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Brand Identity and Direction Sense Check for Founders

Start-ups, Branding
Read in 3 minutes
Written by: Caroline Berg

Founders, we salute you. You are the courageous amongst us, the freethinkers, the driven. For those with the stamina and vision, your journey may be perilous but with a fair wind in your sails, your destination rewarding. In this article, we’ll investigate how to ensure your brand stays watertight and give you some pointers on what to do when things veer off course. 

As a full-service digital agency, we’re used to working with brands at every stage of their life cycle. But there’s just something special about start-ups. Being there at the beginning of a business’s journey and helping them to express their uniqueness is both exciting and a privilege. And during this incredibly busy and pressurised time, we understand the importance of making sure a brand identity is doing its job properly. It should be attracting the right kind of attention and alerting the world to your presence. But what happens when it’s not and where do you even start looking for a solution?

Houston, we have a problem

Identifying there’s an issue is the first step to recovery. Perhaps subscription has tailed off, you’re not getting repeat customers, or your social ads are getting a dismal number of click throughs. Sometimes bandages work, but other times you need a professional that will investigate and address the underlying causes of the problem to avoid lengthy, unsuccessful, and ultimately, costly treatments. 

Knowing me, knowing you

It sounds obvious, but has your audience profile changed in any way? Will you attract the same demographic at launch that you were targeting at the ideation stage? And will your current identity still resonate with them? It’s important now, more than ever, to make sure the creative direction embarked upon is validated by audience centric market research.

Getting some perspective

It’s often hard to be objective about your own brand, especially if you’ve been heavily involved in its initial development. But as your business evolves it may be failing to keep up with where you are now or not future-proof enough for where you’re heading. Having a fresh pair of expert eyes delve deep into your brand DNA can reveal weak spots and provide you with a valuable plan of action to get it back on track and clearly communicating your ambition.

Hearing your voice

There’s nothing more frustrating than being misunderstood. If your messaging is a beat out of time, you may not be connecting to your audience in the most harmonious way. Ask yourself if you hear your values and purpose in your communications. Verbal identity depends on the context of your industry and a deep understanding of your market and objectives. With this expertise, your narrative will have a clarity and impact that speaks authentically to your audience and compels them to act.

Taking a closer look

Red may be your favourite colour but what is it saying about your eco-friendly company? The subtleties of art direction aside, is your visual identity a consistent and inspiring representation of your brand as a whole? Getting the design right can be a powerful tool that informs your audience’s perception of you. In the hands of a skilled specialist, your visual language can reach out beyond your commercial objectives and connect to people on an emotional level. 

A powerful and recognisable brand presence is essential for commercial success, whether it’s for a product, service, company, or individual. Every time someone comes into contact with your brand, they form an impression of you. The more coherent and positive those encounters are, the better that impression will be. And the more likely you’ll gain some brand evangelists who can do some of the leg work for you!

Getting your brand strategy right when you’re at the start of the journey will go a long way towards creating an identity that attracts the attention of investors, customers, and users. And working with a branding partner who understands how your business is likely to flex and pivot in the early stages, will help make sure the identity has room to breathe, grow and evolve along with you.