Having a startup is HARD. I’m the queen of my own startups, and I’ve worked with many others. I think one of the biggest challenges is when you deliver something you believe will resonate with the world, and the world doesn’t receive it as you had hoped. Maybe it’s a product or a service that you were sure would catch on, and crickets chirped as soon as you launched. We have all been there, you’re not alone. In fact, this can be a normal process with a startup business and part of learning your audience and developing your brand.
Essentially, your product or service is there to solve a specific problem or fulfill a need. Sometimes your original offering might not land with your audience because: 1) your audience may not acknowledge the problem you’re trying to solve or; 2) you’re not framing your offering in a way your audience understands or digests. Don’t give up! Working out these details takes some time and there are some natural steps that you can take to keep your enthusiasm and momentum going:
Continue Your Market Research and Develop Your Niche: Understanding your market involves researching your potential customers, competitors, and trends. This research helps you identify a unique niche where your startup can excel. This niche defines your target audience, their preferences, and pain points, which all contribute to building a brand that resonates with them.
Keep Building Relationships: Building strong relationships with your customers, partners, and stakeholders help keep your startup developing. Keep engaging with your audience through online platforms and in person and address feedback positively. This can go a long way in growing your business or project!
Closely Define Your Brand Values and Personality: As you fine-tune your operations, you're also defining your brand's values, personality, and voice. These elements shape how your startup is perceived. For instance, whether you're innovative and cutting-edge or reliable and customer-centric, your operations should consistently reflect these traits.
Keep A Consistent Branding and Visual Identity: Your brand's visual identity, including logo, colors, typography, and design elements, should be consistent across all touchpoints. This visual consistency helps reinforce your brand identity and makes your startup easily recognizable.
Create a Memorable Client/Customer Experience: The client/customer experience you provide keeps people coming back and cultivates referrals! Every interaction, from the first contact to post-purchase support, should align with your brand values and promise.
Stay Open to Feedback: Fine-tuning your operations often involves adapting to customer feedback and market changes. Staying open to the process, and not getting defensive or rigid, allows your startup to evolve while staying true to its core identity.
Develop Your Storytelling and Content Marketing: Sharing your startup's journey, mission, and values through storytelling and content marketing helps humanize your brand. People connect better with stories, and this emotional connection forms a crucial part of your brand identity.
Pursue Community Building: Building a community around your startup, whether through social media, events, or forums, strengthens your brand identity. A passionate community can become advocates, spreading your brand's message organically.
Create Long-Term Consistency: Consistency is key to the success of your business or project. As your startup matures, maintaining the same brand values, messaging, and visual elements helps establish a strong and lasting brand identity.
In essence, every step of the startup journey. It's the combination of your unique offerings, your understanding of your own audience and market, your commitment to building relationships, your internal operations, and your consistency across values and personality. Over time, this identity becomes what people recognize and remember about your startup, and it will continue to grow.
Feeling stuck with your startup? Try our BrandTherapy. It can help generate ideas, resources, and get you back on track for success. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org