There are different factors that would affect this. The most important one is how much money you can invest in branding exercises. I’m assuming that when you say “startup,” you mean an organization that is started with little to no capital investment but with some extremely committed founders.

First off, give some thought to what the startup is about. What industry does it belong to? What personality will future employees have? Who are your clients? Who are the people you will be interacting with in your clients’ organizations? More importantly, who are your customers? How do they behave? What is their personality? How do you want them to perceive your startup? Lastly, what is your promise to all these stakeholders?

Once you start addressing these questions, similar ones will pop up. Once all these questions are answered, you will have your basic “identity” in place. If you have friends or know people in the branding world, get their opinion. From what I’ve experienced, people do want to support startups and extend help where they can. The next thing you need to do is create this identity, communicate it, and build it over time. Spend time naming the startup. Sometimes the name will come to you instantly, and it will just fit. Sometimes you might have to give it more thought. Before you finalize the name, get some thoughts on it. In today’s time, I’d even suggest you check the availability of the domain name before finalizing it.

Next, work on delivering your promise to all stakeholders. Your first objective as a startup is to build your company. Work on that. Do not spend time actively thinking about brand building. I’m not saying you ignore it, but if you stick to your original ideals and deliver on every promise, you will build goodwill and your brand will become more visible. Once you have some money to spend, you can think of larger brand-building activities. These again will be specific to your industry and audience. If you are really serious about it at this stage, you might want to consult a firm that specializes in branding. Here too, be careful of who you want to work with.

Create a visual identity: Develop a visual identity that includes elements such as a logo, color palette, and font choices. These elements should be consistent across all of your marketing materials to create a cohesive and professional image. Build a brand voice: Establish a consistent brand voice that reflects the personality and values of your business. This should be reflected in your written and spoken communications, including social media posts and customer interactions. Maintain consistency: Maintain consistency in your branding efforts across all channels and touchpoints to create a cohesive and memorable image for your business.