Standing out in the modern tech industry takes some doing. For just about any technology you can think of, there is now a multitude of brands and businesses vying for attention from consumers. In order to cut through the white noise, you need to build a solid brand that can propel your business into the limelight.
Define Your Mission
Every brand needs to have a strong mission statement that underpins their operations. Your mission statement should set out what your brand is about, what you want to achieve, and how you plan on actually achieving it. Your mission statement should be simple and to the point, but it should also be thoughtful and informative. Not only should a mission statement sell your business and its underlying ethos to potential customers, but it should also provide your employees with guidance and motivation.
In order to produce a worthwhile mission statement, you need to define exactly what it is that your brand does. Go beyond vague and simple descriptions and really think about what it is that your business does for its customers and employees, not just itself. If your mission statement amounts to little more than a sketch of Scrooge McDuck diving headfirst into a pile of gold, you’ve probably missed the point. More importantly, there aren’t many consumers out there buying things just to make other people rich.
A brand that is built upon a solid moral and ethical foundation is going to have a much easier time courting a younger and increasingly politically aware audience. For most startups in the tech industry, this is going to be the most important demographic to target. Successfully capturing this audience will give your brand a massive boost.
Reduce Barriers To Entry
No matter what kind of startup you are running, landing your first few customers or clients is going to be a challenge. It does get easier but getting things off the ground initially so that money can begin to roll in is always going to be difficult. Tech businesses often have an even harder time than most when breaking into a new market, especially those that produce more niche or specialist hardware.
Bringing down any barriers that are currently preventing potential consumers from using your business should be a top priority from the very beginning. Not only is this an important practical measure for encouraging people to use your business, but it will also help to make your brand more accessible and inviting.
If your brand is walking on well-trodden ground and your audience is already familiar with the tech products that you produce, you won’t have to work quite so hard to get them over that initial hurdle. However, if you are going to be providing software or hardware that is mostly or entirely new to the market, you are going to have to play things smart.
The two main barriers to entry for the majority of tech companies are going to be money and knowledge. You can help to reduce the money barrier by lowering your prices or by offering early adopters a special discount. Anything you can do that will add value for consumers will encourage them to spend more with you – who doesn’t love receiving freebies? The second barrier is a trickier beast to overcome. Naturally, the difficulty you have in communicating your brand and products to consumers will depend entirely on the specific tech that you deal in – some concepts are considerably easier to explain than others.
Exactly how you go about communicating relevant information to consumers will also affect how well your efforts are received. Your decisions about this should be informed largely by your target demographic – what communications channels are they most active on and how will they interact with your business? If you are targeting a relatively old demographic (by the standard of the tech industry) then it is probably best to put the pertinent information on your website and to provide your customers with contact details for your customer support.
Younger audiences are generally more adept at finding out what they want for themselves. They are also more likely to engage with your business through social media and similar channels. It is also generally the case that younger people are more tech-savvy than older generations and are beginning from a more informed position. This means that you don’t need to hold their hands as much and it should be easier to educate them than your older users.
You want your brand to remain as accessible and friendly as possible. That can only be achieved if you consciously work towards reducing or eliminating any barriers that are keeping customers from your business.
Find The Right Investors
Every startup needs a source of funding. Without adequate funding, your tech startup isn’t going to get very far. However, when you are seeking investment in your business, you shouldn’t just be thinking about the money involved. You also need to consider who is giving you that money and what their role in your business will be. If you are lucky enough to find an angel investor – someone who is willing to give you funding while remaining hands-off in their approach – you don’t have to worry about ceding control.
Conversely, many investors will want to take an active role in the businesses that they invest in. If accepting money from an investor means that they will be taking on a managerial or leadership role within the business, you need to weigh up what they are bringing to the table, beyond money, and decide whether it justifies giving up some of your control.
However, it is also important to acknowledge the very real value that the right investor can bring to your business. In some cases, you will want to take money from a particular investor precisely because of what else they can offer your brand. If you can land an investor who already has a proven track record and a solid reputation within your niche, that alone can provide a massive boost for your brand awareness.
Brands are among the most valuable assets that any business can have. If you nurture your brand carefully, you can grow it into just about anything you like. Within the crowded house of the tech industry, it takes a lot for a brand to stand out. Ideally, you should start building your brand before you have even launched your startup.