Startups — Why Your Brand is Just As Important As Your Product

One of the toughest aspects of being a startup is developing a voice and vision that speaks to how you Are different. No easy task. But Branding yourself is just as important as the product you’re selling. it’s the key to carving out a space for your company. Whether it be an app, a service, or physical product — the better you brand it, the more it will connect with people.

“Our product/service/company is still evolving..”

And?

Companies evolve, shift into new markets with new products. A brand is a living breathing idea that will evolve. Don't look at branding as an unnecessary or one-time expense. It should be essential to the core of your business and it's values. It should be a reflection of your ideals as you start.  

It’s a tough balance to strike, especially for startups and new businesses. Often putting all of their effort into their products or services first and leaving little time for how all of that is going to be communicated to potential customers. A logo is nice, but it’s not a brand, it’s not a platform for launching your business. Today we’re going to look at three startups that used branding to tell their story, share their vision and did it in an authentic way without compromising their product or service.

Dollar Shave Club

Voice — Personality — Consistency.

In a market where the only discussions around the product centered around how many blades you could fit on a razor or what else could we make vibrate, Dollar Shave Club was a breath of fresh air.  

StartUp_Branding_DollarShave.jpg

They struck a chord with their snarky, yet nostalgic tone and a one take video with a man in a bear suit. It was different, but it was authentic. This tone and feeling carried through in the rest of their marketing and branding. 

Slack

Applying core ideas and concepts through UI/UX Design

An instant messaging client for work. Doesn't sound that glamorous and that necessary, does it? Yet Slack is valued at around $4 Billion and is only growing in use and mindshare. 

The early iterations of Slack failed to capture what it's core purpose was. To be a user friendly communications tool for businesses and professionals. It wasn't until MetaLab got ahold of the product and began to carve out a look and feel for it. Taking that simplistic vision and turning it into a light, bubbly product that captured the attention of people everywhere. 

It made interacting with coworkers that much easier and enjoyable.

Okay our last brand!

Mailchimp

Or is it Mailkimp?

MailChimp's success as an email marketing automation platform (that's a mouthful) can be tied directly to consistency. 

MailChimp has continued to be unique in their voice, style, and efforts when it comes to brand marketing. That famous "Serial" pre-roll ad is just one example. If you do some googling for "Mailchimp Branding" the first two results will be their guidelines: one for voice and tone and one for brand assets.

As a start-up grows these two guides are incredibly useful at helping everyone understand the brand and in maintaining the consistency in your message that you've worked so hard to achieve. Early on, don't think you need to have something as in depth as what MailChimp has cultivated, but know that one day you should be there. 

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