Creating a truly unique, memorable, and above all appealing brand has always been one of the biggest challenges involved in making a success of a new startup.

And in 2022, it feels like more of a challenge than ever.

So, how do you create a unique brand when consumers are already aware of current branding trends and strategies? 

Here are a few tips to help create a successful brand that can overcome crowded industries and skeptical consumers.

Know Your Target Market

Creating a unique brand is an excellent goal, but there’s no point in starting on branding unless you know who your target demographic is.

It is common knowledge that various demographics respond in dramatically different ways to popular branding styles, but what exactly does that mean for your startup, and for building your brand?

At SquadHelp, we recently carried out some research that should help answer those questions.

We asked just over 300 US adults the question, ‘Would you be more interested in working with a new, innovative company or a historied, trusted organization’?

While the results weren’t all that surprising, they were illuminating. 

  • 25-34 year olds strongly prefer new and innovative branding. Just over 50% more of these participants chose new and innovative than chose historied and trusted
  • 35-45 year olds prefer new and innovative branding, but this group was pretty evenly split between the two options. 
  • Both 45-54 year olds, and 55-65 year olds are more interested in historied and trusted organizations
  • 55-65 year olds were the most drawn to historied and trusted branding, with almost twice as many participants preferring this option compared to innovative brand names
  • Men were found to have little to no preference in siding with trusted brand names compared to those that are innovative
  • Women were more likely to choose historic and trusted brands, with just under 60% of our female participants siding with this option
  • Overall, out of 301 participants, 153 opted towards historic and trusted and 148 went for new and innovative, which means that each direction can be a great choice, depending on who you want to engage with as a brand. 
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So, think about who you want to engage with your brand, and spend money on your products or services. If you’re aiming for a Millennial or Gen Z audience, aim for an innovative, modern brand name and brand tone, and if you think older consumers are your best bet for an audience go with something more traditional and historied.

Be true to yourself

No, really.

Now more than ever, consumers are looking for authenticity and a true commitment to values in the brands they align themselves with.

So, even as you’re taking into consideration my advice about choosing a brand name and tone that aligns with what your target demographic looks for in a brand you also have to think about what your brand stands for.

If you’re shaking up an industry, but give yourself a traditional name it will be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. To help facilitate the brainstorming process and finding a unique name, a popular and effective tool to use is a business name generator. 

In a world in which a global pandemic has brought values, both corporate and personal, into sharp focus, consumers are looking for authenticity. Brands that live up to stated values do better, it’s a fact. Some people are even keeping tabs!

Know What Makes You Special

A whopping 77% of consumers buy products because of recognizable brand names. These are brand names they have remembered – and why have they remembered them? Usually, there’s something unique about the brand, the company, its ethos, or its marketing.

Successful companies know what makes them special, what makes them stand out from the crowd.

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Think about Nike, for example, an elite sports brand that in recent years has made its brand name synonymous with the individual working hard to achieve something. This has been borne out through various campaigns, from the NFL ‘Dream crazy’ ad spot featuring Colin Kaepernick to the recent ‘Play new’ commercials encouraging people to have a go, have fun, and not worry about being good at a sport. Nike has turned individualism on its head, and in doing so has found something that makes the brand special. And remember, Nike faced blowback after their Kaepernick ad aired. But in the long run? Well, it won awards and Nike’s revenues rose 5% in the weeks following the ad spot. 

To help you work out what makes your startup special, try writing up a one-sentence value proposition. This should sum up what your company does, and why. It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it does have to be true!

Take the Practical Steps Seriously

Building a unique brand is hard. It takes time. In order to make your startup into an up-and-coming brand, you’re going to have to stick to your guns, push your brand messages, and really believe in what you’re putting out into the world.

Because what do all these tips have in common? They’re all about authenticity.

From genuinely working out who will benefit from your startup and how to communicate with them, to work out your brand values and value proposition, there’s nowhere to hide when creating a successful, unique brand in 2022. Your audience knows what they want, and they are incredibly sensitive to insincerity. 

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So, get started now! The sooner you start the ball rolling, the better. 

Author Bio

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company, the world’s #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning business name.

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