• Transform magazine
  • June 21, 2024

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A kick-start for start-ups: good branding

Written By Matteo Di Iorio, Associate Partner, Creative & Brand

Matteo Di Iorio, associate partner at Interstate Creative Partners, provides insight on how adopting a good strategy and a strong brand identity is crucial for start-ups.

The start-up world is notoriously competitive and challenging to navigate. Numerous studies have found that an overwhelming 90% of start-ups fail, which is a statistic that does not discriminate against any particular industry. The majority of failures occur between years two and five at a rate of approximately 70%, with 10% failing in the first year. With the probability of failure so brutally aligned against success, the prospect of entering the start-up world is understandably daunting.

So, how does good branding help?

Looking at the wider picture, more than 1,000 proposals are submitted to individual capital firms each year. Therefore, it is essential to make a good first impression and generate a feeling of excitement across potential consumer markets, the workforce, and investors. The latter of which is a crucial point to consider when it comes to realising a start-up’s vision.

Whilst appearance is still important, how the message is transmitted is more crucial when it comes to branding start-ups. Considered, impactful branding demonstrates a commitment to a cause, and dedication to conveying a message, and can translate a start-up’s vision in a way that cannot be put into words. Branding as an emotive tool can have a radically positive impact. The general impression of a well-branded start-up brings a sense of credibility, which is imperative for new companies with no track record.

Fundamentally, branding begins with capturing and defining the company’s purpose. It’s the critical why that informs everything a company is about. Semantically this can be inferred as both a tangible objective or a more elusive vision, but these are the same thing in practice. It’s the core idea of what the business stands for, and it’s the primary catalyst of everything they do (written and verbal communications, visual identity, behaviour, and so on). It provides a focus and a goal to aim for, whilst simultaneously strengthening the new business through a demonstration of credibility and seriousness.

In elaborating on the importance of credibility, a brand with a combination of strong visual identity, meaningful naming, and a distinctive tone of voice (what you say and how you say it) is instrumental in building something to believe in. It is the art of capturing a big idea, that creates something to get behind. In illustrating how crucial this is, a 2019 Edelman study on consumer habits found 81% of people need to trust a brand to engage with it. Ultimately, the impression we receive through branding is determinative of its success.

In the spirit of creating something to trust and believe in, strong brands also encourage the acquisition of superior talent, as well as new investors. High-quality branding can increase the perceived value of the company right from the start, instilling immediate trust. As 55% of first impressions are determined by visual information, the visual identity becomes a vehicle to communicate the brand message and, consequently, an entire idea.

In a closer look at specific assets where brand informs marketing, it could be said that a website is at the core of both. Iron Paper suggests that 92% of business owners believe that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy, particularly in the context of today’s digital revolution. So, with the idea that presence is online, combined with previously mentioned statistics regarding credibility and the impact of visual impressions, a strong brand identity with carefully considered UX/UI is understandably instrumental in increasing the notoriety of a start-up.

This is simply one of the countless reasons to invest in building a solid brand identity – in turn cultivating long-term value, loyalty, and credibility.