From a psychological perspective, stories are a fundamental way in which the brain organises information - in a practical and memorable manner. In other words, we are conditioned to processing stories in a natural way that promotional marketing does not achieve.
The first essential for any start-up is to create your brand from the outset. Sounds obvious but many businesses choose to focus on selling their product or service and worry about the branding later.
So your brand is not a veneer, it is the heart and soul of your business, understood by your clients and prospects in a way that none of your competitors are perceived. Brands should be built from the bottom up, not added to the business as a bolt-on.
When you stand back and think about it, being clear on what you want to achieve and how this fits with the rest of your brand strategy is obvious, but too often ignored in the haste to dive into the design and having something tangible created. Haste in branding is dangerous.
Sales focus leads to a standardised approach like, "we have great quality, service and responsiveness" which may well be true, but it is exactly the same message as every one of your major competitors.
Unilever brand, Dove demonstrates a mini brand identity masterclass in its men's and women's deodorants, with each one perfectly targeted to its audience, yet still maintaining its overall brand identity. Genius.
Your logo is not your brand identity, it is just one element of the package which is a complex mix of brand character, colour palette, font, logo, imagery, attitude and positioning, all of which makes up your full brand identity.