Branding For Startups

Looking for FREE Resources?

Want to Accelerate Business Growth?

Our passion is helping early-stage impact businesses gain financial clarity through growth strategy and fundraising readiness.

Built For The Long Haul

Mutual success is not just about achieving the goals set today. Argona Partners is committed to fostering long-term relationships and leveraging our dynamic partner ecosystem to help companies realize success in the long run.

As you are likely well aware, one of the most important aspects to any successful business is branding. For startups this can be an especially difficult and typically ignored process because there are so many directions that you can go in. If you’re not a marketing expert, fear not! This is a journey you do not have to endure alone. More often than not startups need a brand identity designer, which is an individual or team that will use strategy to create your brand elements. This includes logo, colors, typography, image styles, tagline, voice, tone, and more. Without this clarity it can be difficult to grow an audience, at least consistently. While building your startup branding, focus on developing a brand board, something that can be referred to consistently and across the entire organization. With this very important tool you can scale your brand without needing to recreate your elements time and time again.

 

Brand identity examples are easy to find, just look at some of your favorite brands! What makes them recognizable and memorable? What stands out about these brands amongst the rest of the competition? These elements are imperative for startups to understand because, while not set in stone, they are required to stand out in an often crowded market. Remember to test your branding at the early stages, hypothesize, deliver, analyze, and iterate. Brand identity for startups involves building a system for your business to efficiently and effectively create materials and messaging that will resonate with the target audience. Without understanding your audience, how can you expect to understand how to communicate with them? You first need to realize what elements resonate with your audience. 

 

 


Startup Branding Agency - How to Find Them

Navigating the plethora of branding agencies can not only be difficult, but also timely. As a startup your primary focus needs to be on financial health, that means that if you’re going to engage a third party it must be an affordable branding agency. Shameless plug, Argona has branding packages for startups and branding services for small business that are designed to help early stage and small businesses establish the necessary research, operations, and elements to develop a successful brand. You should contact us if you’re interested in learning more. However, we’ll also dive into how to find the best branding companies for startups, and help you find the best digital branding agency. 

 

While looking for these, it’s important to not only look at specific companies, but also look at ranking websites such as Clutch.co, DesignRush, and Trust Pilot. Social proof is key to finding the right agency, and not wasting your time engaging with the wrong third party agencies, or kicking the branding can down the road. One of the worst things you can do as a startup is ignoring the development of your brand completely. Once you engage with firms you can start to understand how their services specifically focus on branding startups and provide startup brand design services, rather than just generalized branding or design services. Approaching a new market is different from rebranding services, amongst other branding services that are on the market currently.

While building your startup brand, it’s often that you’ll consult design innovation companies or a startup design company, especially for early stage companies that have not built the internal team or workflows necessary to deliver these elements. You can likely find a startup design company, and there are so many graphic design startups out there, which allows for opportunities for partnership relationships, and to truly bootstrap the early stages of startup brand design. Remember that while these elements are not set in stone, it’s important to remain consistent and build upon momentum; if you keep changing your branding then you will likely confuse your target audience. Depending on the format of your business, you may also consult interior design tech companies, but that has less to do with branding and more to do with operational workflow.

Startup Branding Strategy is a Long-Term Effort

Let’s focus on branding strategy for startups, specifically. If you are a startup company, and you’re here reading this article then you’re likely looking for branding strategies. First and foremost, branding strategies are long-term efforts, with long-term goals, the purpose of which is identification, clarification, and recognition. You must design and establish your brand identity, identify your objectives, define your audience, and perfect your delivery system. This can all be very daunting at the early stages, but just remember this is a process that requires testing and iterations. One of the key aspects to developing a strong brand strategy for a startup is to engage with your audience. Without this engagement, you’re going to be developing on assumptions and guesses. Keep in mind that the most important aspect to branding is to connect with your audience on an honest and emotional level. Again, think back to your favorite brands - you’ll likely find that there is a strong emotional response to these memories. Much of your brand voice and tone will reflect how you are capable of connecting with your target audience. Without this you’ll just become another choice amongst millions, and standing out will be very difficult.

Best Startup Branding - Key Elements

As discussed, finding an affordable branding agency is important for every startup, unless you have the internal resources already built into your organization. Finding the best brand designer is not a matter of luck either. This takes diligence and effort that can often be spent towards other parts of the business, as most founders and executives wear multiple hats and have their focus spread. This is just one reason why branding startups is a difficult task, even for the best brand strategist in the world. Diligent research and strategizing is required to develop individual branding packages for startups, this isn’t something that can simply be approached with cookie cutter packages. The best branding examples for startups are individualized and have created momentum in the market, which can also be identified as ‘traction’. This concept of traction is something you’ll hear very consistently in the startup realm, especially when facing investors and raising funds. As discussed earlier, engagement in the market is key to achieving successful branding, and therefore traction. Good branding packages will include engagement and delivery systems, rather than just the brand elements that were mentioned previously. In order to properly engage your audience not only are the relevant elements necessary, but also a direct and efficient delivery system.

 

Check out this article about B2B SaaS Marketing

Startup Business Branding - What’s Required? 

The best branding companies for startups will require the founding or executive teams involvement at some point, there’s no way around this. Industry and audience research is required, but it should still involve the unique perspective that the founding team provides. Without this, many branding packages come out bland, and are the same from each branding company. These agencies all have formats and systems that they follow, but that’s where your perspective comes in! Small business brands need to stand out amongst a crowded marketplace, and the only way that happens is with a unique perspective and a strong voice. 

 

Now you might be asking, what are the 4 branding strategies? Or 3, or 5, or 7. There’s a lot of information out there, but you can boil down the 4 strategies to Product Line Extension, Multi-Brand, Brand-Extension, and New Brand strategies. Each one of these will be explored further in a new article about branding strategies, but in regards to startup branding packages these aren’t something you need to worry about at such an early stage, except for many New Brand Strategies. Your focus should be on resonating with your audience, and then you can focus on growing the brand further, which is where different growth strategies come into play.  

 

If you have a general idea of your brand elements, start testing these immediately. Find your early adopters, engage with them, test how your brand elements resonate with them and start collecting feedback. Market validation does not only pertain to products and services, it also means validating your brand. Once you have captured early adopter attention you can scale and start to grow your audience even further. As mentioned earlier, these do not have to be set in stone, but more often than not you don’t want to completely rebrand and lose the momentum you’ve developed in the market. Instead, small changes and iterations will be key to scaling your brand as a startup. 


In conclusion, you don’t need a third party agency to begin your branding journey for startups or small businesses. Focus on developing a strong system to attract and engage your audience. Without this, no amount of logos, visuals, taglines, or lead magnets will matter. However, if you do engage an agency remember that many provide templates that are focused primarily on design whereas you need to focus on research and strategy and allow the design to follow suit. Once you understand why these elements are important you can begin to build around that.

Looking for FREE Resources?
Check our Startup Guides

Branding For Startups Resources

Want to Accelerate Business Growth?

Our passion is helping early-stage impact businesses gain financial clarity through growth strategy and fundraising readiness.

Built For The Long Haul

Mutual success is not just about achieving the goals set today. Argona Partners is committed to fostering long-term relationships and leveraging our dynamic partner ecosystem to help companies realize success in the long run.

Looking for FREE Resources?