From concept to their first sale, startups are under immense pressure to launch since they are burning through their seed capital.  One of the dangers of running to market is the tendency of focusing on the attributes of your product…how well made it is or useful, etc.  Launching a brand based on what you think customers want can be dangerous. Why do some brands shine in the market while others fall flat?  The answer lies in understanding what your customers really want.  Your brand is the glue that connects your company with customers.  Most startups begin as solopreneurs with a lean startup approach to their business … So hiring a branding agency is not an option.  The following 5 steps will help you understand what your customers really want:

  1. Identify your target market.  Who are they and what do they need?  Trying to be all things to all people usually, doesn’t work.
  2. Look at your competition – how is their brand positioned? What kind of logo do they have?  If most of them seem to have a fairly traditional look, maybe try a modern take on the theme.
  3. What is unique about your brand – how is it differentiated from the competition?
  4. Create a customer feedback loop – ask for comments and suggestions on your blog or Facebook page
  5. Create stories about your brand – especially if you can engage some clients in the process.  Stories bring out emotions which help us to remember.  We all like stories, start telling yours.

When funding permits….get some branding and marketing help.  To be fully effective, the branding message needs to be consistent across all your social media platforms.



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