Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Brand Creation Strategies for Start-Up Companies

Brand Creation Strategies

What is Brand ?

A brand is personification of a product or service of a business. Brand word has many vague definitions loosely meaning more or less following :
  • Identity of a product or service
  • Personification of the products or service in consumer's mind
  • Creating a beautiful gestalt in consumer's mind for a product or service
When a brand is legally protected, it is known as a trademark.

Different Methodologies of Brand Creation

Brand creation is a lengthy process. It is a continuous process and it changes in tune with the nature of product and service. It is like a child's journey from infancy to adulthood and survival in the cut-throat competitive world until it's journey ends.
There are different methodologies of brand creation and no single method is perfect or full-proof. Each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Advertising through conventional media channels

It involves advertising your products or service through traditional channels like Radio Advertising,TV Advertising, Newspaper Advertising, Hoardings, etc. It is a economically costly method in today's context considering the perspective of start-up companies. It is the most effective and direct attack methodology of promoting your products or services.

Advertising through non-conventional media channels

Various methods are available which are termed as non-conventional methods of brand-creation:
  • Email Marketing and brand-awareness creation
  • Web-site creation and marketing through it
  • Marketing through Social Media Channels, viz. Facebook, Orkut , Linkedin , Twitter,etc.
  • Gamification of products and services for brand-creation (Gamification of Brand)
  • SMS promotion or SMS marketing
  • Bulk SMS marketing

Piggy back riding on other successful products or services (Co-branding)

It involves finding a successful complementing product or service to which our product or service can be bundled in order to sell/promote both with composite pricing mechanism. Advantage of this method is that it increases the revenue generated from products or services quickly, but it has dominating effect on the new products or service. Piggy back method should be used for short-time otherwise it has potential to dangerously dominate the new product or service permanently without significantly increasing the brand-awareness of new product or service.

Mouth to mouth promotion

It involves direct selling method or chain selling method to sell as well as brand-promotion . It is a slow method of brand-promotion, but it is very reliable method.

The peculiar problems of start-up companies


Scarcity of fund for brand-creation

Generally, start-up companies are seeded by promoter's fund to begin with which is mostly modest in nature. Again, the nature of start-up companies play a very important role. Companies whose product or service depends development of product or new technology , this fund becomes more modest leaving very little for brand-promotion or creation.

Limited or zero budget for traditional media channels

Since traditional media channels like TV advertising, Newspaper,Radio, etc. have high rates, it is generally out-of reach for start-up companies unless they are funded at the beginning only.

Few existing customers or no existing customers for the product or service

Most start-up companies are created to serve niche market segment by creating new products or services which are generally non-existent. So there is no customer base. Selling of the product or service should go hand-in-hand with brand-creation for start-up to survive in the long-term.

Product or service is in evolution or development stage , product or service is still maturing

Start-up companies have road map for their products or services and they are under constant flux of development or improvement. At the same time, there is need for marketing the basic product or services to start gaining entry into the niche segment for the products or services. It is like standing on two parallel speeding boats.

Competitive brand is strongly placed

This happens when the start-up is not the early bird in the targeted market segment and the competitive brand is already positioned at some level.

Strategies to tackle peculiar problems

Identify your core nature of products or services

It is like discovering yourself. The same pain and turbulence are experienced by the product creator or service creator as a teenager which transforms itself into a successful adult. At the start of road map of the product development, we should identify what value addition we are giving to customers with the basic or core product or services. This is usually done in conjunction with identifying your target audience or niche market segment.

Identify your target audience or niche market segment

This is always done when products or services are created when the start-ups start functioning.

Plan the road map for your products or service

Inability to plan the future road map successfully for products or services , is one of the most common reasons for failures of the start-up. Failure to execute road map as a Plan of Action is second.

Summary

In the second part , we will have detailed discussion about strategies to solve the peculiar problems faced by the start-up organizations in the way of brand-creation.

Akhilesh Maurya
akhileshm@hotmail.com

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