Every accelerator across the country has key differentiators, other than geographic location, these may include things like the amount of investment at entry, follow-on convertible notes, specified startup verticals, area of expertise or vast mentors networks. One thing remains the same, all of the startups who exit the program have a high degree of polish and professionalism.
Efficient high-quality design and branding provides an immediate benefit, whereas poor design can turn off for customers or potential investors. This starts with the brand identity. If your company is going to grow steadily over time, it needs an identity that instantly communicates the values your brand wants to reflect.
In the previous post on how to define your startup’s story we discussed that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Your brand’s messaging, feelings and emotional triggers should reflect your why.
The simplest way to do this is to craft a 1-sentence brand vision statement. Don’t over complicate with generic buzzwords or unnecessary jargon, simplicity always wins.
If you do this correctly, your company will be able to focus on building brand equity or a culmination of every experience customers have with your brand. These associations and attitudes (before, during and after use) will determine whether your brand will build a committed following.
Find what makes you special
Nothing is worth doing unless it is worth doing different. To drive any type of purchase behavior, your brand needs to trigger a emotional response to a niche customer base that shows why your brand is different from the other guys. If your brand can’t do this in few seconds, you may find yourself lost in a red ocean.
Define the context of your brand that will give the brand unquestioned differentiation to your customers. Clarifying their needs, motivations, attitudes, and inclinations are essential for a brand’s success.
Craft a visual persona
After you have sorted the hard stuff, it is time to give your company a visual persona that reflects your messaging. This will include your logo, fonts, color palettes, website, and business cards.
Great designed products can instantly emit values you want your brand to communicate; this could something fun, luxurious, cool, innovative, stylish, goofy, or trustworthy. It is up to you.
One thing is for sure though; there is no easy way around this one… Find, partner or pay a pro that knows what they are doing, it will pay off in the end.
Here are some before and after’s from the most recent 10X class
Digital keys uses near field communication to enabled a smartphone access control system to replace the traditional lock and key.
Tips: Simplicity reigns. Start by creating an inspiration board and find images, words, and the type of people that reflect or use your products. Sort through the clutter and fine what links everything together.
Play the games you love and get rewarded for it with real prizes.
Tips: Prized pivoted a few times during the program but ended up finding a strong and reliable customer base. Again, simplicity wins here, their logo and website instantly communicates the right messages to their users.
Analytical genius Tim Ferris examines how to change your website to increase conversation rates (sign-ups and buyers) through a case study of then Gymniee, now Dailyburn.
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