This week saw the start of London Tech Week, so, it's a good time to discuss brand strategy 101 for tech start-ups.
The Tech Start-Up Brand Journey
Starting a tech venture is exciting, but it can be overwhelming with many plates spinning at the same time. You have to communicate your differentiation, the thing that makes you stand out from competitors as quickly as you can to give your business the edge. A clear brand strategy is essential for long-term success. A well-rounded brand strategy should include research & insight, positioning, strategy & TOV, a design identity system, brand guidelines and the deliverables (e.g. website, sales deck). There are other facets built into a brand such as brand sound and brand culture etc., and they are guided by the brand positioning.
Brand strategy is built on a platform of differentiation. MarTech magazine suggests that a company should use its value proposition to create competitive advantages and satisfy customer needs. The key to long-term success is using brand strategy to define your market position in order to create market share and revenue growth.
Culture and employer value proposition form another facet of a well-rounded brand strategy. A brand agency can help you curate your startup's culture to ensure a clear articulation of its purpose, as well as a unified identity. A well-rounded brand strategy should be your north star, from which you can create a strong foundation for your tech start-up's brand journey and its future.
Why Brand Strategy is Important for Tech Start-ups
A well-crafted brand strategy is crucial for the success of any tech start-up. It helps to create a clear articulation of the company's purpose and a unified identity, that can be expressed for both internal (culture and employer value proposition) and external communications (all brand touchpoints your customers see and engage with).
Developing a strong brand strategy helps businesses identify long-term growth goals. It enables entrepreneurs to move towards their achievement in a clear way, and also to track their progress against key objectives. A comprehensive brand strategy keeps them updated on whether they are moving in the right direction. For a tech start-up, having a clear brand strategy will help you stand out in a crowded market and attract the right audience from the start!
Brand Strategy Vs Marketing Strategy
Most start-ups will have a business plan which is the roadmap which defines your company's objectives and goals, covering the activity plan to achieve its goals and key milestones. The business plan should cover your marketing, financial, and operational needs. Each with its own strategy to fulfil commitments and key activities.
However, a brand strategy and a marketing strategy are two different things that are often confused with each other. They are not the same thing, one informs the other. Branding is the process of creating a unique identity and persona for a company, while marketing is the tactics used to attract, engage and promote products & services to a specific audience, to converting that audience from one-time purchasers to loyal repeat customers.
A marketing strategy produces a set of go-to-market tools to reach and align with consumers' needs. It includes digital marketing, content strategy, advertising, PR, and more, and can change based on customer data, budget, and trends. On the other hand, a brand strategy focuses on how a business positions itself within the market and category. It is a fluid, long-term strategy that requires nurturing and being revisited based on its success and changes in the marketplace.
Brand managers implement brand awareness strategies, assess customer perception, track sales progress, and create sales and marketing strategies to increase purchases and revenue. For many start-ups, a brand manager may not be an option early on, so founders may have to wear this hat among all the others they wear in the early days.
What is included in a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a plan that outlines how a business will present its brand to consumers and position itself in the marketplace. It is an essential component of any successful marketing strategy and should include the following key elements:
- Brand Positioning: A unique value proposition that differentiates your brand from competitors and resonates with your target audience.
- Brand Purpose: A clear and concise statement that defines why your brand exists and what it stands for.
- Brand Voice: A consistent tone and style of communication that reflects your brand's personality and values.
- Target Audience: A detailed profile of your ideal customer, including their demographics, behaviours, and pain points.
- Brand Identity: A visual representation of your brand, including your logo, colour palette, typography, and imagery.
- Brand Guidelines: A set of rules and standards that govern how your brand is presented across all channels and touchpoints.
By developing a comprehensive brand strategy that includes these elements, you can establish your business, attract your target market, and effectively articulate how your business differs from competitors. As you go through the brand journey and creative process, your brand story will come to life.
Crafting Your Brand Story
Your brand story is the narrative that defines your company's values, goals, and mission. It's the tale of how and why your brand operates in the way that it does. Every interaction your customers have with your brand, whether in-store or online, is set by this story.
A compelling brand story is essential to building a successful brand. It's the foundation upon which all other brand strategies are built.
Crafting a brand story involves defining your company's origin story, fundamental values, and mission. It should captivate your customers by relating to their experiences or aspirations. A well-crafted brand story can make your brand marketing more effective by evoking an emotional response from your audience. It is something your customers can identify with and believe in.
Branding Design: Creating an Identity for Your Business
Brand design involves creating, redesigning or refreshing a distinct identity for your business, one that distinguishes it from competitors and makes it recognisable to consumers. This includes key design elements such as the logo, colour scheme, typography, and other creative components.
A successful branding design strategy should align with your brand's mission and promises to customers. It should also be consistent across all platforms and communication channels.
Branding design is a crucial aspect of a business's brand strategy. It involves creating a visual identity that represents the company's personality, values, and philosophy. This includes the company's name, logo, fonts, and colours, which should be consistent across all marketing materials. A comprehensive brand strategy also includes building rapport and favorability within the market, becoming memorable in the eyes of the consumer, and creating a chosen image of the company in the minds of its customers.
Successful branding design can help build brand equity, which is a particular feeling or opinion about a company that drives buying decisions. Equity is achieved by creating positive experiences for customers that encourages them to stay loyal to your business. Emotional engagement is difficult but once you have it, it's hard to break.
How to Emotionally Engage Your Audience with Your Brand
To create a strong emotional connection with your audience, your brand needs to be more than just a logo or a tagline. It should be a reflection of your company's values, personality, and mission. Here are some key points to keep in mind when crafting a brand that emotionally engages your audience:
- Define your brand's personality: Your brand's personality should be consistent across all channels, from your website to your social media profiles. It should reflect your company's values and mission, and resonate with your target audience.
- Tell a story: A great brand tells a story that resonates with its audience. Your story should be authentic, compelling, and relevant to your target audience.
- Create a visual identity: Your brand's visual identity should be consistent and memorable. It should include your logo, colour palette, typography, and other visual elements that reflect your brand's personality.
- Engage with your audience: Engage with your audience on social media, respond to comments and messages, and create content that resonates with them. This will help you build a loyal following and create a strong emotional connection with your audience.
- Stay true to your values: Your brand's values should be at the core of everything you do. Stay true to your values, and your audience will respect and trust your brand.
In conclusion, a well-crafted brand strategy is essential for the success of any tech start-up. It helps to create a clear articulation of the company's purpose, a unified identity, and attract the right audience.
At Design By Structure, we understand the importance of both brand strategy and marketing strategy in creating a successful business. Our team works closely with clients to develop a unique brand identity and create effective marketing tactics to reach their target audience.
We can help you create a brand strategy that sets you apart and drives your business forward. Whether you're starting a new business or looking to refresh your brand's image, our branding design services can help you stand out in a crowded market. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you create a brand that resonates with your ideal customer base.
Read more from our brand strategy series:
- Brand Strategy – What it is and Why every Tech Company Needs One.
- How to Define your Brand Purpose.
- Making the Right Choice: What Should I Name my Tech Company?
- Working with a Brand Design Agency can add Value to your Business.
Published by: Fara Darvill in Thought leadership