Written by Luis Johnson

How media coverage can help your startup to grow

Media coverage can help your startup

You need a base of added credibility in order to break into your target market

Startups often avoid branding by saying, “it’s too expensive” or “it doesn’t create actionable results” or “it’s to cut time-consuming,” etc. A lot of people sometimes think they are building they brand just by using social media because they don’t actually need a brand. Some people think their startup is too small and they don’t need a known brand until they get bigger. The truth is that people that have never built a brand before look at this from a time efficiency standpoint and say that it is not worth putting time towards it. Also, some people prefer building their personal brand as an alternative to having an actual company brand.  In the startup environment, people often start thinking about branding when it’s really late – in most cases after launch – and what this leads to is lots of issues along the way where branding ends up being an afterthought, as opposed to being built together with the actual business and the product that is going to be marketed.

If you started your startup or are part of one, you automatically belong to the most innovative and courageous businessmen group. Based on your idea and concept you were able to create a reliable business that does not only allows you to grow but houses other fresh and creative young people. Your idea motivated you to take the first, and most difficult, step but now it’s time to take it up a notch. It’s time for media coverage.

One of the main characteristics of this century is the increased possibilities of achieving success. A breakthrough but not in the traditional way. The significant advances of the last decades have been based on technology and the vast consequences that only could it be achieved with it. Multi-million companies that start it as a simple garage project. It wasn’t known before, but now, they were the first definition of start-ups.

It’s always hard to begin your own business. A challenge, to take the initiative and decide to follow the most the uncertain path. Did you know that start-ups have high rates of failure? The key to victory is to expand and become influential.


Context- Breaking down walls

Context- Breaking down walls

Startups often avoid branding by saying, “it’s too expensive,” “it doesn’t create actionable results” or “it’s to cut time-consuming,” etc. A lot of people sometimes think they are building their brand just by using social media because they don’t actually need a brand. The most common belief is that their startup is too small and they don’t need to built or massively share their brand until they get bigger. The truth is that people that are no experts in this field or have never forged a brand before look at this process from a time efficiency standpoint and conclude that it is not worth investing time towards it.

Also, some people prefer building their personal brand as an alternative to having an actual company brand.  Despite owning their business, it becomes more valuable to gain reputation in the selected field, leaving behind their company. Keep in mind that even though the founder is the face of the business, this last item, is the one that has more prospects to develop and gain income.

In the startup environment, people often start considering about branding when it’s really late. Most of the time is after the launch of the project. What this action leads to is lots of issues along the way where branding ends up being an afterthought, as opposed to being built together with the actual business and the product that is going to be marketed.

Creating value

Creating value

Remember that branding it’s not something you can build in a matter of a day. It should represent your company and what it stands for. Since the moment you had an idea, and you set up your mind to create your startup it’s also the moment when your branding brainstorming should also initiate.

Let your branding speak up about your business. It doesn’t matter if your startup is small, it always represents something. Do it at the beginning; otherwise, when you’ll start working on it, you might realize your company has no real identity or values.

Take your time and analyze what your organization represents and expects to communicate.

Most startups don’t even consider branding until they need it. If you want to succeed it’s essential to comprehend the impact an appropriate branding can do to your business. Don’t underestimate your company, you might be small now, but it can grow and become what you have ever dreamed of. There might be different approaches and strategies, but it’s crucial to always incorporate the keys in any branding plan. Overall, branding can help startups create value through three main channels: relationships, differentiation, and experience.

Solid relationships

Solid relationships

They create trust and loyalty. Relations really are a sort of advocacy and a connecting kind of component to the end customer. That’s the number one and most important reason why building a brand means forming a relationship with your customers. Not only sell a product or service but take an interest in your client’s needs. Remember that understanding your audience it’s crucial for any kind of business. Pay attention to what they do and the things they lack, that’s valuable information. Believe it or not, a bond of trust can make your customer not even look around for another organization similar to yours. You will be forever placed in their hearts and minds. This interaction is one mighty pillar for success. When you’re a startup, you mostly depend on early adopters. They are your business foundation and in they rely upon your progress. Early adopters are clients who got an interest in your brand. They try what you offer and now they’re hook on what you have. They love you so much and the only thing they want to do, besides keep visiting your business, is spread the word and let everyone know their amazing discover: you. Maybe an even better benefit is that they recommend you to their friends or colleagues. Keep in mind that people nowadays find recommendations online. They use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, etc. Those are the most popular means to get authentic feedback. But, studies demonstrate that when a recommendation comes from a close source, like a friend, co-worker or a family member, it’s more likely for them to listen an actually try the product or service. These relations are more effective than any other media.

From a brand perspective, making sure that those relationships are solid is really important. Listen to the old saying: “keep your customers happy, and you’ll be happy too.”

Stand out from the flock

Stand out from the flock

Differentiation is a definite term for why a company or a startup would actually want to be different. But how branding can help is sometimes a little bit fuzzier. When starting a business, it’s vital to know the unique element you bring in to the market. You are providing something no one else is. Never forget what makes your startup unique. Regarding differentiation, your brand should really be a communicator of that your competitive advantage. Many other companies might be doing something or offering a product similar to yours, businesses that might have a better reputation and years of experience, but don’t stress too much about it you just have to know that “x” factor that you only have.  Stay away from what’s normal and standard. Make your own rules and create a new business universe.

The marketplace is like the jungle. Everyone is fighting for a new sale. Provide your clients with some guidelines and make them come to you. Remember that everyone is buying. It might be face to face or offline, but they’re always aware and searching for something new. Stand out from the crowd and show them your startup is special and that you are and have what they were looking for.

The majority of start-ups are small and fragile in the business world. Never forget, that even if you can’t see them, your competition is there looking at you and expecting for a mistake. Show your audience that even though you are just starting and your organization is still in their early years, you’re not afraid of the big corporations. Let everyone know your there to stay. Thrust what you are offering and you’ll see how your opponents trembles. Your startup is different and fresh just like your target.

Not  a product or service, an experience

Not a product or service, an experience

Experience is the cherry on top of brand awareness. It is where brand awareness translates into brand equity as a voice telling people what they can expect from you. Not only from the relationship side of things, but also from an actual interaction as well. Part of the differentiation process, remember that you have to provide a distinct quality service. Your product or service might be excellent but don’t allow your job to finish there. Before, during and after a sell you must communicate your brand and what it represents. The success of your startup majorly depends on your target’s happiness. Give an outstanding customer’s service and after they leave your store keep in touch with your audience. Let them know you care, show them they are in your mind and you will be in theirs. This process is easier said than done. The bigger companies often forget to follow the last step. Don’t let that be your mistake too!

Keep in mind that now a brand can be associated with feelings. With the help of different kinds of media, an effective branding will create a link between a specific emotion to a product or a company in the audience. Happiness, nostalgia, hope and respect are the most used feelings. These emotions can be connected to your business not only because of the brand but also the experience you provide to your target. A natural smile, presenting manners and expressing real concern towards your clients creates the adequate impression and supports the right feeling. Every time your clients think about your product, service or brand, they will automatically link it to the feeling and attitude they perceive while visiting. If it works better than the last mentioned, it can happen that when they feel a specific emotion, they will also associate it with your brand, positioning you in their subconscious and creating an even stronger bond. The correct branding can do wonders for any business. Make yourself unforgettable but in the right way. Never forget that the association with a wrong sentiment always lasts more and has worst consequences. Be careful and keep your eyes focus on the prize!

Startup example

Startup example

A recent startup that has put brand as a priority before the long to-do list is Pinterest. They follow all the keys we previously mentioned and succeeded in their purpose. They started selling an experience and continue to focus on the actual customer encounter. They believe, and they were not entirely wrong, that this action will add value to their brand. Being a social media platform, they had really strong competition. The online world was ruled by giant social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you can find similar content. Like any other business, it was necessary for differentiation in order to survive. A wrong step or an action not so thoughtful could have been their downfall.

They pay attention not only in terms of UX/UI but also across all platforms, even those outside of Pinterest as well. Their goal was to give people navigating outside Pinterest the same great experience they would get on their platform. They conclude that an excellent method to understand their target was actually to ask them their weaknesses and strong points. As a conclusion, they gather a specific group that can share with them honest and valuable information. They started with a small and personal perspective with bloggers and a reduced group of influencers to develop an MVP and scale it up from there. Their primary focus was to concentrate on the relationship with those early customers as well as building a different experience with them. It was a win-win for both parts. The startup because it can gain the necessary information to correctly transform their operation, efficiently communicate to their target, establish a real interest in their clients and obtain worthy details about their target’s needs. The focus group because they had the opportunity to use the platform they love and be part of the change. Once the basic structure of the relationship, differentiation, and experience was settle, they started introducing viral components when this strategy was built and ready for the public.