4 Extremely Costly Startup Branding Mistakes

A startup is a new company founded by one or more individuals with an aim of entrepreneurial supremacy. To obtain such supremacy, one must keep in mind the importance of startup branding, i.e standing out in a competitive, saturated environment.

Branding is a tedious task as it requires a lot of brainstorming, determination, and patience. There’s a reason why some startups achieve dominance while some bite the dust.

Although it is common for any business to make mistakes, the price paid by startups for such mistakes is more than an already established business.

Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.

-Guy Kawasaki

Let us run you over 4 startup branding mistakes that budding entrepreneurs should refrain from making to succeed in their venture.

Four Startup Branding Mistakes

Branding is what makes you stand out from the crowd. Make sure that you don’t commit these startup branding mistakes so that you don’t lose the opportunity to stay in your customers’ minds:

Having no clarity about the essence of the company

To build a strong foundation, figuring out the essence of the company is vital.

Without an idea of what the company stands for, what its prime values and etiquettes are, or its aims and targets, it is tough for it to grow in a definite direction.

A themed strategy should be planned out as a roadmap for the company. To get an insight into a company’s essence, one should reflect on questions like:

  • What is my company’s vision and mission?
  • Who is my biggest competitor and what does their branding look like?
  • Is there any company I want my startup to be similar to?
  • What characterstics do I want my company to be known for?

Going through these types of questions from time to time will give one a lot of clarity and will help you avoid the chances of committing these startup branding mistakes.

Not catering to a target audience

Everyone is not your customer.

Seth Godin

It is common for every startup owner to want to have a large audience. But, when asked who the target audience is, if the answer is “everyone”, then it means they are not catering to anyone.

To figure out your target audience, it is important to understand what a target market is. A target market is a specific, defined section of customers that a company plans to serve with its products or services. In economical terms, a target market typically comprises the end-users of the products or services provided by a brand or company.

To be able to target everyone, one must begin by targeting just someone.

An ideal example of this could be Jeff Bezos’s Amazon. For the initial four years from 1994 to 1998, Amazon sold only books. The books were sold online which were targeted at a very niche audience.

In simpler terms, Amazon had a well-defined and specific target market.

Today, 24 years later Jeff Bezos has achieved the capacity to target everyone.

Hence, it is important to figure out who your target audience is.

Choosing an uninteresting brand name

When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.

Meg Whitman

The brand name can also be the foundation of trademark design, which could be of high importance if you ever want to franchise or sell your business. As trivial as it may sound but a name can be a pathway for one to be constantly in people’s minds. If you want people to remember your company, make sure to chose a catchy and interesting name.

Be it globally renowned software companies like Apple, Google, or marketing giants like Zara, or H&M, or Coca-cola they all have names that have a ring to them. Make sure that your brand’s name possesses brevity as well as internationality.

Trying to please everyone

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. 

Bill Cosby

If the final goal is to create a brand that absolutely everyone will like, then your chances of disappointment increase. Each person differs in their tastes and preferences, and in pursuit of quantity, your brand may lose its “essence” and individuality.

A good example would be a head-to-head between Domino’s and Pizza Hut. At their core, the products are similar to each other. The difference is that the former focuses on pizzas made on trays (known as pizza screens) and the latter focuses on pizzas made on pans, which is why their pizzas are known as pan pizzas.

Thus, at the stage of developing a brand strategy, it is worthwhile to take the time to know what sort of branding will be best suited for the buyer persona of your company.

Hope that this article has helped you get aware of the top 4 startup branding mistakes that new entrepreneurs tend to make. If you have any doubts, do comment below.

Related: 5 Powerful Social Media Management Tools For Startups

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualities must a brand name for start up possess?

A brand name should be precise, and have the capacity to cover the true essence of the company. It must contain qualities like brevity and internationality.

How to figure out your target audience?

To figure out the target audience, you need to know the mission of your company. If your mission is to establish a digital platform for, say, fashion, you would want to cater to the youth.

How to avoid branding mistakes?

In order to avoid branding mistakes, one must be patient and prepare a strategy as a roadmap for the company’s promotion. Low investment high branding should be considered from the initial stage as well.

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