Have you ever asked yourself what you should do first in your start-up? Is branding or marketing the right way for you to become visible and successful? In fact, most startups lean towards marketing, as branding is often still too associated with a logo, design, and at best, just vision and mission. But branding is so much more, which leads to the fact that the right order determines the success of your marketing.
Branding comes before marketing
But what happens if you start directly with marketing instead of branding? You probably don’t know which channels are the right ones, who exactly you should target and how to get a continuous strategy. Moreover, you spend a lot of money without feeling that marketing has really brought you anything. What happens next is obvious. You get frustrated and start looking for the next marketing idea that will hopefully deliver better results.
This is a vicious circle and yet you gain customers here and there. But what if your marketing was much more efficient and successful? What if you could describe exactly who your customers are, where they are, and why they respond to your communications? That’s where branding comes in. Because branding is much more than just a logo or a design, which is what your startup presents. They are an important part of branding and your brand, but it’s the overall perception that plays the critical role.
Moreover, branding is not a subcategory of marketing. This is erroneously communicated again and again to start-ups by consultants, which leads to great confusion and the order (just branding first and then marketing) is wrong. In addition, there are two different strategies for the two. There is a brand strategy and a marketing strategy, which makes it clear that they are two different strategies and therefore two different pairs of shoes.
How to make your marketing successful
If you separate branding and marketing, it will be much easier for you to build on each other. Start with your brand strategy, which describes how you want to be perceived as a brand in the minds of your customers and employees in the long term. How do you want them to think and talk about your startup? What first impression do you want to convey? Who is the ideal customer? The brand strategy is the foundation on which your marketing strategy is built.
Once you have defined your brand and how you position yourself, it will be easy for you to create an effective marketing strategy with a subsequent marketing plan for the next 12 months. You’ll be able to tell exactly where your customers are so you can be there with the right brand awareness. Plus, you’ll be able to target your marketing budget much more effectively in those places, rather than trying to reach the right people by luck. So don’t put off your branding until later and get to grips with your brand strategy.
Need help with your brand strategy?
We specialize in scaling start-ups to create a unique brand from a unique business idea. With our Brand Strategy Sprint we develop your brand quickly and focused together and test it directly to your customers. If you are just starting out with your start-up and want to develop your brand strategy yourself with your team, you should definitely check out the online course „Brand Strategy for Start-ups“ from our subbrand yellowdot.