How startups can develop consistent branding that makes a lasting impression

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Startups that make time at the start of their journey to develop consistent branding will be best placed to make a lasting impression with potential clients, according to one US entrepreneur.

In a recent interview with First Round Review, entrepreneur Leslie Ziegler, part of the founding team of US digital health venture fund Rock Health, addressed the importance of consistency in terms of how a brand looks and feels.

Setting out brand guidelines that are reflective of a company and its approach will go a long way to making a favourable first impression, said Ziegler.

“Come up with a palette of colours and typefaces in varying weights,” she said.

“Make a logo and stick to it. Do not change the font every five minutes.”

When it comes to helping develop a brand’s identity, Ziegler explains that she asks founders and early leaders “to turn the brand into a person”.

“The exercise initially feels silly, but makes internal brand identity very easy to scale,” she says.

“I ask, ‘What celebrity or historical figure would this brand be? Is it George Clooney? Is it George Washington?’”

Ziegler says the exercise can then be used as a reference point for startups, helping to shape the approach the company takes going forward.

“Other people on your team can say, ‘Okay, what would George Washington say about this? What would he do? Would he put that ad there? Would he work with this partner? Does this feel right?’” she explains.

Startups will invariably evolve over time, and putting a solid foundation in place will help to nurture and direct branding focus, Ziegler says. Founders can therefore benefit from considering branding in the context of where they see their company in the future.

“It all starts with finding a clear, strong answer to this question: What do you want your company to be when it grows up?” Ziegler says.

“You don’t have to wait to have a brand that reflects that.”

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Brian Nyagol
4 years ago

Thanks Martin for this reference. We often make mistakes of jumping from one font to another, which according to me is the most common mistakes. I would advise my fellow start up entrepreneurs to design all forms and variants (Sizes, styles e.g outline, dark, light etc)of their logos at the very beginning so they are always ready when needed. When we wait to do a variation of our logo when we need it, the mood of the logo goes away, as your mood about your venture will most likely change with time.

If you decide to change, make the change everywhere, this will make it harder for you to change and help you be consistent, unless it is really imperative to do so.