Creating and launching a new business is an exciting and scary time for founders. Unfortunately, many new business will struggle in the first few years and over half of new business fail.
At Brand Iron, we’re interested in helping up that number.
It is important to know what separates companies that dive into the red versus those that rise to the top. A unified brand image will be the driving force and the backbone of your company, which will propel your brand and make the difference in the longevity of your startup. Brand Iron has mapped out 4 steps to effectively brand a startup that will help strengthen your company’s brand and boost your percentage for success.
The steps for branding a startup can be broken down into 4 main phases:
- Find your Achieve Anything
- Forge your Brand
- Brand Analysis
Phase 1: Find your Achieve Anything
First you need a plan. Startups must establish measurable goals and objectives and develop a time frame in which to achieve them. At Brand Iron, we define this process as the “Achieve Anything Plan,” which includes the following:
- Capital raised
- Number of products, units, engagement, subscriptions, contracts, or units sold depending on company deliverables
- Definition of your target segments
- Strategy to reach these targets
- Set revenue and profits goals over the course of 3 months, 6 months, 12, months, 24 months, and 36 months
- Identification market share
Phase 2: Forging your Brand
Now that company goals and objectives have been planned out, it’s time to Forge your Brand! You need to determine a strategic direction that both the creative and content will follow; this will be the framework for your brand’s messaging and look and feel. The creative and content must be engaging and compelling to entertain your target audience while translating your brand identity.
Once you have determined the strategic direction, you need to develop your brand. This means creating your brand look and feel, developing a logo, website design, marketing and communications, and developing a social media presence and following.
Phase 3: Brand-to-Market
It is finally time to take your brand to market, and most importantly, drive revenue! To implement this, you need to develop a Go-to-Market Plan, which will include who you are targeting, your budget, and the most effective way to reach your target segments. Startups are often strapped for resources, so optimizing your time, money, and resources will be imperative to successfully take your brand to market. Some resources and ideas to keep in mind include the following:
- What is the CRM/ Marketing Automation platform you are using to run and drive your marketing efforts?
- How are you going to generate and capture leads through your website?
- Are you going to utilize email campaigns to help build your brand?
- If yes, how will you drive traffic to your website?
- How will you connect your brand on social media and which platforms are best for your industry?
- How will you advertise to your target markets?
- Which mediums will resonate best with your target?
- Online? Broadcast? Out of home?
- What lead generation activities will you be implementing to generate traffic and leads to your site?
Once you have decided which mediums you are going to utilize, it’s time to map out interactions on a marketing calendar to ensure that consistent marketing efforts are being put forward. It take 7-15 touches to get a response from your target, and these touches will help build credibility in your market and establish your brand identity.
Step 4: Brand Analytics
Now it’s time to measure how your marketing and lead generation efforts are performing. Analytics allow you to better understand your target market; more specifically, you can find out what type of content resonates with your audience and then improve and tailor your strategy around the results. Social media platforms have built-in analytics that allow you to see what content your audience is engaging with. Other questions to ask yourself include:
- Are you utilizing analytics tools from your CRM/ MAS platform?
- Are you filling your sales pipeline and generating your target revenue?
- Are you tracking your analytics on your email and social media platforms?
- Have you developed a results dashboard to track your company KPI?
Tracking and analytics help you determine if your company is on the right track to hitting your goals and objectives or if you need to pivot your strategy to get back on track with your initial Achieve Anything Plan.
Now that you understand how to develop a strong brand and position your startup, it’s time to build your brand and take your ideas to market! If you need any help implementing this process or developing a brand, Brand Iron is here to help at www.brandiron.net or 303-534-1901.