Going on a high school trip was fun for two reasons: shopping and Starbucks. Everyone waited impatiently to enter the café with the famous green logo and order a coffee. But what makes their coffee so special compared to the coffee you can buy on every corner of town?

The answer doesn’t lay in their products and their business as much as it hides in the establishment of their brand. Starbucks is just one of many examples where the brand has a powerful influence on our emotions.

This is exactly why it became so famous and desirable. The primary culprit is the branding itself.

At EWOR, we’ve created a complete guide to start-up branding strategy for entrepreneurs. Below, you will find a step-by-step process that will lead you to having your own brand. Let’s get started!

What is branding?

Branding is the process of making you identifiable on the market. It includes a branding book (logo, colour palette, tone of voice, typography, etc.), branding persona, and tagline. A start-up’s branding strategy will build a reputation that makes your business stand out.

This is important so people will remember you for it. If you create a good brand that catches people’s attention, you may even be known worldwide.

Good start-up branding speeds up recognition in the marketplace. For this to happen, you need a well-thought out strategy and some creativity. Your brand handles why people choose you over other competitors, so creating a gut feeling inside customers is your primary goal.

How a Great Start-up Branding Attracts the Audience

According to the discovery by Simon Sinek, author and inspirational speaker, the biggest companies, such as Apple, always start with why they do what they do, instead of what they do. He explained this theory in his bestselling book, “Start with Why”. 

The idea behind success, as Sinek explains, is to show people why you do it, not what you do or how you do it. People who share the same vision as you are not only going to buy your products, but will be loyal to your company for years.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it!” – Simon Sinek

Based on this idea, start with feeling rather than specifications of the product or service you’re offering. To achieve that “gut feeling” in people, it’s better to focus on creating emotion.

Your start-up logo is the perfect starting point for your strategy.

Company names are usually associated with the type of one’s business. If you are offering professional B2B services, try aiming for descriptive names (Google Maps, Wellman) or acronyms (DHL, IBM).

If you have a brand that can change people’s lives, go for emotional (Innocent Drinks) or playful names (Monster, MoonPig). Try finding a name that describes emotions, so that people can connect with your brand easily and with less confusion.

Connecting with people is more important than the product itself. Once you build a trustworthy relationship with the targeted audience, your product will gain attention based on the mutual feeling.

Different types of logos

These essential tools will help you build the feeling customers have when thinking about your company. Through the name and logo, you share your vision and idea, while building the image in people’s brains. With time, these start-up branding tricks will produce the gut feeling you are aiming for.

  1. Word mark–in this example, the name of your company represents the logo itself. If you want a simple, but recognisable brand, you can go with this one. Some of the best-known word mark logos are Netflix, Coca-Cola, eBay, etc.
  2. Letter mark–similar to the word mark, they represent the name of the company. Only in this case, it will not be a full name, but an acronym. If you choose a professional B2B service, letter mark is a good option to start with.
  3. Pictorial mark–as the term says itself, a pictorial mark is a picture representing your logo with no additions. Although simple, this type of logo can take time to be recognised without a cleverly developed strategy. There are many well-known brands using this type of logo: Apple, Twitter, Shell.
  4. Abstract mark–this mark is close to the pictorial mark, only the picture contains an abstract mark or a symbol rather than the existing concrete thing. Just imagine a symbol as a representation of the logo. Examples: Pepsi, Nike, Adidas, etc.
  5. Mascot logo–this type of logo uses a mascot as a representation of the company as the logo. Some of the best known mascots are Pringles, KFC, and Wendy’s.
  6. Combination mark–as simple as 1 + 1, this type combines a word with a pictorial or abstract mark, creating a logo with both the name and the picture: Puma, Amazon, Mastercard, etc.
  7. Emblem logo–probably the most unique one. This representation of a brand is manually designed. It combines different shapes and creatively incorporates the company’s vision into the visual tool. What makes these logos stand out is their badge form. They are a perfect example of translation into visuals. Starbucks, Warner Brothers (WB). 

Start-up branding book

A brand book is the book about your start-up branding. It’s a collection of data about your brand. Logo design, colour palette, typography, tone of voice. It’s a profile of your company and your business. All someone needs to know about you is written there.

Create a brand book immediately. Explore ideas, create a few colour palettes for the logo, find an impactful tagline, and brainstorm the ideas. Creating a mind map is also helpful for making the brand book.

What is your start-up business vision?

Emotion is the most important factor in business. The reputation of the brand doesn’t depend on your logo or your name, but on how well people connect with it. You offer a solution to a problem people have. This is the primary function of a company: to offer a service that solves a customer’s problem. In the end, coming up with the company’s mission starts with helping people.

Logo, name, and product are essential tools that help you build the feelings customers have when thinking about your company. They make sure you achieve your goals and turn your dreams into reality. When creating your start-up branding, think about your customers first. They are your only priority.

Before you set out on a journey to build your brand, focus on your vision. This is all about you and your passion, what you believe in, and why you want to help people. Once you know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing, you share your vision and those who share the same feeling will follow.

About the author

EWOR is a school conceived by Europe’s top professors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We educate and mentor young innovators to launch successful businesses.

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