fbpx
Connect with us
Apply Now

Business

How To Transform Your Startup Into A Brand

three people sitting in front of table laughing together

For some time now, global trackers have shown signs of declining consumer trust in social institutions, including those which provide them products and services. However, the most iconic brands have dogged this so far, mainly because they have been able to build a relationship of sorts with their customer base, one that evokes love, trust, and respect. Thus, turning your startup into a brand appears to be a good investment, even if it takes years to do so.

However, the question is how to achieve this seemingly difficult task? I built an ed-tech startup from scratch, which is today a successful brand in countries like Russia and Brazil. From experience, I can say that it may appear difficult but isn’t outside the realm of possibilities as some so-called experts may have told you. Let me take you through the six-step journey I took to turn my startup into a brand. Trust me; it’s easily replicable.

1) Identify who you want to target.

At the start of the process, you should have a fairly detailed idea of who your target customer is and which part of the industry you will target. The needs and expectations of your target customer form the basis of several things you will do to build a brand identity. If, for example, you own a toy brand that targets kids of a certain age, your messaging will have to be appealing to that age group. That’s a very simplistic example, but it gives you an idea of how your customer’s identity has a bearing on your brand identity.

“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations,” Roy H. Williams, founder of Wizards of Ads, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, says.

2) Create your visual markers

A brand is not a commodity. It is an intangible concept that helps people identify a company or its products. Thus, visual markers become very important in the process of branding. In fact, visual markers are so important that they are to be produced even before you launch your first marketing campaign. Visual markers include your company’s logo, profile colors, fonts, designs and everything else representing your brand. These markers should be prominently placed in marketing material so that the target customers make visual contact with them.

Remember what Paul Rand, the legendary American art director and professor emeritus of graphic design at Yale, once said: “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand”.

3) Determine your messaging

Your startup will have to develop a unique message to become a brand. This message should be based on what resonates with your target customer base. It should tell your brand’s story and give it a unique voice among competitors. It should tell the customers who you are, what you offer, what you stand for and why people should care about you. The brand’s tagline and the social causes it associates with form the core of the messaging.

The personality of the brand develops around this messaging. Therefore, it must be carefully curated and strike a chord with the customer base, both emotionally and intellectually.

Over a period of time, a convincing message can do more for your startup’s brand identity than any ad, sales pitch or marketing campaign can deliver.

4) Outline your brand’s Unique Selling Propositions

To be considered a serious player in the market, you need to stand out and convey why you are different from others. You must offer a unique value proposition to your customers.

By creating a unique selling proposition, you will be giving your target customers a reason to buy your product or service and come back for it over and over again. It helps create a loyal customer base and is critical in the process of developing a brand identity.

You must remember that USPs can’t be drawn from thin air. For your customer to register them, they should be based on their needs and demands.

5) Invest in outreach

Reaching out to your target customers is an important part of the brand-building effort. A brand develops when it manages to occupy mind space, and constant communication with your base can help you achieve just that. You can use social media or targeted campaigns to reach out to the demography you want to appeal to. The outreach methods and the content used for it will depend on the profile of your customer, including his age, likes and dislikes. This makes data collection and analysis a critical part of the outreach effort, one that is often ignored. Directionless outreach will not yield desired effects.

“Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image,” David Ogilvy, advertising tycoon who founded Ogilvy & Mather and is known as the “Father of Advertising”, had said in the context of customer outreach.

Outreach will ensure that you get the mind space necessary for creating a brand identity.

6) Remain coherent and consistent

Consistency is the key to the success of your branding effort.

Every identity is based on recognizable traits. For your startup to develop an identity, it will have to display recognisable traits consistently over a long period of time so that those traits become associated with it. Inconsistency can confuse your customer base.

Your visual identifiers like logos and fonts, your website design, the tone and tenor of your social media posts, the arrangement of your marketing emails – everything has to be consistent so that the customer starts associating the style with you.

The messaging should be consistent at every customer touchpoint.

“Overall, because branding is about creating and sustaining trust it means delivering on promises. The best and most successful brands are completely coherent. Every aspect of what they do and what they are reinforces everything else,” Wally Olins, the legendary British corporate identity and branding tsar, had once said.

7) Track outcomes

While you do everything listed in the six points above, you must not forget to keep track of the outcomes. It can be done in multiple ways, including analyzing business growth and, most importantly, through regular interaction with the target audience. A periodic evaluation will help you decide what is working for you and what isn’t. Based on the results, you can revise your strategy and introduce new elements.

Remember what Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Also Check How To Sell A Product In A Competitive Market?

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.


Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.