Professional Design Checklist for Startups in UK and Europe 2018
When it comes to building a startup, there’re specific tasks such as developing financial projections, getting supplier credit, conducting the market survey, hiring the staff, and finding an office space, just to name a few. Put simply, everything depends on assumption initially – from financials and customers to the go-to-market strategy and more. Perhaps the only thing you can surely do is branding your business in an immaculate manner. When it comes to branding your startup, the design is one of the most important aspects to be considered. It’s the replica of your brand that you put first in front of the world. Impressions and perceptions are formed within seconds based on your company’s design and branding. Here’s a comprehensive design checklist for startups to stay on the right track and attain success in your endeavor.
Signage is the most useful yet simple way of advertising your startup to the public. They cater to a multitude of purposes – from spreading the word about your business, letting the world know about your products or services to exhibiting your physical as well as online address. You can also put them up in different locations to promote your startup and encourage onlookers to check out your offerings. Ideally, you should focus on creating signs for indoor spaces (inside your workplace), outdoor spaces (outside the office or right at the entrance) and those designed to be displayed at professional gatherings like trade shows, marketing events etc.
Getting a professionally designed logo that mirrors the vision and mission of your brand is another key aspect that needs to be accomplished first. A thoughtfully designed logo not only communicates the word about your startup but helps your business to stand out from the competitors as well. It makes your business appear professional and established and persuades consumers to trust and engage with it.
In today’s digital realm, a strong web presence has become extremely important for any business. The internet is being used by people from every walk of life and is the first place they turn to for getting information about a business. A professionally designed website not only helps to convert prospective leads but attracts new customers as well. Hence, it’s considered as one of the most effective marketing tools for your business, regardless of its size or type. Ideally, your website should be able to convey comprehensive information about your products or services and clearly exhibit your contact details. Even if your website contains 1 or 2 pages, you should consider designing it professionally. Remember to consider your brand’s aesthetics when creating other web elements for your business such as partner sites, landing pages, sponsor sites etc. Newsletters and company emails need to communicate your business’s vision and mission as well.
Business cards and stationery
Despite the ubiquitous presence of the internet, business cards are still considered relevant for various reasons. They bear a personal touch, unlike sharing your contact information over the web. They’re quite inexpensive and yet, a highly effective direct marketing tool for face-to-face meetings. They also demonstrate how much you’re prepared and serious about your startup. A beautifully designed business card can leave a long lasting impression of your business among your connections and prospects. Stationeries such as letterheads, invoices, stamps should also have your brand’s logo and name to spread the word about your startup.
It’s the process of attracting traffic to your website by offering them informational and valuable content and establishing yourself as one of the thought leaders in your domain. This crucial marketing step is being widely used by almost every business, regardless of its size or type. Content marketing depends on several elements such as e-books, social media profiles, blogs, and infographics, among others. Whatever form(s) you choose for your content marketing material, remember to keep the design aesthetic in mind. Simple elements like social media profile photos and blog headers or footers can greatly help you reach out to a bigger audience.
Sometimes, in an effort to establish your brand and spread the word about it, you may need to use tools to increase your conversion rate. These items may include a brochure, a menu, a postcard, a product catalog, or a sales presentation, among others. Regardless of what your business needs to serve the purpose best, they should convey your story clearly and have a differentiating factor as well. Remember that these also highly impact customer trust and perceptions and hence, these items must be on the same page with all your other branding vehicles.
Internal marketing collateral
You don’t just want the outsiders to know about your vision and mission or what products or services you offer – you want your employees to be well-versed about them as well. When it comes to the items consumed by your employees, they’re equally important. They may heavily differ – from guidelines, posters, memos to reports, handbooks and everything in between. These internal marketing materials should be designed beautifully and thoughtfully. Just as the marketing collateral aids customers to develop trust in your startup, creative internal marketing collateral can also offer your employees a sense of pride and confidence. When team members become devoted to your brand identity, they make excellent brand ambassadors to the outsiders.
Offering merchandises is another good way of advertising your startup. Company merchandises such as t-shirts, toys, stickers or other physical products should be created with attractive design, which should also match your company aesthetics. Whatever product you choose, remember to create it with your brand’s name or logo.
Social media presence
Social media has become an extremely advantageous way to drive traffic to your website, promote your products or services, build relationships, generate leads, communicate important information, provide customer service, and increase brand awareness, just to name a few. Put simply, it has the ability to legitimize your business. Consider focusing on things such as profile images, banners, infographics and headers to create a robust and engaging social media presence. Remember to make these elements consistent with your other branding equipment to create a long-lasting impression.
If your startup sells physical products, packaging will likely be needed. A thoughtful and attractive packaging design is capable of communicating the purpose of your brand effectively and also demonstrates how much you value your customers. It can potentially boost the bottom-line of your startup by exhibiting quality and improving the consumer experience.
Email is a great way to increase customer engagement. It keeps the subscribers informed about your business’s news, special offers, promotions, new product or service launches, among others – all in a cost-effective way. You should consider incorporating an email signup form into your website to develop your subscriber list. Focus on designing welcome emails to new subscribers and create a professionally designed template for periodic newsletters. Remember to keep the deliveries consistent to keep your startup firmly etched in the minds of your recipients.
Obviously, there’s a lot of work to do when you’re building a business. But this design checklist should help you keep them manageable while ensuring you’ve covered the bases early on, and put your business in the best possible position. By laying the foundation properly and ahead of time, you can start your new endeavor with confidence. Remember, it’s necessary to manage all these steps at once. So, take the needed time and build your startup with care instead of hurrying and neglecting some of these key steps.