Brand Strategies for Start-ups

Branding is an essential element of success for any business, especially when it comes to start-ups. In fact, brands have a way of evolving erratically (making work down the road) unless you make the effort to define and control their meaning when your business is in its early days and your team is small.

Be Understood Branding recently completed a brand strategy with VivaValet, a start-up. When VivaValet approached me, they needed a way to stand out from competitors and appeal to two very specific and very different clients. They needed to speak effectively to their two distinct customers but with one message from their one brand.

How I helped VivaValet Create a Distinct Compelling Brand

As a startup helping older folks age in place with dignity on their terms, VivaValet wanted to acknowledge the stressors and pleasures of being an older adult without leaning into all too common babying or catastrophic tropes. The fact is: olders (the loving term we chose to describe their clients) are strong and independent, with full lives they’re enjoying and the brand needed to reflect this truth.

In the brand strategy process, we identified where VivaValet’s core values show up for clients, their clear brand personality, and their distinct brand positioning. We conducted ideal client interviews to determine how VivaValet could deeply resonate while being extremely clear and compelling. By developing unique positioning and identifying themselves as reliable and trustworthy, they are not only attracting customers, but building loyalty over time.

VivaValet’s Reflections on the Process

As Founder, I wanted a concise message that our entire team could unify behind and create clarity at the beginning.

Founder Mariam Parineh

When asked why she wanted to build a brand strategy prior to launching their pilot program, founder Mariam Parineh said, “I wanted to get laser-focused as we headed into pilot–before we got to logos, copy, material, websites and how we were going to present ourselves. As Founder, I wanted a concise message that our entire team could unify behind and create clarity at the beginning of the startup to save us time. The confusion hadn’t happened yet, but as a marketing strategist, I was not willing to put a single word on paper or get even a temporary logo without knowing our brand.”

The success of any business relies on its ability to 1. stand out and 2. communicate clearly WHY the way they stand out MATTERS to the people it serves. According to Parineh, after working with Be Understood Branding, “We can speak to the powerful truths of our customer. And since launching the pilot, we’ve heard directly from clients how much they love our message.”

What was working with Be Understood Branding like? According to Parineh, “Maggie is clear, straight forward, collaborative, smart as a whip and is a TEACHER! Maggie guided us to dig deep and draw it out of us. My team loved the process and we all grew. She’s a kick-ass, laser-focused strategist, delivered with care-bear sunshine.”

Having a distinct brand strategy brings many advantages; especially to emerging brands like VivaValet. A brand strategy is essential for start-ups to stand out from their competition and capture potential customers’ attention and loyalty. By taking a short time to define core values, target audience, create an online presence, refine messaging and build visibility, startups can ensure everything’s pulling in the same direction from the beginning.

Be Understood Branding would love to help your start-up shine.