when to invest in branding for your biotech company

This article originally appeared on Forbes

By: Jill Collins, CEO

The importance of branding in the biotech industry cannot be overstated. Not paying attention to this early can hamper your ability to advance your science and constrain revenue-generation options for your company. But by investing time into building a strong brand, you can build market share, resonate with your target audiences and attract the attention of potential investors.

There are specific times when a focus on branding is critical. One of special importance is when a startup is seeking funding or acquisition. Having a strong brand allows you to succinctly communicate your mission and why it matters. Being able to present your company’s value in an impactful way is required for investors to understand and act on your investment opportunity.

For well-established companies, rebranding is an important way to signal a new direction or inject new life into the business. A well-executed rebrand can help a company tap into new markets and reach new customers. In the ever-changing world of biotech, branding matters now more than ever. Companies that invest in creating a strong brand will be well positioned to succeed in the years to come.

It’s important to consider the long-term benefits of investing in your company’s identity. Here are four key times when branding can make a big difference for your biotech company:

When You Are Preparing For An IPO

High-quality marketing is critical when preparing for an IPO. This is a major event when a large financial audience will determine whether your company is worth investing in. Strong branding can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract attention from potential investors. You will need to convey your company’s value clearly and have branding and assets that match your worth. Your website is typically the first resource potential investors will access to learn about your company. So, it’s critical that your website conveys your brand strategy with solid messaging and compelling creatives.

When There’s A Strategic Shift

Several clients have come to us as they face a significant change in their business, such as shifting focus to a new clinical area. Investing in branding can help communicate the new direction to employees, customers and other key stakeholders. This could be a merger or acquisition requiring repositioning of the brand to reflect its new identity or direction. This is a critical time to update your website, social media channels and marketing collateral to ensure that all of these are aligned with your new strategy.

When You’re Preparing For A Major Launch Or Announcement

In these circumstances, it’s important that everything you communicate — from your press releases to your event presentation — is consistent, follows your brand strategy and supports your overall positioning. A well-crafted brand can generate excitement and build anticipation for your product or service. This effort will create a 360-degree experience that reinforces your message and drives awareness.

When You’re Anticipating An Acquisition

If you’re looking to sell your company, your brand must be attractive to potential buyers. Investing in your brand strategy can help to differentiate your company and products from the competition and make your company more appealing and valuable.

A well-crafted and executed brand can make all the difference in decision-making for both investors and customers. In an industry where there is often little differentiation in terms of technology and products, a strong brand can be the deciding factor.

Even if technical specifications are similar between products, branding is the key that differentiates them. It can instill positive associations and attributes that make customers and investors lean toward one brand over another. In addition to communicating the benefits of your product, it’s important to convey how your product resonates on an emotional level with stakeholders and addresses their needs. Creating a strong emotional bond with your audiences will position your products and company above the competition. Using imagery and terminology that’s familiar will also help to fulfill this need.

And it’s not just about perception — a strong brand can have a major impact on the bottom line. If your messaging resonates with your target audience and your creative is compelling, you can convert with fewer customer touchpoints. That’s a cost-saving in your marketing and sales efforts.

Additionally, a strong brand can build and maintain customer loyalty. If you continue to reinforce and deliver upon your positive and strong brand message, your loyal customers are more likely to continue with you.

Biotech companies that consistently focus on and reinforce their branding will always have the advantage to succeed in the long term. Branding is a key factor that enables biotech companies to attract major investors, build a strong market share and establish their position as leaders in their respective fields.