Strong branding helps startups succeed

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Small businesses usually start with a solid product idea. But proper branding will help the company stick around long after it launches.

“If you can build a powerful brand, you will have a powerful marketing program,” says Laura Ries, president of the Atlanta-based Ries & Ries marketing firm. “If you can’t, then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotions and PR in the world won’t help you succeed.”

Branding involves all aspects of a company, from its name, logo and website to all of its marketing materials. This helps create a complete impression of the company and sets it apart from all of the competition.

Companies should plan to have their brand around for a long period of time, so entrepreneurs should avoid choosing something that relies on trends that might soon become outdated.

To help reduce confusion, it’s also necessary for entrepreneurs to maintain a consistent brand image for everything their companies put out. To help in that respect, BusinessWeek blogger Andrea Naddaff suggested that companies choose someone to oversee all of their advertising and marketing materials to ensure consistency.