Building a brand for your company is one of the most important things you can do as a marketer.

A brand allows you to differentiate yourself from industry competitors with a unique image, a memorable voice, and an identity that resonates with your target customers. But establishing and launching your own brand from scratch can be difficult—particularly when you're a startup with limited resources.

It can be tempting to rush through the process of market entry and start selling products as quickly as possible, but the way you introduce your company to your customers could have a huge impact on your potential for future sales. After all, you really do have only one chance to make a first impression.

Adopting a forward-thinking mindset, establishing a strategy, and fully prepping your rollout will help take your launch into the success stratosphere. All it takes is a commitment to five simple steps.

Step 1: Start as early as possible

Founding father Benjamin Franklin told us that when we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.

There's a lot more to launching a brand than simply showing off a new logo or telling people that you're open for business. The quicker you get started, the sooner you'll be able to identify potential problems before they damage your company's reputation.

For instance, we all remember the fateful spring morning when Instagram rolled out its brand new logo, sparking a public outcry and leaving the business wondering where it went wrong.

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image of Stewart Hodgson

Stewart Hodgson is a co-founder of Fabrik Brands, a brand strategy and digital design agency based in London.

LinkedIn: Stewart Hodgson