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We are in the age of the startup. Across industries, innovative companies are popping up, disrupting the status quo, and bringing to market a bevy of solutions that inherently make life and business easier. Thinking this globally can be exhausting and funding startups is not inexpensive, so it’s no surprise that a lot of focus is initially placed on securing funding. There is, however, a different kind of capital that startups are in desperate need of in order to maximize their success…brand capital.

More than just a buzzword, branding is an umbrella term that encompasses many touchpoints regarding how your brand communicates itself. The scope of that communication extends far beyond written communication, although that is a part of it. Startups should be developing their identities with as much thought and importance as their business plans. Below, a carefully selected panel of experts share their thoughts on why branding is crucial to the success of startups from first impression to buy-in.


You need to put your best foot forward because first impressions matter.

“Visual branding is messaging which transcends communication barriers such as language – fostering mood, setting tone, and personifying core values. For tech companies just coming into the market, it’s like that first handshake or elevator pitch. An investment and attention to design & branding is a critical component because it’s a window into user experience that can make or break perceptions of what your company has to offer.”

Emma Perez 

Creative Content Specialist, FIU Online

Design is a universal language. Emma is correct in noting that cohesive and clear visuals can break through barriers and help deliver a solid impression of your brand even before you open your mouth. You want for people to know that you’re invested in your own business and that is more likely to come across at first glance if your branding is developed, professional and consistent.


Your startup’s value needs to be communicated and understood.

“The majority of early-stage startup founders struggle with clearly articulating the value that their product or service brings to their customers. A key part of any startup’s go-to-market strategy is their tagline. A great tag line needs to state the value the startup provides in seven words or less, and in a way that even a young child could understand. That will then serve as the pinnacle of all the startup’s messaging and guide the strategy moving forward.”

Miguel Cruz 

CO-Founder & COO, Adcessi

Miguel’s advice in developing a tagline that encapsulates your brand voice and mission in a succinct way is something you should take to heart. It isn’t always the case that a startup’s business plan is evident from just a name and a logo, but a tagline can help clarify what the business does and provides an opportunity to create some differentiation.


You can’t afford to turn people off with a poor image.

“In a visually saturated marketplace, it’s not enough to have a great product or service. As consumers continue taking their purchasing cues from digital trends, an organization also needs dynamic imagery to maximize exposure and generate brand awareness in order to become a successful startup.”

Jose Grondona

Brand Manager, ReThink CBD

Competition within the startup world is fierce. There are many companies vying for attention, venture capital, and market share, and a good amount of them are trying to disrupt established industries with companies that have full marketing budgets and access to quality branding assets. Jose’s advice boils down to this: elevating the look of your brand materials is no longer a nice- to-have, it’s a must-have.


Your story is unique and your audience should know that.

“The importance of branding startups comes back to storytelling. Storytelling effectively is hat is going to differentiate you from the rest. Here are three steps to consider and follow:

– Know your customer base and who you are communicating with

– Be genuine

– Design with sharing in mind


Don’t use a cookie cutter approach, not everyone is your customer.”

Yanyn San Luis

Owner & Founder, The Win Woman

What can help you stand out more than your very own origin story. What drove you to open up your business? What problem were you trying to solve? Why is it important to you? Answering these questions while following Yanyn’s advice will yield an excellent narrative that could help audiences connect with and recall your brand.


You must appear confident, legitimate and trustworthy if you want people to take you seriously.

“Design can be the most impactful of bridges to help new ideas feel real, meaningful and tangible. How do you take the aspirational and make it real? Design can be the first step to building the buy-in and comprehension you desire around a vision or idea that hasn’t yet materialized.”

Alex Buznego

Miami Market Manager, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC

Startup life is not for the faint of heart. But just like you are willing to invest in the best talent or the best equipment, you should also invest in the best way to present yourself which is branding. In order to be profitable, you need to build brand capital in the form of well-designed marketing materials, or a pitch deck optimized to engage potential investors with a powerful narrative and clear-to-understand, impactful data. It is this attention to detail that will imply to your startup audience that you are serious, trustworthy, and primed for success.