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Startup Branding – What Factors Can Help You Win in a Crowded Marketplace?

Getting noticed in a marketplace as a startup can be challenging. On top of having to be innovative, you have to compete with established leaders that can quickly snuff you out before you get going. So when it comes to making your big debut and sustaining the buzz you’ve created, the proper startup branding strategy is essential. It can be the one factor that can make or break a company’s momentum.

There are multiple aspects of branding that you need to think about before developing your plan of attack. You have to first become aware of what competing brands exist in the marketplace and how they have positioned themselves. This will allow you to see how you stand out in the marketplace and how to position your uniqueness to generate buzz and build momentum.

For example, one company may have centered their brand on premium prices for premium products. Another company may have built their brand around medium class products for fair prices. Obviously, price is just one part aspect of the product and there can be other characteristics to think about from customer support, quality, features, warranty/guarantee, etc. You have to find out what’s important to your market and see how to build your brand around that.

In addition, branding is no longer about forcing feeding an agenda to a specific audience. Startups that are succeeding with their branding efforts are doing so by utilizing their audience. They are building stories that engage and draw in people to take part in their brand. They are also making their audience a part of their story by getting their fans to submit their own stories and share them on viral marketing channels like social media.

Some companies get the branding strategy right but fall short when it comes to their presentation. How your logo, website, and marketing materials look is a big part of whether or not your brand and story connects with people. Startup branding is about getting as much attention as possible, so everything from your web design, storytelling, to your video presentations need presentations that are going to get people to stop and take that time out to see what your brand is all about.

To solidify everything, companies are doing their best to deliver a customer experience that is consistent with their brand. People are sick and tired of companies and brands that overpromise and under-deliver. In order to keep the momentum going, your company needs to build a satisfactory website, shopping, and customer service experience. That is what will really get people talking and spreading the word about your brand. Your goal is to get people to start liking you then end up loving you.

The fact is that most startups struggle to get their name out and in the chance that they do build some buzz, fail to translate that into long term success. Everything from marketing, finances, to the product is important, but without a strong brand build a solid foundation, trying to carve out position in the marketplace becomes an uphill battle. We created ArtVersion for Startups division where we focused solely on branding for startups, if you need a reliable and experienced “creative partner” that can walk you thru the process, we would be your group.

Custom Photography for the Web: Making Unique Corporate Sites

When designing your website, it’s important to make sure that you use images that reflect what your brand is about and is also relevant to what your site is trying to achieve. While it may be cheaper to go to one of the stock photography websites for your web design, it’s a better investment to go with custom photography. There are several reasons why custom photography is the way to go.

First, you want your photo to communicate the correct message. If you use stock photography, you’ll never be able to convey entirely what you’re trying to say. You are also using somebody else’s perspective and interpretation of an idea. You want to be in control of what your message is and what imagery, thoughts and emotions you want your audience to come up with.

Second, it is very much possible that the photo you’re using on your website is being used by hundreds of other websites. If somebody that has been exposed to that photo comes to your website and sees it being used there, you are going to lose credibility. The thought that comes up will be “this is one of those copycat websites” as opposed to “this is a standout site in this market.” Plus, if you want your corporate website to be truly unique brand, custom photography is the way to go.

Third, you can feel free knowing that you won’t have to deal with any legal complications. There are always instances where a stock photography may have been put up in a site without credit or proper approval. The last thing you want to happen is to have somebody sue you because you’re using their photo without their consent. This can also lead to a bad public relations story and attract attention for all the wrong reasons.

Fourth, you’ll be able to come up with a web design that is in sync with your brand. The brand of a website is conveyed through more than logo alone. Everything from the presentation of the website, the photos, the colors, to the typography all comes into play. When you put that into consideration, you want to do as much as you can to create a perfect representation of your brand on your corporate website.

Fifth, custom photography creates a genuine connection while a stock photo creates skepticism. People are beginning to become aware of how stock photography looks. They can sort of tell if a photo is taken from a stock photography website simply because there’s a stereotypical way that stock photography is taken. It’s often generic looking and lacks a purpose whereas a real photo is meaningful and specific.

The message here is that custom photography can really make your web design stand out. Although it’s a bigger investment, it’s a worthwhile one if you really want to create the right impression. The same also applies to custom graphic design. Everything from your logo, typography, to your overall brand image should be unique to you and only you if you want to amaze your audience. The digital world is competitive, so it’s vital that you take the necessary steps to stand out among the crowd.

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