Merritt Group Blog

4 Reasons Why Startups Should Have a Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy Blog imageHaving a strong and consistent brand is foundational to any startup’s success. Don’t believe me? A 2018 study found that 87 percent of B2B companies increased their brand investments over the previous five years, resulting in 82 percent of those seeing payoffs in increased sales and customer acquisition.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at some more data that supports why creating a cohesive branding strategy – including establishing your unique value propositions, differentiated messaging, core values, brand guidelines, etc. – from the start is essential to propelling your budding business into top gear.

1. Starting Strategically Sets the Long-Term Tone  

When it comes to branding, building the plane while it’s flying can be inefficient and ineffective - and makes your organization look disorganized, sloppy and even potentially an investment risk. If you were a venture capitalist and you saw a poorly executed brand, you might wonder what else is wrong when looking under the hood!

There’s no better way to launch your company than to put a stake in the ground by cultivating your brand thoughtfully from the start with the long view in mind. Some have even gone as far as to say branding is more important than your business plan and critical to growth. By putting brand strategy at the forefront, you are committing to a vision and direction that’s critical for both your employees and the market to understand so they can buy into your story and support your growth.

2. To Win Business, Buyers Need to Know About You

If nobody knows your company’s name or can’t clearly understand its mission, they won’t do business with you. That’s why, according to CMI and MarketingProfs, “B2B marketers have consistently cited brand awareness as their top goal over the last five years.”

But aside from raising general company visibility, branding is also critical for differentiating companies in crowded markets and scoring tough-to-get business. Strong branding and messaging that showcases the brand’s unique value propositions can help your company cut through the noise, capture buyer attention and grow the bottom line. In fact, B2B brands perceived as strong were found to generate a higher EBIT margin than other companies, according to McKinsey & Company.

3. Strong Brands Build Trust and Loyalty

Establishing a strong brand is the first step to building trust with your buyer. As Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

To make sure that chatter is positive, create an authentic brand. Focusing on this value is more important than ever in today’s digital age of social media where people want to be communicated to in ways that are transparent and personalized. Backing up the need for authenticity to build brand trust, a Cohn & Wolfe report found that, “91 percent of consumers globally indicated that they were willing to reward a brand for its authenticity by making a purchase, investment or an endorsement…”

Market credibility and longtime loyalty are built each time your brand fulfills its promise, so live and breathe the brand’s core values consistently regardless of whether it’s represented in a collateral piece or one-to-one customer interaction.

4. Unified Brands Are Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Your company is more than a logo. It’s your dream (your vision) for what you want to accomplish and say to the market. To effectively relay that message, it takes about five to seven impressions for someone to remember your brand, so consistency is key.

A consistent approach requires a unified strategy, brand governance...discipline! If executed in silos or piecemeal, you’ll quickly find that everyone within the organization will operate under their own assumptions of how the company should look and feel. The result can lead to an identity crisis both internally and externally, which can be incredibly difficult to course correct.

Want to learn more about how a strong brand can propel your business forward? Contact me chadwick@merrittgrp.com.
Topics: marketing branding public relations