Why Startups Need a Brand Identity More Than Anything

Every great company out there took the same first steps. A logo, a brand and an identity. And whether you’re reading this from you established corporation or startup and shared office, you have one thing in common with every other company out there. Your company has a logo, a brand an an identity. And if you took place in figuring those three things out, you know there isn’t a more crucial step for a company than the very first one – and that’s figuring out who the hell you are.

Showcasing your company to the public is often a trying time. It’s nerve-wracking really. You don’t know how the public is going to perceive, you, if they will like the name or not, or even if they’ll take to your product and service. Yeah, your friends and family are UBER important to getting feedback, but at the end of the day, the only way you’re really going to know how cold the water is, is by jumping in headfirst.

And that’s what many companies (and politicians) do – they jump right in. Often with the wrong brand, logo and identity. And let’s be honest. Branding & identity work can be some of the most expensive and painful processes out there. Especially if it’s done after the brand has launched successfully.

With that being said, you can take all the time in the world to craft your brand & identity yourself, but 9 times out of ten, you’re far better off turning to an outside source (like an agency) to craft that identity for you. Simply because the people within the company are often ‘in too deep’ to take a fresh look at a company from the outside. That’s why some of the biggest, best brands and companies turn to outside sources to craft their future brand identity and guidelines. Often times, these agencies are small in size, but produce the fresh insight needed to reinvigorate a companies image.

Let’s take a look at some good examples of recent and new logo launches….

  1. Google just launched their new logo a few years back
  2. Sonos expanded it’s logo after it’s first few years of success

And all in all, they were well received by the public. Often noted for their innovative, fresh and thoughtful approach to their companies, services and inclusivity. These logos were also not even remarkably close to anything else out there and were noted for their originality.

And let’s take a short look at some bad branding examples…

  1.  Hillary Clinton’s Forward Campaign Logo wasn’t quite well received by the internet…
  2. Nor was IHop’s brand new scary clown logo…

But when you instantly look at both you can understand why. Despite them both using the same color schemes (not the problem here) these logos were knockoffs of other industries and companies they had nothing to do with. Which shouldn’t have been a problem, except for the fact the internet catches EVERYTHING. That being said, IHop was knocked really hard for being a ‘kid-friendly’ restaurant and having this scary clown logo…some people even went as far as boycotting IHop for some time, but that has since died down.

Hillary Clinton’s logo was somewhat well-received by Democrats, but for the most part, her brand took a big hit over Twitter – and her bad logo was even pitched as being the reason why she lost the election. Could it be true? Some people would say a resounding ‘Yes!’ But the truth will never fully be known. Perhaps if she spent more time on crafting a better logo and identity, some of those articles wouldn’t have even been published. But, that’s besides the point. Your company’s logo, brand and identity is everything at the same time. 


Don’t overlook just how important it is to get your branding right. Whether you’re a service, product or more, you never get the chance for a first impression again, so with every consumer you’re targeting out there, keep in mind you 100% need to have your best foot forward. And that all starts with your logo, brand identity and company guidelines. Don’t be foolish and overlook the available resources out there. The benefits of having an outside resource (like an agency) produce these for you can be paramount to your company’s longevity.

Now, with that said – are you ready to start the conversation with Inphantry?

Having produced more than a dozen brand identity and guidelines for small startups, established clients and more, we’ve got the creative chops to tackle your branding needs. Email us here, or take a peek at our latest work via the button down below.

And as always, follow @inphantry on Twitter for more.