‘The early bird catches the worm’ it’s a saying that can be applied to most of the things. When you start a new business, there is a mountain of stuff you need to control and do, some of these bring money, and a lot of them are costs. And understandably, we have to neglect some of these to a later stage. Branding is the one that gets postpone to a later date, which it’s a catch 22 because you need look credible, trustworthy and unique, to be different from your competitors with a similar brand.
Now, what is the advantage of having a brand from an early state?
1. People will get familiar with your brand
Your potential customers will start engaging with your business from the moment you are out there. Remember that a brand is an emotional relationship between your company and your clients and a relationship is only build with patience and constancy.
Showing up every day with the right look will make you recognisable and will start trusting you. It is like moving into a new neighbourhood. At first, the neighbours will see you as a foreign person but little by little they will start recognising you. If you make an effort to say good morning every day, they will warm up to you and see you as an acquaintance, later on as a good neighbour and if you insist you could even end up being friends.
Note: Londoners should try this when they feel like their neighbours aren’t so friendly.
2. Advantage on positioning
Your business is likely to have competition. The earlier you start having a consistent look, coherent with your prospects, the earlier that you will get your position in the market.
Think of brands that managed to get ahead of the game, like Google (it’s true that they weren’t the first ones, but they were there earlier than others). Or do you Bing something instead of Google it? We don’t telegram we WhatsApp!
3. Leeway for improvement and rebrand
Branding isn’t an exercise with a start and end. Branding is something that holds hand with business. When you engage early, you can test if things work and if not you can change them. Because it’s easier to rebrand when you are a small business than when you are Coca-Cola, not only for what will your customer say but the more assets with your logo you have around.
It’s what it says on the tin. Having a new brand means that you can create consistency, which is a prolonged exercise and means that you won’t have assets online or offline where they don’t have your logo or follow your brand colours.
Business is something that constantly evolves. In fact, you should, as a business owner, always be innovating to adapt your company to the current market needs and technology advance. If your brand is set earlier, you can evolve together.
6. Spread the word
Most businesses have to promote themselves, but word of mouth can be a big part of your acquisition system.
Having a brand will help your customers remember you, and recommend you. But also the people who are looking for the recommendation will see you as serious and feel conformable to spend their money with you.
7. Start slow and grow little by little
When you start from the beginning, you can start having the essential elements of your brand, like a logo, a website and business cards and then extend as you need with other assets and features, such as a flyer or an annual report.
It means that you can control your expense on promotion and branding a bit better. Because you only have to do it on demand as oppose to having to spend a big chuck of cash in one go.