Starting a business is hard and many startups are competing to get money. One way to be different is to create a strong brand plan and look. A clear brand can help a startup explain its worth to investors, gain trust, and get funding.
In this post, we will explore brand strategy and identity and how they are different and how they can help a startup get funding. We will also look at different methods for creating a strong brand and show examples of startups that used their brand to get funding.
Understanding Brand Strategy and Identity
A brand strategy is a company’s plan to make and keep its brand successful. It includes mission, vision, beliefs, and how others see the brand. Brand identity is a brand’s visual and messaging aspects that make it recognizable, like logos, colors, and the way it speaks.
Brand strategy and identity are different, but they go hand in hand. A good brand strategy creates a consistent identity, and a clear identity helps make the brand strategy successful.
A brand strategy needs a mission statement to show what the company is all about. This vision statement shows what the company wants to achieve and core values that show how the company works. Last, a positioning statement that makes the company stand out in the market.
A mission statement is a short sentence that explains why a company exists and what it hopes to do. It needs to be easy to understand, not too long, and match the company’s beliefs.
For example, Patagonia’s mission statement is “to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
A vision statement is a goal for the company. It tells us where the company wants to be and what it hopes to accomplish. It should be exciting, encourage progress, and match the company’s mission.
For example, Amazon’s vision is “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they want to buy online.”
Core values are the ideas and rules that a company follows. They show what the company believes in and how it works with its staff, customers, and partners.
For example, Zappos’ core values include “deliver WOW through service,” “embrace and drive change,” and “create fun and a little weirdness.”
A positioning statement tells how a company stands out from other companies in the market. It explains what makes the company special and the advantages it provides to customers.
For example, Apple’s positioning statement is “Think different. The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
The Role of Brand Strategy and Identity in Securing Funding
A powerful brand plan and identity can help a new business stand out in a busy market by clearly showing its special value to possible investors.
For example, a company focused on sustainable products and methods can show its dedication to protecting the environment through its brand, which can attract investors who care about social issues.
A strong brand identity helps a startup gain trust and confidence from investors. A startup with a great logo, a good website, and clear messages is more likely to be taken seriously than one that looks messy or unprofessional.
For example, Warby Parker, the eyewear company, showed their commitment to stylish, affordable, and socially responsible products through their brand identity. This helped the company get funding from well-known investors like American Express and Tiger Global Management.
Framework and Strategies for Developing a Strong Brand
Different frameworks can be used to make a brand strategy and identity, such as the Brand Identity Prism or the Brand Pyramid. These frameworks give a clear way to find important parts of the brand and make sure everything is the same.
The Brand Identity Prism
Jean-Noel Kapferer, a French marketing expert, created the Brand Identity Prism framework to help businesses define and share their brand identity. This framework states that a brand is like a person with its own personality, culture, and relationships.
The Brand Identity Prism consists of six elements that are used to define a brand’s identity:
- Physique: This part shows the physical and visible parts of a brand, like its logo, packaging, and packaging design.
- Personality: This part represents the characteristics people think of when they think of a brand, like how it talks, what it stands for, and its outlook.
- Culture: This part shows the brand’s background, past, and beginnings. It tells us where the brand comes from and what it believes in.
- Relationship: This part shows how the brand connects with its customers, the people it works with, and staff. It tells how close the brand is to its audience.
- Reflection: This part shows what people think of the brand and how it differs from other brands.
- Self-image: This part shows how the brand sees itself and wants others to see it.
The Brand Identity Prism helps businesses figure out their brand’s identity comprehensively by looking at internal and external points of view. By knowing the different parts of the prism, businesses can make a unified and clear brand identity that matches their brand plan and is meaningful to their target audience.
The Brand Pyramid
The Brand Pyramid is a tool for creating a brand strategy and identity. It is a picture that shows the important parts of a brand and how they are connected.
The Brand Pyramid consists of four levels:
- Functional level: This level shows what a brand offers to its customers that is useful and practical. Examples are how good the product is, how reliable it is, and how much it costs.
- Emotional level: This level shows the feelings a brand gives its customers. It includes how the brand looks and feels, what it stands for, and how customers feel when they use it.
- Symbolic level: This level stands for the brand’s symbolic and cultural values. It includes things like brand background, story, and responsibility to society.
- Self-expressive level: This level shows how a brand can give its customers benefits that express their personality and sense of self. It includes things like the brand’s identity, its way of life, and how it makes customers feel about themselves.
The Brand Pyramid helps companies figure out how the different parts of their brand, like how it functions, how it makes people feel, what it stands for, and how it expresses itself, all fit together and how it appeals to customers.
Companies can make their brand stand out and be noticed by their target audience by figuring out the main parts of their brand and keeping it consistent.
It’s important to remember that the Brand Pyramid and the Brand Identity Prism are both ways to create a brand strategy and an identity system. However, they use different methods. Companies can pick the one that works best for them, or even combine both to create their brand.
Steps to create a brand worthy of getting funded
To build a strong brand, research your audience, come up with something special that sets you apart, and make a visual image that shows your brand’s character.
Conducting market research
Doing market research is a must for building a strong brand, and it is even more crucial in fundraising. It helps startups learn about their target audience, their needs, and how they act.
Startups can use important problems their customers have to make a special offer that solves those problems.
This can be a great asset for startups when telling potential investors about their value.
For example, a startup that makes products in a way that is good for the environment can research how people who care about the planet think about sustainability. This research can help the company make a special offer that shows how much they care about being responsible with the environment. This offer can attract people who care about the planet.
Establishing a unique value proposition
A UVP is a statement that explains why a startup’s product or service is different and better than what’s already out there. It’s a key part of a business’s plan and helps them stand out from other companies.
A powerful UVP can tell potential investors why the startup’s product or service is worth investing in, making it clear why it is valuable.
For example, a company that creates something new and different with technology can show what makes it special and why it’s worth buying into.
Creating a visual style that shows the brand’s character
A visual identity is an important part of a brand identity that consists of visual things such as a logo, colors, and font.
A visual identity should show the company’s character and beliefs and stay the same in all areas. A powerful visual identity can help a startup gain trust and respect of possible investors, increasing the chance they will take the startup seriously and consider investing in it.
For example, a company that creates products that are good for the environment and sustainable can use colors and pictures from nature in its look to show its dedication to protecting the Earth.
Create a brand strategy and identity by making a brand guide. The brand guide should include the company’s purpose, goals, beliefs, and messages. Employees should also be taught how to share the brand correctly.
Branding and identity are important for startups trying to get money. A good brand can help a startup differentiate from others, share what it can offer, and gain investors’ confidence.
Startups can improve their chances of funding by using frameworks and plans to create a strong brand.
If you’re a new startup starting out and need to get money, consider your brand’s power. Creating a good brand strategy and identity can be beneficial in the future by making your business more appealing to possible investors.
Do market research, make sure your product is different from others, and create a look that shows your brand off.
Remember to make a brand guide and teach your staff how to talk about your brand. This will help you stand out from other companies and improve your chances of getting money for your startup.