One of the most important considerations, when creating a Start-up, is also one of the most overlooked - branding. The most innovative and desirable service or product will be hampered by a poor logo design and identity which will have a negative effect on the brand.
Don't get carried away
When starting the adventure of putting a start-up together, many teams get carried away with what they will be doing and how they will market it to customers. It is perfectly fine to get caught up in the excitement of this new product/service. That energy and excitement will be paramount to the success of the start-up. Just remember to use some of that energy for creating a brand around the product/service.
Have a brand story
When creating a brand, it should convey a meaning to prospective customers. Having a story behind the brand's meaning will strengthen how people perceive the brand. This can become part of the marketing effort, something which has been put to good effect by soap brand Dove. The brand based itself around the "Campaign for Real Beauty" slogan, giving it an immediate connection with potential customers. This brand meaning must be something that has integrity and commitment. Actions speak louder than words, so the meaning bestowed upon a brand must be apparent in everything it does in order to be effective.
Research is key to your brands success
When creating a brand, consider what value it can be to your start-up. Choose colours very carefully, together with logo designs and names. Research which parts of the brand can be trademarked or otherwise registered as Intellectual Property. Not only does this protect the brand, it also adds value to the brand as a company asset. A brand name created from a 'made-up' word can provide a start-up with a very strong trademark (for instance Google). Creating a brand around a "visualisation" (Nike's "Tick" for example) can be extremely powerful; it can lead to prospective customers recalling your brand because of things that they see. The brand created will also affect how people perceive the service/product. Therefore, it is important to ensure the brand is subjected to focus groups before setting anything in stone. Check that the story or concept the brand should convey is recognised by the members of the focus groups.
Ensure you have brand consistency
Creating a great brand should extend through all business processes, not just marketing. All external documents, such as invoicing and communications should be branded consistently in-line with all other corporate identity. For example, if using invoicing services such as those provided by Debitoor, or a more extensive business/project management service, such as Paymo, ensure that facilities to brand documents being sent out are available and used. Be clear about how the service provider's brand fits in with the start-up's own brand message. Depending upon the final audience for the start-up's product/service, it may be prudent to pay to remove the service provider's branding.
A successful brand begins with people
Branding is also important to the team. All internal documents and services should include branding to ensure that the team identifies with the brand values and identity being promoted by the start-up. The working environment has a large impact upon the working practices and the morale of a team. It is important to provide an environment and branding in that environment which evokes the brand message and values in team members.