Differentiation starts here… why branding is important from the beginning

There are many elements that contribute to an organisation’s success, especially when it comes to sustained growth. This was the focus of our recent research — Secrets of Tech Growth — where we spoke to the leaders of fast-growth tech companies to get their insights. We discovered that it’s not only having the right business model or using tech PR at the right time in your growth journey that helps an organisation stand out, but, unsurprisingly, creativity plays a crucial role.

Many of the CMOs and CEOs that we spoke to in our research agreed that you should use PR and integrated marketing as soon as you can in your journey. The same can be said for establishing a strong brand with a clear purpose.

For many firms, there’s a focus on the product or service in the early days, making sure it is appealing to the market, is saleable and that it actually works. The result is that the concept of “the brand” is often put on the backburner. Once the business starts to grow, it becomes difficult to backpedal and pay the due attention to the brand elements because you’re swept along in that momentum. It also becomes more expensive and complex to change your identity and assets when they don’t match your objectives or growth trajectory anymore.

Use your brand image as your foundation

The truth is you need a strong brand to build a strong foundation for your future PR and marketing efforts, and to help your technology business stand out in a crowded marketplace.

What does this include? At the bare minimum, a thought-through logo, colour palette, and a strong strapline that encapsulates who you are. Establishing your brand identity early on ensures that the market knows who you are, but also helps solidify your offering for staff as well, which ultimately impacts your sales efforts and how your target audience perceives you.

Don’t break the bank

Of course, this might be easier for some businesses than others, especially as far as budget is concerned.

You don’t need to break the bank, but should you get your company or product logo designed on Fiverr?

As a Creative Director my answer is always no. You need to think about one thing and that’s longevity. And while paying a fiver for a logo may help you in the short term, you’re not necessarily doing your brand any favours in the long term.

Even with tight budgets there are elements of your brand you can get right; think about using strong graphics, gifs instead of expensive animation, video when you can do it cost-effectively, and having a website that conveys your message and brand identity in a few pages. It’s by far better having a few well thought out assets which convey exactly what you’re trying to say rather than a whole load of quickly put together assets which say different things – and which collectively damage your brand image. Working with a professional, be it an agency or experienced designer can make all the difference.

Moving forward

Most importantly, your brand image and your brand purpose need to be clear and consistent. Don’t bow to peer pressure; if you’re a start-up, for example, you don’t need to be edgy. You need a brand identity that is fit for your purpose. As long as your brand image is clear and complete, you have that foundation to build on. As you grow as a business your sales, public relations and marketing efforts, including design, content and creativity, will be more effective if they are built on a solid brand identity.