What is internal branding for a startup?
A brand is an iceberg and whatever we see at the top of the sea, underneath it lies a huge mass of strategy making, clarity finding and decision making. What people always see on the outside of a brand are the visual/verbal elements – logo, colour theme, value proposition, tagline, etc., but on the inside lies the foundation on which all those visual and verbal elements find their balance.
A lot of start-ups do a shallow work when they are coming up into the market place and most of the time, they confuse marketing with branding. They only prepare a handsome budget for marketing on social media, billboards and flyers, but they fail to take the time to design an experience that will make for a lasting impression in the hearts of those they are trying to reach out to. Internal branding is what caters for that customer experience and that keeps the business alive in the heart of the people.
What are the elements of internal branding?
A vision statement
Apparently, the time-frame of your vision determines the time-frame of your relevance. Your vision should tell us the change you are desiring to create in your industry, within your business and in the society where you operate. It answers to the question, “what new reality do you seek?”
A mission statement
Your mission statement is the unit achievement you desire to make on every unit client that eventually results in the fulfillment of your vision. It is the reason your business exists and the impact you’re making with your existence. Your mission is what you do in order to become or actualize [your vision]. It’s principally your WHY.
Study of Industry Competitive landscape
You need to know who the key players in your industry are, both locally and globally. You need to understand your competitions very well. Are there those who sell what you sell or similar ones? Do you have people who sell what you sell a different audience? What about those who sell higher/lower versions of what you see? How do these persons position themselves before the market? What are the unique features they make obvious to the market? These and some more questions are what you need to ask yourself in order to gain clarity on how to position yourself too.
You need to know who you want to sell to. Information about their demographics, income level, major challenges, preferences and interests can be very vital. You should know their language so as to be able to reach them with the right language.
You need to clarify how your brand sounds or the tone of your brand voice. Is your brand the jovial type or the serious type? Are you a classic or trendy brand? Do you appear cool and calm or you’re the energetic and vibrant brand? Is your tone a very professional tone or casual? You need to clearly define this aspect of you.
Business success is not just hinged about great products and services, but about core values/ideologies that govern how you do business, how you treat people, the principles that guide your life as an individual. People don’t buy products; they buy people. Your customers will be attracted by your personality more than by your quality of product. This is why you need to have strong and apparent core values that ring throughout your business marketing and operations. When we enter an organization, the first thing we sense is the culture even before we see the logo and the brochure. It is that culture that determines whether we want to continue with them or not. And your culture is influenced by a set of key values.
Value proposition/Positioning Statement
This is the promise you’re making to your audience and that distinguishes you from another person. It’s the exact problem you’re solving or the exact pleasure you’re giving. Your positioning statement is not about the quality of your product and service, but about the experience you’re creating for your target audience that no one else is talking about.
All of these internal branding elements are what we brood upon to create the external branding. These things need to be on ground even before contracting a designer for your logo, website and printed collaterals. Are you are start-up and you feel you need to visit your brand structure afresh or you’re just starting up and you don’t know where to do what? I’m here for you! Visit our Brand Clarity Page.
I remain your clarity coach and your clarity remains my priority.