When you think about the biggest companies in the game, you instantly think of their branding. Imagine Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple for a second. You immediately picture the red branding of Coca-Cola. You picture Nike’s adrenaline-pumping, adventure branding and iconic tick. You imagine Apple’s apple, and its link to beautiful, creative products.
This is an exercise in great brand awareness and recognition. Unfortunately, it’s why many startups fail to make an impression. Establishing your brand and building recognition is one of the hardest mountains for new startups to climb. Why? Because there are simply so many others out there. How do you get people to become familiar with your branding?
- Media coverage
Step one, secure as much media coverage as possible. Seeing your startup’s name in national newspapers and high profile websites has a subconscious effect on people. They instantly begin to see your brand as established, and respected. Customers respond to brands that are supported by media outlets. So, once you’ve honed your branding, start a PR campaign to tell your story or launch a product. Use a press release distribution service to get your message under the nose of key journalists. With your name in lights, you’ll start to build that brand recognition.
- Partnering with another brand
We’re big fans of startup partnerships here. So long as you pick a company that doesn’t compete directly with yours, you’ll gain a lot. Consider partnering with a related company to host an event or sponsor a new initiative. This cross-promotion allows you to tap into their customer base, and get your name in front of new people. Think carefully about the right company to approach. Don’t choose a rival, but do chose a business that has a similar target audience.
- Let the product promote itself
The smartest new companies let their product do all the heavy lifting. Media outreach and marketing is expensive, not to mention exhausting. That’s why organic ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion is so fantastic. It teaches customers to buy from you, without you imposing on them. But, how do you start the ball rolling? Consider Uber’s marketing model. It used the simple process of referrals to grow. They offered their users a free $20 taxi ride when they referred a friend (who also then got a free $20). It was a domino process, and these referrals drove brand recognition (and sales) through the roof.
Establishing a name for yourself online is rarely easy, due to the sheer competition. However, phenomenal content might just set you apart. Start by creating great content (articles, videos, infographics), and brand it heavily with your imaging. The best content is shared far and wide across the internet, taking your brand name and imaging with it! Simple.
So far, we’ve covered the organic methods of building brand recognition. If you’re looking for a quicker method, tap into the incredible reach of advertising. By using online ads or real-world advertising, you can get your brand and image in front of thousands.
Remember, people need to see your branding roughly seven times before they’ll trust your startup. Where would you start?