Branding is an essential part of every business, and we’re not just saying that because it’s what we do!

Done right, and a brand is your best salesperson. It understands everything that’s great about your company and communicates it to your target audience perfectly. For a lot of businesses it’s the first and only thing consumers interact with, and ultimately informs their decision of whether to buy or not.

Not everyone is an expert and it’s very easy to get branding wrong. Unprofessional or inaccurate branding can have very adverse effects on your company’s image and bottom line.

So if you’re branding your company as a new start up, or exploring the process of rebranding, here are 10 things worth considering for a successful process:

#1: It's not about you

Let’s get this out of the way early. Your branding is not necessarily about what you like and your personal aesthetic preference, but it is completely about what your customers like and will engage with.

If you really like orange? It doesn’t really matter. What matters is what that shade of orange means to the viewer, how does that fit within your marketplace and will your target audience respond positively to it.

You have to be prepared to compromise on your personal taste when building a brand for your business – especially if you aren’t your target audience.

Which leads nicely into point two.

#2 Know your audience

We often hear business owners claim: “Our brand is for everyone.” However, the statement is rarely true, and its shows a naivety, particularly among new startups who haven’t really considered their market, and overstate the importance of their product or service.

It does really help to be as specific as possible and this is not just helpful for branding, but for when you start marketing your product. It’s a lot easier to to focus on a persona, or a demographic, rather than casting an unrealistically wide net.

Consider whether you’re company is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). If it’s B2B, what size businesses, specific industries or geographic areas are you looking to target. If you’re B2C is your business for a certain age group, genders or for people with specific interests.

Ultimately, the more targeted you can be, the more fit for purpose your brand will be.

#3 Position Yourself

It’s important to work out where you brand sits in the market. Research your competition and work out where you fit into the industry. Will you be positioning yourself as a high-end luxury brand or a budget brand

If your product and positioning are a mismatch, you run the risk of misperception denting your chances of selling your products and services.

#4 Know Your USP

What’s your brand’s USP (unique selling point)? Why would people choose your product over a competitor’s?

Are you doing something innovative? Unique flavours or ingredients? Do you have a captivating story to tell? Perhaps your business is doing something good for the world?

Conscious consumers care about a lot more than price these days and are far more likely to show loyalty to a brand that they connect with on a deeper level. Understanding your USP helps you to focus on what message you need to communicate. That USP needs to be at the forefront of your branding and messaging so customers can’t miss it.

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