Investing in start up business branding
Let’s start by talking a bit about the term branding. The word is hot, and in fact so hot that many of us are nauseated by its overuse. The term “branding” can mean the visual repres...
Let’s start by talking a bit about the term branding. The word is hot, and in fact so hot that many of us are nauseated by its overuse. The term “branding” can mean the visual representation of your product, service or company and usually refers to your logo, web site design, packaging, marketing materials, user interface, etc. Branding can also refer to much less concrete/physical things like your reputation, customer service and the promises you are making to your customers.
By looking at those definitions, you can see that those more abstract ideas of your brand start growing as soon as your startup began to take shape in any public way. People immediately make first impressions about your new idea. If there is no visual identity to attach those feelings to, they are probably associating these ideas and opinions with the start-up founder(s) or any other public and tangible perception of the emerging brand.
When people ask about investing in branding they are usually referring to the more tangible aspects of their brand identity. If they plan to work with a professional designer or brand agency, when is the time to engage them?
If you plan to open a restaurant or retail store you need a designer involved sooner than many other startups. A restaurant, for example, needs to get its brand identity nailed before they launch. The signage, decor, menu and overall atmosphere is not something that can come later. The dining experience and the brand identity are highly interwoven.
Another example would be something like a yoga studion, the immediate effect of that brand identity may be critical to creating the right first impression. These businesses can always adjust and expand their brand identities as they get more established, but they cannot hang out their open sign without the basic brand elements of a strong logo and other key visual elements.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Innes Fresco has no end of experience in writing about branding for the likes of http://www.imlondon.co.uk and other businesses in this sector.