5 Must-have branding exercises for startups

Oct 19, 2023

Mastering branding: make your business shine with design!

Starting a company? Want to get noticed in the big online world? Having a strong brand is like having an unmissable neon sign. It tells people who you are and what you do. It's super important. At heartbeat, we are like helpers for new companies. We know the secrets to a winning brand. In this article, we’ll share five seemingly simple but invaluable activities to help your brand shine. With our user-friendly steps, you'll learn to tell your company's story in the best possible way. So, let's start and make your brand the best it can be!

But first: why branding activities are a big deal

Branding is like picking out your outfit for a first date. You want to look cool and feel confident. heartbeat knows this well. Let's talk about why branding exercises can make your company stand out.

Understanding your brand: Just like knowing if you're a jeans or a suit kind of person, branding exercises help you figure out how to best ‘dress’ your company. You need to ask: What are you all about? What's your story? Why should people care? heartbeat can help you answer these questions.

  • Fixing weak spots: Sometimes, a brand might have weak links or things that just don't sit right. Maybe your logo looks off, or your slogan is confusing. Doing exercises helps find those flaws and fix them. Think of it as adjusting a hemline.

  • Giving a clear message: When you talk, you want people to understand, right? It's the same for companies. Branding exercises help make your message crystal clear. Picking the right words lets everyone know that you're fun and friendly, or that you’ve got gravitas.

  • Getting the team excited: When everyone in a team knows what they're doing and believes in it, they do better work. These exercises get everyone on the same page, excited, and ready to go. Imagine your whole team voluntarily and spontaneously arriving to work in matching outfits, showing team spirit!

  • Standing tall against others: There are lots of companies out there. You want to be the one people notice. With the right brand look and feel, you can stand tall and proud above the crowd. It's like being the coolest kid on the block.

Remember, just like curating a killer outfit takes time, building a strong brand does, too. With heartbeat and some streamlined exercises, you can make your brand brilliant.

5 simple steps to make your brand shine

Branding is like telling a story. Your company has its own unique narrative. Let's dive into how startups can tell their story in the best way possible with the help of heartbeat.

1. Finding out who you are - your brand's core

Ever looked in a mirror and asked, "Who am I?" Your company should do the same. Start with these seemingly simple questions:

  • What makes your company special?

  • Why did you start it?

  • What problem do you solve?

  • Why are you different and better?

  • What are your big promises to your customers?

Then, write down what you’re not. Find words that don't describe your company. Like, "We are fun, not boring." Share these words with your team so everyone knows which words tell your story, and which stories build your brand.

Stuck? Ask your friends or partners the same questions. Their answers might give you new insights. Remember, it's all about understanding your brand's core. And if you need more help, heartbeat is always here to talk.

2. be like a real person - personify your brand

Think of your company as a person. Would it be a fun young guy or a wise old sage? This helps customers relate to you. Let's figure out this "personality" together:

  • Is your brand more masculine or feminine? (We’re talking energy, not gender.)

  • How old would it be?

  • Is it tech-heavy or more traditional?

  • Is it serious or loose and light?

  • How would it dress and speak?

Draw or write about this "person" with your team. If it feels right, that's your brand's personality shining through!

3. Change lives for the better

People today don't just buy stuff; they want things that make their lives better. So, how does your product or service improve lives?

  • Who most loves it?

  • What problems do they face?

  • How do they feel after using it?

Write the "before" and "after" of using your product or service. For instance, before: "procrastinating” and after: "productive." This will show how it transforms lives.

4. stand out in the crowd

In a big market, your company needs to be unique. To understand where you fit in, think about the following:

  • What category is your product in?

  • Who really needs it?

  • What's the main thing it does?

  • Why is it better than others?

Answering these questions will help you see how your product stands out. It's like knowing why one toy is a kid's favourite in a packed toybox.

5. A big banner of belief

Just like superheroes have a catchphrase, your company should have its own credo. Something like, "We believe in making dreams come true." This reminds everyone - your team and customers, why you do what you do. Write down your beliefs, make it simple but strong. Hang this statement in your office, share it on your website, and let the world know what you stand for!

Branding is so much more than lexicon,  logos, or colors. And it's more than the sum of its parts. It's about telling your story in the best way possible. And if you ever need help, companies like heartbeat or Implse (for smaller companies with simpler starting needs) are always there to guide you.

Wrapping it up

In the end, branding is all about heart, emotion, and connection. It's The Way, not the Destination. heartbeat understands this journey intimately, offering a unique process that resonates with startups and online companies alike. If you're eager to elevate your brand and share your story in a way that genuinely resonates with your audience, heartbeat is just a conversation away. Let's embark on this adventure together, ensuring your brand truly beats with passion and purpose.