• Complete design of the pedestrian bridge • Open the Sports and Events Center, host thousands of visitors each week • Continue development of University Center: hotel, apartments, student housing, more • Launch new projects: The Exchange, The Link, Engage@Knowledge Park, The Thread, Oakland Auto • Initiate Impact York County community needs assessment • “The Clinton Connection”: support growth on the south side, including efforts to attract a grocery store • Adoption of an affordable housing policy by City Council; enter into agreements for at least 30 new affordable units • Launch KnowledgeParkWorks.com as a resource for training and careers • BELL: training and mentoring of 25 individuals • X-Prize: support the growth of African-American-owned businesses • Expand Venture Mentoring System to serve more entrepreneurs • Select an artist and complete designs and funding for the Bleachery Heritage Project • Implement a public mural program
• Successful launch of MyRide bus system • Continued leasing and development at University Center • Developers and plans for The Herald, Good Motors, Towncenter, Springs Creative sites • Completion of 12 new single family homes in the Arcade neighborhood • New focus on affordable housing by City Council • Selection of Rock Hill as an All-America city • Opportunity Zone Lunch and Learn, prospectus, other focus • Second billboard campaign for JobsRockHill.com • BELL and the focus it has brought to creating opportunity in lower income neighborhoods • First ever Community Workforce Summit • Successful launch of Venture Mentoring System • $75,000 grant secured for Bleachery Heritage Project • Innovation by Making Things Competition – in partnership with 3D Systems • Knowledge Park Block Party – October 10 • Opportunity Zone Summit – October 25
With the way things are at the moment, startups in almost every industry have huge chances of succeeding. The reason behind it is that they are considered to be innovators and often offer unique solutions which is exactly what consumers are looking for. However, that doesn’t seem to be enough. In the world of a competitive craze, it’s also critical that you develop a powerful brand. If you’re wondering why, here are five reasons why branding is crucial for startup success. Gives your business a unique identity This one may seem a bit obvious but it’s important to stress out just how much branding helps when it comes to creating an identity for your business. Fail to come up with a catchy business name and design a memorable logo and chances are other companies will simply do much better than you. On the other hand, if you manage to design a strong brand for your business, you’ll be able to highlight your points and tell consumers what is it that makes your business stand out . Helps you stay in the market How often do we hear stories about startups that got off to an amazing start but ended up shutting down after a few years? One of the biggest reasons why this happens is that startups fail to develop brands like large corporations do. Without a well-designed brand, consumers don’t have anything to create an emotional connection with and have no reason to come back. Not to mention that you can’t possibly stand out on the web and social media if there’s nothing that makes your business truly unique. Builds trust One of the key things you need to do is show consumers that you’re a leading expert at what you do. While offering a quality product is a must, it’s not enough to get the job done as you also need a memorable brand. Think of it this way – you’ve sprained your ankle and you need a product that’ll help it heal. Do you pick a cheap unbranded ointment or something made by a brand everyone knows about? For startups, it’s enough to build a brand everyone on the local level trusts. For example, you can find experts who can help you build a brand strategy in Melbourne and start working with them. Increases visibility There’s nothing more important to new businesses than gaining visibility. The more visible your startup is, the more opportunities you’ll get to achieve your company’s aspirations. This is another reason why branding matters as it brings you into the light and makes it easier for consumers to recognize you. Just think about it – many companies make running shoes but people only think of Nike because of how powerful their brand is. Just like Nike and other companies do, you should make your brand a medium for explaining your core values and describing your methods. Boosts your social media efforts According to reports, 71 percent of consumers claim they’ll recommend a brand to their friends and family if they enjoy interacting with it on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter aren’t only reserved for the big names in the business world. Even if you want your business to get recognized on a local level, being on social media is a must. To have your social media efforts pay off, you also need a good branding strategy as these platforms are all about visual and tones or voices. The bottom line Unless you want to join startup owners whose companies failed after a few years, investing in your brand is a no-brainer. Get the job done right and soon you’ll be able to compete with companies that have been out there for years.