Startups should have a Branding Plan in Place Early On
Jitesh Nair

The startup ecosystem is a highly competitive one and is getting fiercer by the day. According to NASSCOM, more than 1,200 startups came up in 2018 in India. This amounts to an average of four start-ups a day. This has led to too many firms fighting it out for the limited available capital from angel investors or venture capitalists. Though the product or service and the business model built around it is the key selling point for start-up founders when they pitch for capital, firms need to be able to create a distinct identity for themselves early on. As such, startups are forced to invest in their branding much earlier in their life cycle.

With scarce capital and the core product not yet in place, branding efforts generally seem unnecessary to entrepreneurs. It is high time entrepreneurs gained an understanding of the perceived relevance of branding and the brand building activities that need to be employed. The challenge here is that the branding needs are very specific for ventures operating in different segments. The startup ventures not only lack resources but have not yet put internal structures and processes in place. As such, the brand concept should be clearly defined and a branding plan should be developed before the inception of the startup.

The Internet offers a vast number of innovative branding opportunities especially suitable for start-ups, due to their relatively low cost and wide reach. Entrepreneurs can exploit the opportunity of using free or highly lucrative tools including e-commerce, corporate blogs, social media and influencer marketing.

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