24 November 2014
2 min read
Craft your identity
“The less well-known your company is, the more customers will look (often subconsciously) to your identity to communicate something about you,” says Jim Prior, chief executive at branding consultancies The Partners and Lambie-Nairn.
“Nothing communicates ‘small player’ more than a badly crafted logo, poor choice of fonts and imagery, or a scrappy homepage,” Jim Prior, The Partners and Lambie-Nairn
“Engage a professional designer to help you create this, but don’t accept just anything he or she suggests – make sure there is a strong rationale for it.”
Tell a confident story
Jim Prior says: “Strong brands clearly articulate what they stand for and how they are different. It doesn't matter how small your company is, get this right and the market will respond positively to you. Customers don’t really care where or when you were founded, how many people work for you, or what career you pursued previously. Focus on the key advantages your company offers over competitors, or the philosophy that underpins your business and why you set it up. If you haven’t yet worked out what those things are, now’s the time to start.”
Clever collaborations can make start-ups appear bigger than they really are. Jeh Kazimi, founder of tablet service Breezie.com, designed to combat digital isolation, says: “Partner with already-established brands. Our tie-up with Age UK proved to be the making of our business, which is a tablet service designed to get older people who are less familiar with the internet online. It gave us the kind of reach we could never have achieved on our own. Marketing a product or service to a demographic that isn’t online would have been very difficult for a start-up on a limited budget otherwise.”
You can’t play with the big boys if you’re constantly having to tell people that your systems are down. Investing in technology upfront, instead of cutting corners, can save time and energy that can be used to grow your business, as well as enable you to do all the things your competitors can.
Work on your hits
Marius Smyth, EMEA MD of retargeting platform AdRoll, says, “Up to 98pc of website visitors leave without making an actual purchase or filling out an enquiry form. It’s vital to turn these web-window shoppers into customers.” He adds, “If you can collect, analyse and act on this information, then you can be sure you’re extracting every ounce of value from your online investment. Retargeting technology recognises your website's visitors and serves them with relevant ads when they’re surfing elsewhere. This approach will help your business achieve top-of-mind awareness.