Asia is currently in the throes of economic growth that will have a far-reaching impact on the world. We believe that the startups and SMEs from India, China and the Asian region as a whole will be leading global conglomerates in the next decade.
In India, the culture of entrepreneurship is vibrant with youngsters setting up innovative ventures that address customer need gaps. The advent of the educated entrepreneur and the acceptance of risk by the society has led to an unprecedented rise of startups. The global success of first-generation entrepreneurs has also fuelled passion and people across all ages, genders and backgrounds are taking the plunge of letting go of the safety net of jobs.
In this cluttered scenario, how can SMEs stand out? Be it Apple, Google or Infosys – they all started out small, as backyard operations, as visions of a few inspired individuals. For these firms, the product can be aped easily by other tech companies. What differentiates them from competition is the investment they make in building their brand. A strong SME brand strategy/startup brand strategy gives customers clarity of their vision, values and the kind of products the firm makes.
Within an year of founding Apple, Steve Jobs brought in a leading branding professional, Rob Janoff, to design their iconic logo of the apple with rainbow stripes, with a bite missing. Impossible to forget once seen, the former head of Macintosh development Jean- Louis Gassée said of the logo: “One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy.” IBM later hired Janoff, perpetually trying to get some of that Apple magic.
In ads for Apple’s first machines, the logo grabbed eyeballs, and instantly branded a line of products seen as cold, calculating, impersonal and robotic at the time. By comparison, Apple’s logo was scholastic, happy and warm. It set the stage for the brand years before it became such a globally successful brand.
Startup brand management is not a later-stage, marketing intervention. Far from it, startup branding is a business tool that can help boost its presence in a neck-to-neck competition scenario.
At DY Works, we partner with businesses looking for well-thought and meaningful strategy and design work. Connect with us to learn more.