January is the ideal time to get a new business up and running for two reasons:
For one, it’s the time when most of us are feeling full of New Year spirit and the determination to fulfil our ambitions.
Two, it gives you a full year to develop and improve your new business and brand identity.
And there’s the B word. The short answer to the question this article poses is yes, you do need to create a brand right away. If you’re looking to register and build a new business from scratch, it needs to have a strong identity from day one and we’re about to tell you why.
First though, we need to talk about what a brand is, and what a brand isn’t.
What a brand isn’t:
- Just a logo
- Your website
- Your business plan
- Your product or service
What a brand is:
- Your reputation
- Your vision
- Your personality
- A differentiator
The big difference between these lists is that the second one looks at the bigger picture. A true brand is a melting pot of everything you stand for, not just an individual element.
So, we were about to tell you why having a brand from the very start is crucial when setting up a new business…
1. You need to stand out from the crowd
If you’re starting a new business in January, the truth of the matter is you’re not alone. A 2017 survey by web hosting service, 123Reg, found that British entrepreneurs are up to 10% more likely to start a business in January than in any other month, with new domain registrations increasing by 20% each year. In other words, you’re going to have a lot of competition.
This means it’s more important than ever that your new business has a strong and recognisable identity from the moment you launch it, or else it may drown in the rising tide of other entrepreneurial New Year’s resolutions.
2. You need to appear professional
Customer trust is built on appearances and professionalism, and this is only achieved through the creation of a strong, well thought out brand identity. Customers aren’t daft, and they can spot a poorly considered and cheaply designed logo masquerading as a ‘brand’ from a mile away.
Don’t be tempted to cut corners and cobble together a quick logo and website in a bid to launch your business faster; these alone do not count as a brand, and this apparent quick fix could result in losing (or never gaining) customer trust and loyalty.
3. You need to be desirable
Following on from our point about appearing professional, you need a good brand to help you build up a reputation, to make yourself desirable to customers and potential partners, and to increase your startup valuation.
A strong brand will enable you to secure a higher profit margin and justify it to your customers, who will not so readily question your prices if you’re offering a premium service. It also increases your chances of a higher return on investment (more on branding ROI here), and it has the potential to open up lots of doors for new investors and partnerships during your first crucial years.
4. You need to connect with your audience
To make your business a success, you need to make it resonate with your customers. To do this you need to be able to evoke emotions and stir their imaginations, and you can’t do that without a strong brand identity. Without this your customers will, at best, be ambivalent towards your business and, at worst, not notice it at all. Think about how you want your product or service to make people feel, and build upon that to create a brand that connects with your audience from day one.
A brand should never be your last point of call when setting up your new business, and nor should it be there just to polish your product or service. It is the very heart and soul of your business, without which you cannot get very far.
We understand that startups and small businesses are, by definition, just starting out and short of cash. But that needn’t stand in the way of getting a brand in place before you launch your exciting new venture. Call in or drop us a message and ask us about our professional and absolutely affordable business branding services. We’ll help you turn your vision into a solid brand you can be proud of.