If you’re in the startup space, you know all too well about the importance of the Minimum Viable Product… aka, the MVP. But even if you’ve created that product and refined it to the point that you’re confident in finding product market fit, that’s not enough to guarantee success. A startup can have the best product in the world, but if they’ve neglected the importance of having a strong identity, messaging, and digital presence, they’re going to have a tough time attracting investors and connecting with customers. That’s why we believe so strongly in the lesser known — but majorly important – counterpart to the MVP, which is the Minimum Viable Brand, or what we lovingly call, the MVB.

What is the Minimum Viable Brand?

The MVB is one of our favorite branding and marketing approaches geared specifically toward startups. The idea is simple (but genius!): to create a consistent, foundational brand that can be refined and scaled over time. The concept goes hand in hand with the MVP in that it allows startups to quickly and efficiently launch their businesses without blowing up their budget or timeline to make it happen.

Who would benefit from an MVB?

At Brands X Humans, we believe there are two types of startups for which the MVB isn’t just something they could benefit from — it’s imperative to their success.

Pre-launch, pre-revenue startups

A Minimum Viable Brand allows pre-launch and pre-revenue startups to create a strong brand identity that resonates with potential investors and future customers. By starting with a core set of values, competitive positioning analysis, brand messaging guidelines, and a visual identity, startups can create a focused brand that communicates who they are and what they stand for — without sinking untold amounts of time and money they simply don’t have… yet!

Early-stage startups

Maybe you’ve launched with your MVP, but you’re not getting the traction, interest, or investments you need to get to the next level. This might be because your business lacks a foundational, identifiable brand for investors and customers to connect to — or, if you have a brand, it may need a pivot. For early-stage startups, the MVB can help businesses establish themselves in a crowded marketplace, build trust and credibility, differentiate themselves from the competition, and get set up for long-term success.

See How We Can Scale-up Your Startup

Fractional Marketing Team: Access fractional CMOs + freelancers specializing in startups

Startup Marketing Audit: Uncover gaps and opportunities to smash your goals

Minimum Viable Brand: Get a fast-tracked cohesive brand built from the ground up

Branding & Messaging Packages: Dial in your look and feel to tell your brand’s authentic story

Why is a Minimum Viable Brand important?

A strong brand is critical to the success of any business, especially for startups. Your brand is the first impression that potential investors and customers have of your company, and it sets the tone for all future interactions. Building a strong brand can help you stand out in a crowded market, stick in the minds of investors, build trust with consumers, and create a loyal customer base. However, building a strong brand takes time and resources that many startups do not have. This is where the MVB comes in.

The MVB allows startups to launch their business with a brand that is aligned with their core values and personality — even on a tight budget and accelerated timeline. It also allows startups to gather feedback from their target audience and refine their brand identity over time, ensuring their brand remains relevant and resonates with their customers as they grow.

What does a Minimum Viable Brand entail?

Building an MVB requires startups to focus on the core elements of their brand identity, messaging, and digital presence. This can include:

  • Brand foundation, including purpose, mission, vision, values, tagline, trueline, value propositions, user personas, and messaging guidelines
  • Visual identity — logos, colors, typography, and image guidelines
  • An attractive, straightforward website, complete with strong messaging hooks, a clear explanation of the product/service offered, and clear calls to actions on how to get in touch

At Brands X Humans, we’re all about utilizing proven methods and taking a collaborative approach to guide founders on developing a blueprint for their startup. Typically, this entails an initial consult with a startup to determine their goals, needs, and aspirations for future growth. From there, we use our unique frameworks to ideate, create, and refine a startup’s MVB so that it’s ready to launch in 90 days.

Want to learn more about how we do it? Schedule a consultation with us 📱

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About the Author: Jenny Farias

Meet Jenny — the founder and brand-alchemist-at-large here at BxH. She's an award-winning marketer and speaker dedicated to helping founders turn their unicorn dreams into reality. When she's not crushing it at work, you can find her jet-setting across the globe, supporting fellow female founders (hello, gWen!), or hitting up Charlotte's vibrant entrepreneurial scene with her boyfriend, Ben (#BenTheGem). Wherever she goes, Jenny brings her infectious energy and can-do attitude to the table — preferably alongside a spicy margarita.

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