Creating a Brand & Category With High Alpha
Zylo CEO Eric Christopher discusses the importance of brand in becoming a category leader.
FROM IDEA TO EXECUTION
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Branding Packages For Sartups Resources
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Branding Packages For Startups
When you think of branding packages for startups, what do you think? No, it is not just graphic design where teams of artists work together to create kitschy cartoons or a v1 logo. Instead, it involves everything from positioning to early messaging in addition to visual design.
Working with a venture studio to develop your brand is an ideal path for anyone who has a great idea for an app or piece of software but doesn’t know how to take their new business to the next level. Venture studios are distinctly designed to build startup companies in rapid succession, meaning they consistently have the resources on hand to make growth possible.
Branding packages for startups can make or break your growing business. When people think about big B2B technology brands (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco), they already know what those companies are “about.” They know this because they have developed their branding over the last few decades.
For example, when you see the “Google” logo, what do you think of it? Innovation? Excellence? Perhaps its brand evokes a feeling that’s a little fun, clever, and offbeat. Google has spent millions upon millions of dollars creating its branding — and it all started with a bright, almost childish logo on a minimalist page.
Startups don’t have strong name recognition as an advantage embedded in their branding. Branding is about more than just advertising and marketing; it’s about letting your clients know what they can expect from you. In B2B SaaS, effective branding is critical because it anchors expectations. Your brand helps distinguish your company from others.
Most startups delay branding their organization — they feel that they have other areas to focus on, or they just don’t have the resources to begin. As a venture studio, we have a dedicated team devoted to creating world-class branding packages for startups to help them start on the right foot.
Our design team works hands-on with our portfolio to build world-class products, experiences, and brands. Over the years, they’ve worked with leading agencies and brands, including Salesforce, Zendesk, Stack Overflow, Shopify, Microsoft, and more. You can see some of our B2B SaaS brand examples and what we’re working on at highalpha.design.
Effective branding services for startups dig deep into what makes the organization special. What is the company “first” in? What are its key differentiators? What problem do they solve? And who is the audience they solve it for?
By looking to leading SaaS companies as branding packages examples, company decision-makers can better understand the advantages of having clear branding. Some of our favorites include Drift, Animalz, and Gong. Pulling inspiration from your favorite brand identity package examples will help your team narrow in on what to aspire to for your new SaaS startup.
Everything a company does develops your brand. From your logo to your website and even the way you talk to your first few customers. A company that hasn’t invested in its branding still has a brand — that brand is just chaotic, confusing, and uncontrolled. By investing time and energy into brand early, companies tend to grow faster by building a valuable reputation and engagement.
Reputation is especially important when growing your B2B SaaS startup. When it comes to making a buying decision, your first customers will look to your brand to foster trust. Your early brand should give them confidence that even though you’re a young company, you can create a long-lasting relationship together. Companies want partners they can rely upon.
A clear brand provides a beacon through which compatible companies will be able to find your own company. The more intention behind your branding, the more other companies will know what you’re about as a business. They will know what to expect from your organization — and they will know whether they fit in with your existing operation.
And, of course, branding also has advantages when it comes to marketing and advertising. The better your branding, the more likely clients will stop and take notice of what you’re creating especially when that brand is tailored to them. After becoming a part of your audience, they will be able to recognize your company upon seeing your ads and build familiarity from here. And the more familiar they are with your company, the more they’re likely to engage and convert.
So, branding is critical for a B2B company. But it’s so complex that it’s easy to see why many startups hesitate to start developing their company’s branding. Partnering with a seasoned venture studio with expertise in creating effective branding packages can help.
Branding Package For Small Businesses
How do small, early-stage startups even start to approach business branding packages? How does a small business branding package differ from a large enterprise?
First and foremost, a branding package for small businesses starts from square one. A company may not even have its own internal identity fixed, let alone know exactly how to define itself to its clientele. A brand designer has to find ways to deeply understand the company, its mission, its values, its audience, and what problem they’re solving.
This also means that there is an element of market research involved. To develop a company brand, the company also needs to know exactly what appeals to its leading demographics. If its branding is off-putting to its major demographics, that brand isn’t going to help. The company will need to either shift its brand or shift its demographics.
A brand is comprised of many things, including visual branding, positioning, and messaging. Often, companies start with their visual branding. What does a good visual brand look like?
For B2B startups, the hope is something simple and easily recognized. A brand needs to be unique. clean, and with personality. A startup may want to focus on understanding the problem they solve and their audience first because then they can create an informed logo and website to start. This means a brand should also start with developing its early positioning.
Startups, in particular, rely heavily on outreach, digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. All these aspects of the business need to have consistent messaging — which means a startup needs to have its voice and identity ironed out before it starts producing content.
There are many elements of a brand beyond graphic design branding packages. As an example, there are certain sounds we attribute automatically to Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Sony, and more — even if we don’t realize it. A small business brand designer is likely to focus on content, messaging, logos, and other visual aspects of your brand. But as your company later grows and develops, you may need to iterate because you’ve likely learned new things about your customers and developed new features to your product.
Branding’s a complex discipline, and a company’s work branding itself is never done. Startups will need to think about their branding in-depth before they start to build their reputation.
Branding Tips For Startups
So, what does a startup do if they don’t have a brand strategy or any tools? A startup branding strategy should be comprehensive — so the company doesn’t need to pivot significantly later — but it also has to be lean because it will likely change over time.
Here are some important branding tips for startups:
- Take a look at what makes your business special. What would you say your primary value proposition is? What separates you from your competition? If someone asked you what you do different, what would your answer be?
- Create a “word cloud” or list of the major values and concepts around your business. Ask your employees, c-suite executives, and even clients what they think the major values and concepts around your business are. Create a word cloud, associating these ideas with each other.
- Look at your competitors and ask: How can you do it better? You need to differentiate yourself from the competition. So, how is your competition branding itself? If you can’t do something they’re doing better, you need a different tactic.
- Think about the problems you solve for your clients. What would your clients say you did for them? How were they better or improved after working with you? What is it that they found in your business that they couldn’t find with another company?
- Identify the company culture you want to move towards. If your current company culture isn’t where you want it to be, where do you want it to be? Branding doesn’t just have to describe where your company currently is. Your branding can also discuss where you want your company to eventually be.
- Ask yourself if you’re still on your “mission.” If you’re really struggling with finding your brand, it could be that your company has lost its mission or its identity. Maybe you’re not really sure what space you inhabit in the market. Maybe there are other companies that you feel do the same thing as you, but better. The time to address this is now — if you don’t have a mission, find one.
Tech startup branding often faces some unique challenges. Even in the B2B market, there are dozens upon dozens of similar companies competing in a similar space. Companies really need to be able to differentiate themselves if they want to be successful, and that differentiation has to occur through branding. If you can’t figure out what makes your company special, you may need to go back to the drawing board.
If you’re looking for someone to help you with branding packages for startups, one fact remains the same: venture studios aren’t going anywhere soon and can be a huge help in getting you launched on with the right foot forward.