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Start-up Branding: Strategies That Make an Impact

 

From a brilliant idea to months of careful planning, you finally start your company rolling. The office smells of freshly painted walls, boxed equipment, wooden furniture and flowers. You and your staff brew your first cup of coffee, wait for your first customers and read the newspaper, especially the portion where your company’s opening is mentioned. It is still the first week and you probably are experiencing both joy and anxiety on achieving this feat and keeping it afloat for an indefinite time.

 

After the ribbon is cut and the celebrations are over, the going gets tough. There should be a steady stream of clients in the pipeline, or a long-term contract to be won. The cash inflow needs to cover the operating and other expenses, and meet currently maturing obligations. And the buzz should translate into closed business deals, or a decent client base. At this juncture, you need to be tough and get going.

 

For a start-up to enter a competitive industry, especially a crowded one, there is a need to attract customers to stay afloat on the battlefield, and eventually succeed in what you are passionate about. In today’s digital era, there are a number of ways to achieve effective branding and hopefully catch the attention of your target audience. Here is a list for you to work on:

 

Give your brand an identity

You do not want to be “just another company”. What you really need to achieve is to give your brand its own identity. If yours is a financial services company like GoBear that offers comparative insurance options, then you should personalize the brand so it will stand out from the competition. Customers need to feel that yours is the go-to brand for a specific thing, or at least identify your brand when they think of your niche.

 

Incorporate social messaging

One effective marketing strategy is something that affects the audience. Your social media post does not need to be an image of a celebrity endorsing your product, or a discount coupon as a bait. Think out of the box and incorporate a social message. Whether you are selling a beauty product or offering professional services, you can always send a valuable message in your ads, social media posts or even on signage. Today, people are patronizing companies that are socially responsible or are promoting social causes. Maybe it’s time for you to adopt one if you haven’t already, and if you have, to emphasize it in your marketing.

 

Competitive employees

Your employees carry your brand. How they talk about your products and company is a big factor in either getting clients or shooing them away. As much as possible, they need to be as well versed with what you offer and as passionate as you are. They are your frontline customer service. They are the face of your brand, and their interaction with potential and existing clients can greatly influence your success. As much as possible, train them about your company and its mission, the products you are selling and even tiny details such as payment details or customer hotlines.

 

Reply to criticisms

You can never please everyone. Even the best brands get a fair share of negative comments. But, turn the negativity to positivity. Instead of sulking over bad reviews or customer complaints that are untrue, always respond with respect. These things, like your bad habits or character flaws seen by other people, make you and your brand better. By replying, you are sending a message to everyone that you give your full attention to all of your customers, whether they complain or not, and that you give their opinion, good or bad, a high regard.

 

Value for money

The discounts still work. But consumers today want to experience value for money more than anything else. This means that people are willing to cash out, even a higher price, if it leads to a satisfying product and customer service. Clients are even generous in giving positive testimonials, product reviews, and monetary tips for a job well done. While one of the game plans is to lower the price to keep up with the competition, the best thing that you can still offer is the best product for the right price. Your price markdown might give you increased revenue, but that would be for a short period of time. Value for money, on the other hand, will yield long-term success.

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