Whether you have already launched your startup or you are in the pre-launch phase, it is never too early to begin establishing your brand within your industry. Below are six exciting ideas to help you on your way:
1. Create Unforgettable SWAG
One excellent way to make your brand name familiar to the public is to sponsor an event that is related to your product or service. If you elect to do so, take advantage of the opportunity to offer attendees unique promotional products that sport your company’s name and logo. In the future, every time they take a sip from their branded stainless steel water bottle or save a document to their flash drive with your logo on it, you create a little more brand awareness.
2. Visualize Your Competition
To differentiate your brand in the marketplace, you need to understand how it compares to competitors. One way to study your industry is to place all competitors on a graph visually. To do this, select two critical elements in your industry, for example, price and level of service. Label one axis for each component and plot where your competitors lie on each axis. Once you can visualize your industry, you can determine if you have correctly positioned yourself within it or if you need to tweak your brand a bit to stand out.
3. Know Your Values
While it is invaluable to know your competition, it is equally important to know yourself. Your brand should not only capture the core values of your company, but it should also consistently use them as its dominant guiding force. The more in-depth your concept of your company vision and values, the better able you are to use your brand to carve out a unique space in your industry for them.
4. Locate Your Audience
Where does your target market spend their time? Are they more likely to be found on Instagram and Facebook or do they tend to congregate in real life at specific locations? Once you have identified locations where your potential customers spend their time, establish yourself there. If you can’t be there all the time to market your brand, connect with influencers who are.
Content is king for driving traffic to a website. Offering free, valuable, brand-relevant content for your customers will enable you to establish a credible voice in your industry. If writing is not your forte, hire some freelancers to help you create consistent pieces on topics of your choosing. The cost will be minimal while the return could be 1.3x the number of leads that your website would generate without a blog.
6. Leverage Your Network
Don’t be afraid to look around your community for other businesses that could help you build your brand. Consider guest posting on their blogs, offering quality content in exchange for the ability to post or curate their work on your site. All parties will benefit by gaining access to and visibility with new customer segments. You can also consider promoting your businesses in conjunction with others at local events. Regardless of how you may choose to approach it, it will never hurt your business to have a full circle of friendly companies that will promote you.
If you want to have a successful startup, the time to establish your brand is now. Lay the groundwork by visualizing your competition and knowing your core values. Next, locate your audience and offer them valuable blog content or unforgettable swag. And when you are up and running, enlist the help of other businesses in your community—you can never have too many promoters.