Why branding is important for your FMCG start-up

Why getting it right from the start is key to success

As a branding design studio, we help businesses create and establish their brands, so over the years we have seen and helped channel what makes a good brand sell. We wanted to highlight some of the key reasons why branding is important for your success.

Branding is one of those words that are chucked around a lot in conversation, but surprisingly a lot of young businesses are unaware of the power strong branding can have for your business. When there are more brands coming out in the market than ever, it's even more important to distil what makes you different from your competitors and shout it from the rooftops. That is what good branding does - it's like having a neon sign that says, "Oi you! Over here! We're awesome!"

Have you ever seen a company with a bad packaging design and thought, "Erm, what is this?" By the time you’ve worked it out you could have graduated with a degree in communications. Unfortunately, shoppers don’t purchase like that. They do not have the time to decipher what makes you unique. Especially when the brand next to yours is super clear in its approach. That's why branding is essential to working out what it is you want to say and to who. It's like showing up to a first date in your pyjamas with a CEO of a bank asking them to marry you…awkward.
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Studiounbound Packaging Branding

What are the benefits of a strong brand?

Branding not only helps create loyalty with your audience but it makes you unforgettable. Think about it. When I ask you to think of a fizzy soft drink…did coca cola come to mind? What if I asked you to name 7 brands of chewing gum? It’s difficult to get past 4 isn’t it? Most categories in the average consumer's mind only consist of 3 or 4 brands. So, how are you going to replace one of those top 4. You've got to build an emotional connection with your brand, something that keeps you coming back for more. It's like having a best friend who always makes you laugh. You just can't get enough of them.

The one key aspect of branding is that it helps you differentiate yourself from the competition. And by doing so branding can also help you charge a premium price for your products. Think about luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Gucci. People are willing to pay top dollar for their products because they perceive them as being high-quality and exclusive. By building a strong brand reputation and creating an emotional connection with your customers, you can charge a higher price for your offerings and still maintain a loyal customer base.

Building trust is a key component of branding too. When you have a cohesive and consistent brand identity across all your touchpoints (website, social media, packaging, etc.), you're telling your customers that you're a professional and trustworthy business. This is especially important for start-ups who are still building their reputation in the market.

Just like Duracell, the power of a strong brand doesn’t stop there. When you have a strong brand identity and reputation, you're more likely to attract talented individuals who are passionate about your mission and values. Like attracts like. This can be a huge asset for start-ups as your first 10 hires can be the reason why your brand gets huge and you have Unilever knocking on your door with a suitcase of money asking how much do you want for it?
Here are some real-life examples of successful branding in the FMCG and food industry that got it right quite early on:

Innocent Drinks:
Yes, we all know them for their playful, light-hearted messaging. If I had £1 for every time a new brand had asked me ‘we want to sound like innocent’…but this worked for them as it further highlighted their product benefits of being natural, healthy ingredients and being environmentally friendly. Creating a human connection with their audience. And boy did it pay off – they gained so much attention that Coca-Cola couldn’t help but get the cheque book out.

If you're a snacker like us, you'll love Graze's branding. Their packaging uses raw materials like kraft paper, which sub consciously tells consumers that these snacks are raw, with nothing processed. A clever way of getting across your products USP that Unilever wasn’t letting go and purchased the company in 2019.

Popcorn Shed:
Popcorn Shed's branding and bold, eye-catching packaging allows consumers to know that their products are playful and are focused on enjoyment. Their witty packaging helps them stand out from the crowd and had buyers asking to stock their products even before they had tasted them.
Branding Sustainability Packaging Popcornshed
Branding Sustainability Packaging 09

How to create a brand for your business?

But how do you take your branding to the next step - heck, where do you even start?

Here are our top tips on how to create a killer brand for your start-up, micro or small business:

Know your audience:
This is like dating. You wouldn't go out with someone who has nothing in common with you, right? The same goes for your audience. Get to know them, understand their needs and preferences, and create a brand that resonates with them.

Be authentic:
Don't try to be something you're not. Your audience will see through it faster than you can say "fake news". Be true to your company's values and personality.

Invest in design:
This is not the time to be cheap. Invest in a professional designer who can create a visually appealing and cohesive brand. Trust us; it's worth it. But we realise that not everyone has the budget to invest from Day 1, so until then keep the brand simple with a clear message and avoid looking like any of your competitors.

Be patient:
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a strong brand. Building awareness and loyalty takes time, so don't expect overnight success. Keep at it and be patient. Learn and adapt along the way.

Branding is essential to the success of your start-up business. It helps you stand out, build trust and loyalty, and create an emotional connection with your audience. So go forth and create a brand that makes you and your customers smile.

Need help with creating your brand? Say hello to Studio Unbound.