name has a dot-com URL extension. What if this is not available? Depending on your industry, small businesses and brands have other options. Popular extensions are dot-us (.us) and dot-co (.co). Dot-us is so popular that even the Zoom video conferencing platform is using it as an extension!
Think about your company as a brand
Almost everything in your business can add to your brand – from the colors used in your marketing materials to your mission statement and the values you want to practice every day.
Once you start looking at your business as a brand, you can start influencing customer perception. These three elements will help you get there.
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