A startup is vulnerable; very vulnerable.
They will notice.
They will steal and copy.
They will undercut your price.
They will be bigger and more powerful than you.
Welcome to entrepreneurship!
Despite the idea of branding being about positioning, image and voice, for new ventures branding provides something of much greater value: A thick layer of protection.
With a startup product or service you may be so intrigued by its novelty or functionality that you decide to make a purchase.
With a brand you fall in love, and love is a strong word. Love does not fade easily. Once you created love, you will compete on a much higher level, one that is not about price. Your initial customers – the ones you have to fight so hard for to gain in the initial months upon launch – will quickly abandon ship for a cheaper variation, or a competitor’s added feature, if you did not make a conscious decision to invest (time and money) into the process of translating your startup into a brand at time of launch.
Branding for new ventures is first and foremost about an emotional connection, a strong immediate bond, between product/service and person (the customer). If you make that happen, you can sit back and let the competitors come your way; you are protected.
Let me know if you have questions about turning your startup into a brand, or if we can assist hands-on. You can also use our rather vast library of resources. However you go about it, start creating that layer of protection around your new venture; you will thank me later.