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Branding exercise for startups

Should Startups Worry about creating a brand?

When you launch a company, you are likely to be busy with raise funding, figuring out what products to build, and recruitment. So when should you start thinking about creating a brand?

Erica Burnett, a designer at Zaarly said, ‘Focus your time and money on the most important and long-lasting pieces of your brand’.

So what are the most important and long-lasting pieces of your brand?

What are brand elements?
The problems you solve, the experiences you create, people you hire, valued attitudes are the core of your brand.

Focus on Improving the Customer Experience and solving real problem and try to find loyal future customers by building a product that offers real utility.

There are many pieces of your brand identity that your design will create before you launch? Your logo, your site, tagline, color selection, fonts, and countless other things. But make sure your team stays focused on what matters most before you launch, finding loyal customers. Once you validate your product and identify your customer demographic through engagement metrics, you can spend more time developing your brand.

Many a times startups worry about “Unimportant Brand Elements” before establishing a credible value proposition. By “Unimportant Brand Elements”, the reference is being made to anything that doesn’t create a better customer experience. Like printing t-shirts, caps, etc. before launch, it can be a huge distraction and will very likely be a waste of money.

Once you launch your product, you will probably realize that you were wrong about your target audience, and everything you designed will require revisions. Save your money until you solve a real customer problem and identify your core demographic.

“Important Brand Elements” create a superior customer experience and are responsible for driving repeat purchases or usage. The best example of “pre-product branding” is Lyft. Everything they did to prepare for their launch was genius. Lyft needed to differentiate themselves from other ride sharing providers and their brand defined the company on launch day.

Love it or hate it, the Pink Mustache serves as a “real life” feature that helps passengers identify their cars. Pink mustache is just a symbol of Lyft’s quirky, fun, confident, inviting brand. Your brand, in many ways, determines the problem you’re trying to solve. Lyft’s one of the most defining brand feature, ‘Pink mustache‘ improved the customer experience by making it easier to identify your car.

This is how you should prioritize brand development at early stage companies. By thinking about how you might improve the core Customer Experience. It was a fantastic and a memorable decision.

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Why brand

To make business a successful or profitable venture, it has to develop a brand that its target audience recognises it with. It becomes easier for the business to grow and develop successful customer relationships. Although many people think that building a brand is complicated, just follow a few steps and you are already on the right track.

Decide what you plan to brand and do a research on your target audience
Before engaging in the brand development process, it is important to do some research work and decide what you would like to brand. Generally, there are choices between branding a person, a company, a service or even a particular product. Once a decision has been made regarding what will be branded, it then becomes crucial to ensure that enough time is spent on researching your target market. Once this has been done, it is then essential to learn as much as possible about the product, service or individual that you intend to market.

Decide the brand definition and positioning
After researching your target audience, it is important to take time to develop a brand definition that clearly explains what is being offered, and how the product or service you have to offer is different from what is already out there. It should also inform your target market how they will benefit from using it and what guarantee you offer to those who choose to use your service or product. From here, the next step is to win a place in the market for what you have to offer. This can be done by giving them solutions to problems or needs that previously could not be solved or met.

Develop a brand name, tagline and a logo
These three aspects are extremely important in the brand development process as they help to ensure that your business or service offering stands out clearly among others who may have the same offerings. By designing a logo and compiling a memorable tagline, you can be sure that customers will be able to remember not only your business name, but also what you are able to do for them. Once this has been done, it is time to launch your brand and market it.

Manage your brand
By offering consistent customer service and products, you will be able to manage your brand very well. Once the market is aware of the high quality goods or services that you have to offer, you will be well on your way to effectively mastering the brand development process. It is also important to ensure that any negative publicity is dealt with as professionally as possible in order to maintain the reputation of your brand.

These steps will show you the way to develop a winning brand. Once you have achieved this, it may become necessary to adjust your branding approach on occasions to ensure that your company identity is kept up to date. And if you need any kind of professional assistance during or after the process, get in touch with us at info@industree.in

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Story of Start-ups

The word Entrepreneur sounds so cool, an entrepreneur with a hot technology and venture-capital funding becomes a billionaire in his 20s. But it’s not fun to hear that even venture-backed start-ups have a 90% chance of failure. But start-up failure isn’t just reality; it’s also a necessity and a benefit. Here our references are made keeping America’s entrepreneurial environment in mind.

Firstly, the number of companies getting started far exceeds the potential market. Each year, 500,000 new businesses are started in the United States.  If each one were to become a $100 million success, that would mean adding $50 Trillion in ultimate revenues.  Clearly, those numbers don’t add up and mathematically, most companies have to fail.

Secondly, market failure, while painful, plays an important role in the economy.  We’re not smart enough to allocate people and resources; the failures of all those start-ups let us reallocate their people to the companies that are succeeding.  If start-ups never failed, every other type of company would run out of good people!

Thirdly, failure is a sign that you’re and have been trying.  To most folks who assume that winning all the deals you go after is the best possible result. A high win rate indicates that you’re not in enough deals.  Your people aren’t trying hard enough to get you in the door.

However, lets focus in our initial topic, there is enough evidence that venture-backed start-ups fail at far higher numbers than the rate the industry usually cites. About three-quarters of venture-backed firms in the U.S. don’t return investors’ capital, according to recent research by Shikhar Ghosh, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.

Compare that with the figures that venture capitalists toss around. The common rule of thumb is that of 10 start-ups, only three or four fail completely. Another three or four return the original investment, and one or two produce substantial returns. The National Venture Capital Association estimates that 25% to 30% of venture-backed businesses fail.

Mr. Ghosh chalks up the discrepancy in part to a dearth of in-depth research into failures. His findings are based on data from more than 2,000 companies that received venture funding, generally at least $1 million, from 2004 through 2010. He also combed the portfolios of VC firms and talked to people at start-ups, he says. The results were similar when he examined data for companies funded from 2000 to 2010, he says.

Venture capitalists bury their dead very quietly says Mr. Ghosh, they emphasize the successes but they never talk about the failures ever.

There are also different definitions of failure. If it means liquidating all assets, with investors losing all their money, an estimated 30% to 40% of high potential start-ups fail. If failure is defined as failing to see the projected return on investment, say a specific revenue growth rate or date to break even on cash flow then more than 95% of start-ups fail.

Failure often is harder on entrepreneurs who lose money that they’ve borrowed on credit cards or from friends and relatives than it is on those who raised venture capital. Venture capitalists make high-risk investments and expect some of them to fail, and entrepreneurs who raise venture capital often draw salaries.

Overall, non venture-backed companies fail more often than venture-backed companies in the first four years of existence, typically because they don’t have the capital to keep going if the business model doesn’t work, Harvard’s Mr. Ghosh says. Venture-backed companies tend to fail following their fourth years after investors stop injecting more capital, he says.

Of all companies, about 60% of start-ups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit that promotes U.S. entrepreneurship. Both studies counted only incorporated companies with employees. And companies that didn’t survive might have closed their doors for reasons other than failure, for example, getting acquired or the founders moving on to new projects.

Positive is, whatever it is even “nutty” ideas are a sign that entrepreneurs are collectively trying new things all the time.

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How to attract customers?

- Launch a website, it provides worldwide exposure and give customers an access to the services and product offering by your organization.

- Host a grand opening event, invite local business owners and residents from surrounding neighborhoods. Provide freebies like merchandise samples, share business cards and company brochures.

- Monitor services and products constantly, satisfied customers who spread the word about your business are the best source of new customers. Keep a keen eye to pricing, customer service, product availability and prompt delivery, these are few nudge point to success.

- Visibility within your industry is crucial, participate in exhibitions, seminars, trade shows, attend community events.

- Explore various types of advertising opportunities such as classified ads, yellow page ads, sponsorship, television and radio spots, and display ads in magazines and on other Websites, keep tab of your budget and go with what meets budget and reach the target audience.

- Support local charity, sponsor fundraising event and arrange a local media to publish the event.

- Distribute fliers and business cards at various business gatherings.

Share your thoughts on the topic with us.

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Video editing and compiling

Here is a video we recently created for a client, the audio visual was created from scratch.

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