Customers are now more aware about what they buy and from whom they buy. Due to globalization and open economy your target market now have more options to be chosen from than before. With the bless of internet and social networking sites and blogs today's customers are more powerful and connected. Now they easily can spread any idea they love, broadcast any news they feel for and they can badmouth publicly any brand they feel deceived them by using free media. Information is no more anyones monopoly. Everyone has now equal share in the pie named by information. You cannot make anyone fool in this world.
Media has now its own definition. Facebook and twitter is the new TV. Blog is new newspaper. Moreover the number of conventional media like, radio, television, newspaper is increasing at alarming rate. Now, choosing media and delivering message to right customers is literally impossible. The media fragmentation due to social media and diversified people's interest coupled with availability has increased unimaginatively. Today's customers are more socially connected, more aware about their rights and they ask more questions regarding social impact of brands. The most worst thing is that, brands are not in a position to bargain any-more.
Dealing with this customers is certainly a daunting challenge for start up brands. At a time an opportunity to start afresh too. To survive stratup should stay awake to use the opportunity and to stand on challenges truthfully.
Besides continuous growth of consumers power, the competition of brands is also increasing. The number of brands available in a certain category is increasing due to open market. Considering all these changes and challenges, startup should devise a potent and effective brand building strategy to thrive in this market place. The strategy should be exclusive based on the industry. Here goes some food for thoughts.
Design has power: Startups often has a view that, we will deal with design later. But examples found around tell that a great design has a great impact on success of a brand. Never keep it aside for tomorrow. Today is the best day to design your logo, color, website, office and all around that will tell your unique story in an ubiquitious way.
Walk your talk: Promise and delivery are two most critical words for understanding and implementing brand thoughts. If you really want your Startup to be considered as a strong brand you must walk your talk. Make a promise and deliver exactly what you said. If you deliver less than your talked about then customer would be never back to you. Better is that, talk less and give more. A under promise and over delivery creates customer delight where an over promise under delivery creates customers hate.
Giving is the only way of receiving: Golden rule of life can sometimes be the golden rule of business too. Give more to your customers to get more. Make your customer service unique, give your customers occassional surprises and make them feel special.
Brand your startup unlike anyone else: Don't mimic. Work on your own unique strength. You cannot brand like Apple. Your branding must be on your own way based on your very principles.
Make news not ad: Advertisement with a huge budget is not a viable option for startup.s Rather work on making news. Think. Connect. Act.
Count on your Impact: Creating buzz in today's over-connected world and make a living on that buzz is the most easiest task to do if you know how. Customers are the chief marketing officers of any product. And their word of mouth whatever name you give it bring rush to your shop. Customers only spread an idea when they find that the idea has some positive impact on either their life or on their society. Maximize your spillover benefits.
Surprise or shock: Getting a discussion started on your idea or product is not easy. To get people attention and word of mouth you either have to suprise them or to shock them. Better if you can do something surprising. Suprise often catch word of mouth and attract people's attention. On the other hand giving shock is better than doing nothing. It atleast ensure your presence. But shock may not ignite talks as sometimes shock make us to stop.
Engage your customers: A sense of ownership always makes us to go extra mile. Approach your customers in a way that creates a sense of ownership among them. In a way that they will think the product as their, will consider the product as a part of them and something closer to their hearts. Even you can invite your customers to your office. Have some coffe with a group of customers in your leisure time. Make some get together in weekend.
Building a sustainable start-up brand is what makes real difference in long run. And to build a strong brand you have to start from the very beginning of your journey. It's better to build brand early than building it often.