How to effectively brand yourself at each phase of the tech start-up process

There are a lot of opinions about startups, as with anything else in life, about the right way to do things. Which comes first, the brand or the business? Do you create a brand first, then launch the business? Or do you create the business first, and then hire a branding agency?

This is a trick question- because the answer is yes. The brand and the business go together. And while you may need the support of a branding agency, you are also making hundreds of brand decisions on your own. Decisions like, what you’ll call your business. What type of people you’ll work with. How you’ll structure your services. Have a clear mission and vision, and strong core values, then decide how you will communicate that to your customers, as well as your employees. Determine a pricing structure and flesh out your business model and your positioning in the marketspace. 

All of that is branding. Who you are, and how you translate that to your leadership team, and to your business, is branding. Then that branding trickles right into your marketing and advertising and external communications. Here are a few ways to effectively brand yourself at each phase of your startup.

Before Launch

Before you launch your business, take some time to think about your business. Work with a brand agency that can use that to inspire a name for your company that reflects your brand story and positioning. Build your network and surround yourself with diverse but like-missioned people. A  name carries a lot of weight- this is a very important first step in the brand development process.

Work with a design team to establish a strong visual identity that will express your brand. You can communicate your brand through colors, fonts, and style. Once you’ve established a visual style and a logo, you can create a website. 

Start Where You Are

The best time to get started is now. Run with what you have and strive to define your brand, build a website, and create a marketing strategy as soon as you are able to. Once your business is launched, continue to network with as many people as possible. Share your website and utilize different marketing platforms. By having a consistent brand across all platforms, you can more quickly and effectively engage your audience. Take advantage of the new-biz excitement and generate a lot of buzz to let people know that you have a new way of doing business. 

Time to Grow

When you have been around a minute, and you’ve proven your work concept and ironed out some kinks, and it’s time to grow, do a brand audit. Look at what has and has not worked, and make some adjustments. Update your website, your marketing communications, and any other brand communications that may need a makeover. Look at all of your customer reviews and pull out some keywords. Whichever praises you have received repeatedly, pull those into your brand positioning. Are you the tech company with the best customer service? Are you the tech company with the best innovation? Are you the tech company with the best educational content? Whatever your thing is, use that to brand yourself as an official expert in your space, with the social proof to prove it. 

Time to Scale

Some marketing is about growth- but some is about scale. It’s important to not grow too quickly, or beyond the scope of what you want to create. Rather than  growing a company by adding more clients or customers, you can scale your company by going deep rather than wide.

For many, scaling seems like the scariest or most implausible stage of business. But staying in the baby stage can be like treading water- fine for a few minutes, maybe a few hours, but it is exhausting and you won’t have energy to enjoy the business you have worked so hard to create. Scaling your business allows you to make it past the breakers- to generate revenue with ease and stability so that you can enjoy both your business, and your life.

To scale, think about what other services or products can you offer your existing clientele to bring them more value. Refine your brand messaging as you gain deeper understanding of your customers so that you are only serving the clientele you want to be serving. This is the time to lean deep into your brand engagement and take your customer relationships to the next level.

Which stage are you at? We would love to help you audit your brand and brand yourself more effectively. Schedule a complimentary consultation call. {link}

Brand Brag:

One of our favorite tech brands is Netflix. When Netflix started, the CEO and creator was told that it would never work. This was a world of Blockbuster rentals. And streaming licensing was expensive and hard to come by. From conception, Netflix showed up with big bold letters, not unsimilar to Blockbuster, but in bright red. They introduced themselves by having both physical and digital options, so that customers could try something new (streaming) while they were waiting for what they were already comfortable with (physical dvds). Gradually they grew and rather than rely on licensing, Netflix began creating their own content. Good content. They invested in top quality actors to make themselves a contender in the growing world of streaming and licensing wars. When the pandemic hit, Netflix went big, and is in virtually every home. At each stage of growth, Netflix has maintained and evolved their brand with consistency and development. What are you streaming?

The Importance of Creating Your Own Personal Brand

The Importance of Creating Your Own Personal Brand

When you are thinking of a ‘brand,’ what comes to mind? Is it the branding of a product or company that you love? Is it the new logo design that we just created for you? Is it the new packaging that just came out in order to revamp a company’s image? Is it a tagline or slogan that stands out to you? If you said yes to any of these questions, you are in the majority! Most people when asked about branding understand that all of the above points are very important. However, most people forget about an important branding opportunity; the personal brand. 

Marketing 101 teaches you on the first day of class that everything and anything can be marketed. Your leggings have a brand identity, your sneakers have a brand identity, your business has a brand identity, and you yourself have a brand identity. Let’s take a look at one of the world’s most infamous families: The Kardashian’s. Love them or hate them, you know them. Why? Because they know what it means to create a brand based on who they are as people, hence why they, as well as many other celebrities, are referred to as “TV personalities.” They make millions of dollars from their multiple companies not because of their talent, but because of their brand. Cultivating and creating a personal brand can be extremely important in order to gain a loyal customer base. 

One of the things social media has taught us is that you don’t have to be a celebrity to have a strong personal brand. In fact you’re probably doing it right now.  Do you have that one friend that is just so uptight? Or another friend who’s always wearing designer fashion? Do you know a guy who’s always at the gym? Your personality traits come together and create a memorable impression to your customers, clients and coworkers. This, whether you are intentional about it or not, is your personal brand. 

 Most people in the corporate world try to use their own personal brand as a way to market themselves and their skillsets which brings in more customers which brings in more profit. This can come in all shapes and sizes, but in 2021, there is no better way to promote who you want the world to perceive you as than social media. For example, Dr. Austin Chiang, a professor and gastrointestinal doctor, has found and created his own little world on Tik Tok. You might be thinking, how does a GI doctor and professor find his way to Tik Tok? We aren’t sure, but we also aren’t complaining! With over fourteen million likes and over 416 thousand followers, Dr. Austin educates his audience on medical myths. Not only is it educational, but he also shows off who he is as a person by dancing and poking fun at the society that we live in. If it were not for Tik Tok, I would have never known who he was. He is not my doctor, and he is not from the area. This shows the power of a personal brand and how it helps him in his career. First and foremost, it gives him more press. This increased level of publicity encourages people to reach out to him for their own health needs. Second, it brings in more opportunities for him to make money through other avenues instead of just teaching and being a doctor. Now, because of his social media following, he is qualified enough to advertise products that he believes in on his channel. Companies can pay him to promote their brands. These partnerships not only bring in more money for Dr. Chiang, but they also add more meaning to his personal brand because he can tell people all of the products that can help them with their health issues. Cultivating a personal brand online can increase people’s level of awareness about who you are, what you stand for, and what you sell.  


If you want to grow your career, expand your network, create new opportunities, and make it easier for people to send clients your way, exploring your own personal brand is the way to go. Simply exist as who you are, and your brand is set! Now just take it to Tik Tok if you want your brand to be liked, commented on, and messaged!