What’s missing from your start-up branding?

A closer look at why start-ups fail.

Ever thought why most start-ups, started so passionately by their founders, fail to get a good response from the market? And that could be in spite of having a great idea, a sound business model and good products and services.

Entanglement with the tangibles

Start-up founders mostly focus on product or service, funding, recruitment, etc. And they must do so. But, somewhere in that mad rush to get launched, they forget to look beyond tangibles such as sales and figures.

The intangibles make us think- How do we want to be perceived by our consumers? Where do we want to get our brand placed in the consumer’s mind? Tata has been associated with the words like reliable and trust. That’s neither incidental nor accidental. The company has invested efforts, resources and time in getting their brand positioned in our mind that way.

That is the power of branding. And it doesn’t happen on its own.

Incomplete plan for success

Start-ups fail to factor for a sound brand strategy in their business plan. However, in ‘Branding’ section, they do cover naming, logo design, brand guidelines among other deliverable. If Brand Positioning and Brand Belief do appear, then it’s a mere formality. Because outside branding section, their master plan does not talk about processes and ways to weave that brand essence in their work environment. Come to think about it. Just by writing ‘safety’ as a brand promise, can Volvo create safe vehicles?

Selling to the whole world

At OH! Design Studio, during a recent brand brief session with our new B2B client, I asked them – ‘who are you selling your product to?’ I was trying to understand their market segment to create an effective online marketing strategy. The reply was rather predictable – ‘whoever needs this product’.

That’s interesting. I may have a need for that B2B solution, but I’ll have other vendors lined up as well offering the same thing with almost similar feature set. Will I not evaluate all options? In fact, when making a purchase decision at work, I’ll be extra careful to make the right decision and not risk my livelihood! Besides, in a typical B2B setup, multiple decision makers are involved for making a purchase.

What does your product or solution excels at and which category of buyers would consider that expertise as a clear strength? These are the kind of questions which can help you narrow down your market. Conduct a market research to make an informed decision.

Same principles apply to B2C market as well.

By Supriya Sachdeva, Digital Communication Strategist at OH! Design Studio, Mumbai.

OH! Design Studio is a branding and strategic design agency in Mumbai, India. To connect with OH! Design Studio, just drop us a line, we’ll get in touch with you. You can always say hello at  @SachdevaSupriya  !

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