Brand Strategy for Startups
A startup brand is like a shark, if it stays still too long it dies. The startup business strategy of pivoting often actually works great for a brand as well as long as it's done right.
At Condensed we are always trying to push our clients brands forward and helping them re-invent themselves, with this said, there are some core components of your branding that should never change.
The Logo Mark
Whether it be a word mark, a brand icon or a combination of both, there needs to be some cornerstone of the visual identity of a startup that’s the rock that never changes. If you have a strong mark you'll NEVER need to change it. Look at the type based logo Coke or the symbol of the Nike swoosh. Can you imagine the top C level execs at Coke sitting around a boardroom table discussing how to improve their wordmark? These logo marks are timeless and iconic. Besides the actual name of the company, they are the foundation of the brand identity.
Core Brand Values
If the logo mark is the cornerstone of the visual branding, the core values are the cornerstone of the messaging.
Core values are like the soul of a brand. It should be well defined and understood or else a lot of other things that come later, like the tone of voice you choose to talk, or the message you try to convey, won't make any sense.
When to re-invent a brand
Literally everything else about the brand and the company can (and should) be in constant flux. Pivoting and evolving the company's messaging and visuals over time keeps the brand looking and feeling young and relevant. Just be sure to start with the correct foundation; without core values or a visual guide, things will quickly fall apart.
Knowing when to make these changes is what’s called ‘Brand Strategy’. We have been developing brands for over ten years, so we know what works and what doesn’t and we have gut feelings as to when it’s time to refresh branding.