CuCo know that, particularly for first-time entrepreneurs, starting a company from nothing is a daunting prospect. It requires bravery. Inspiration. Drive.
Wouldn’t it feel less scary if you had a brand with heritage already behind you?
But can a start-up ever have heritage? It seems like an oxymoron.
Amazingly, it is possible.
Let us explain.
With brand heritage comes brand equity. As a start-up, creating heritage right from the outset is one of the best strategic moves you can make for your new company.
But of course you can’t suddenly magic up a few hundred years of history your new company simply doesn’t have – but there are things you can do!
Firstly, you can start with using your own, personal background to build a story for your business. A heritage brand is one that is trusted, respected and liked. So it’s time to dig deep. Tell people about your own story. How did you start? What are your intentions for the company? What are your wider values? Innocent are a great example of this. Part of what people buy into when they buy into heritage brands is the story. Start by defining yours. Then tell it in a way that feels authentic.
It’s tempting as a start-up to treat your brand a ‘revolution,’ but if you want heritage, your concept has to be an ‘evolution’. Your new business must build on your own expertise and experience. Experience is a key part of why consumers buy into heritage brands. This will help give your new brand substance and ensure you win and build trust between you and your customers without the need for decades (or even centuries!) of company history.
Heritage is a long-term marketing strategy. But ultimately it pays off. Thanks to a whole host of existing heritage brands, heritage is associated in the minds of consumers with a whole array of highly desirable brand traits, including quality, luxury and strong values. It allows your customer to feel part of something bigger. Which ultimately, is one of the main motivations for consumer purchase today, often judged by consumers more important than factors like price-point and product quality.
Skincare Entrepreneur Liz Earle is quoted as saying: “The key to building loyalty over decades is living up to your brand principles and not mining the latest fad”.
And she’s absolutely right. As a start-up your MUST hold true to your brand principles when faced with important brand-defining decisions from the type of packaging you use, to the messages you distribute on your social media channels. Trust drives loyalty, so never take your customers loyalty for granted, and always stick by your founding principles.
Ultimately maintaining a brand’s heritage is just as important as creating it. Don’t just look back – heritage brands also know where their brand is going. Your heritage is an invaluable guide to help define and navigate the future path of your company. So even as a start-up, you must always think – heritage first.
CuCo are a creative branding and marketing agency based in Bournemouth Dorset.