Launching a successful startup brand – the big questions


Some of the most exciting projects for us are the startup brands, but these come with their own challenges – in particular for the client themselves. We thought we’d share some of the things we encourage our clients to think about when trying to get their brand off the ground…

1. Firstly – a statement rather than a question, and usually one of the most common things I find myself saying to clients – a good brand does not just consist of a logo.
There are so many other elements to consider to set you up for the long run. What style of typography compliments your branding? What colour palette are you going to use consistently, from stationery to your website? What kind of imagery are you going to use? And so on. Leaving these questions unanswered at the beginning only makes it more difficult in the long run.

2. What is the ‘elevator pitch’?
You know the one. You’re stuck in an elevator and somebody asks what your business does. Cheesy as this sounds, asking this question gets you to sum up what you do quickly and concisely. It also gets you to think about keywords that refine what your offering is and how you want to set yourself apart.

3. Who are your audience?
You’ve probably already thought about this one a lot (hopefully). But summing it up for someone else trying to understand what you do can be tricky. You don’t want to alienate an audience at the beginning for fear of being too specific, but highlighting some of these key audiences can help shape who you are and make you stand out from the crowd.

4. What is your history and why are you starting said business…?
Usually our favourite question to ask. From learning about why a son is joining his Dad’s Steel Frame family business, to a reflexologist who has a particular interest in women’s health because of her own experiences. Knowing who you are and how you got there is a good way to figure out what your USP is, and where you sit in the marketplace.

5. What brands do you appreciate? Even the ones that are at the other end of the spectrum from what you’re offering.
The important thing about this question though, is that it’s always imperative to point back to question 3 (your audience). Designing something that draws your audience is key, however, you’ve got to live with it every day so it’s got to be something you’re happy with. The brands you love say a lot about you as a person and usually tie in with your offering anyway!

6. Who are your competitors? The good and the bad.
Joe Bloggs down the road may do what you do, but he doesn’t do it as good as you do. Or at least that’s what first impressions should suggest. Pulling out the sparkly super competitors and the not-so-sparkly ones can help position your spot in the marketplace. It’s important to set you apart but also to understand what your competitors do well. Do you notice that all the big wigs use blue in their logo with Sans Serif fonts…? Why? It’s important to challenge these decisions and know which ones to take guidance from without ripping them off.

These are just some of the things worth considering. From asking the right questions in the consultation stage to putting together a mini brand-guidelines and full blown website – we can build something that sets you up for the long haul.