Design for start-ups

How to develop a brand strategy for start-ups


Good brand design is a way of associating a clear, consistent set of values with your products and services. This is a good way of attracting new customers and making sure that existing customers and contacts remember your business.

How do you develop a brand strategy?

Brand strategy draws on many design disciplines. It aims to produce a long-term plan for the development of a company's brand in order to achieve specific goals, ie tap into the consumer needs, emotions or establish a competitive presence.

Brand strategy includes an element of graphic design, which is used to establish your business' identity through visual means such as:

  • business name's colours and lettering style
  • logos
  • stationery
  • website
  • marketing

Your brand strategy will also include a communication component that will look at:

  • identifying your audience
  • determining what your message it
  • deciding on the creative (ie image attributes) you will use to send out your message

You may also want to consider as part of your brand strategy elements of product and packaging design, as well as retail design and visual merchandising to create the right look and environment in your shops, market stalls or window displays.

Not all types of brand strategies may be suitable for your business. See more on choosing the right brand strategy.

Brand design building blocks

Your brand should be:

  • simple, memorable, consistent
  • relevant to your customers and their needs - aim to create associations that are appropriate to your product or service, whether this is aspirational, reliable etc
  • reinforced whenever possible on all communications, marketing, websites, business and sales environments
  • current and fresh - so make changes when necessary, although this won't usually involve reinventing the brand unless your business changes radically
  • effective in all media - from print and TV, to digital and social media advertising

Decide how much of the brand design you can do yourself and what you will employ a designer for. Either way, it's a good idea to involve employees. They know your products or services well and are likely to be familiar with your customers.

For more information, find 8 design tips for creating a successful brand and watch a case study below to see how Traction Finance successfully rebranded their business for growth.