Lifestyle Tips

5 brands all start-ups could learn from

If you’re new to running a business, don’t reinvent the wheel. You can find all the best advice on articles like the ones on Salesforce, or similar, and you can learn how to expand your business too. But what better way than to learn from the most successful brands – and apply their lessons to your own start-up? Here are five brands to get you started:

1. Amazon

If there’s one thing Amazon does well, it’s customer service. If you’re just starting out, you should follow their lead and make this a priority.

Customer retention is key – whether you’re just starting out, or have been around for as long as Amazon have. Each member of staff at Amazon (including the CEO) spends a minimum of two days each year working for the service desk. This ensures all members of staff understand how important the customer service function is, making sure this resonates in everything they do across the business.


2. Virgin

It’s impossible to think about Virgin without thinking about their leader, Richard Branson. His name is synonymous with the brand, which has grown to dizzying heights since it was founded in February 1970.

Not only is Richard Branson incredibly likeable, but he’s also an inspirational leader. He’s employed thousands of people throughout the years – and is known for treating each of them well – encouraging them to be part of the brand and add value wherever they can.

Creating a positive company culture has always been a priority for Richard Branson. In his mind, this starts with the staff. He has never been afraid to break the rules, and is known to take risks when he thinks it can benefit the business.

If you want to replicate Richard Branson’s success, put yourself front and centre. Take responsibility for your brand, but hire people you can depend on to get the job done on your behalf. Work hard to inspire your employees, and they will be as committed to the business as you are.


3. Coca Cola

There isn’t a more recognisable brand than Coca-Cola.

Everything they’ve created is instantly recognisable. Their logotype hasn’t changed for 70+ years and the colour red and distinctive bottle shape are known the world over. Every Christmas, consumers eagerly await Coca Cola’s “holidays are coming advert” – and even flock to see the Coca Cola truck in the flesh. And we all remember the holiday polar bears.

While their competitors rebrand and overhaul their look and feel, Coca Cola’s commitment to consistency has built trust and a fondness with the consumer unlike any other.


4. Apple

The IT market is very competitive, with many brands fighting in the mid to low end of the market. Apple has steered clear of that model – with incredible success in doing so.

Apple has firmly established itself as a luxury brand and its products have always commanded a premium price point. Rather than using discounts to attract customers, Apple focuses on brand appeal, desirability and on the customers experience with the products to keep their pricing, and their margins, high.

What can you focus on to command a higher price for your brand’s products and avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ with your competitors?

5. Taco Bell

It’s hard to ignore social media when thinking about how you’re going to get your start-up off the ground. If you want to learn how to do this right – and not blend into a sea of faceless businesses – look no further than Taco Bell.

They have worked hard to create a brand with personality, putting their customers at the heart of their strategy. They have a unique brand voice and aren’t afraid to use controversy and humour to get people’s attention.

This can be a fine line to tow. You want to take calculated risks and be a little unconventional in your approach but without the potential to cause offence, which can see your brand reputation plummet in seconds.

If you want to follow Taco Bell’s lead, prioritise the hiring of your marketing team – looking at their past successes to ensure they fit with the brand image you’d like to create online.