Over it focused on the delivery of value

Over past few years, start-up has been becoming a
trend in building new venture business in Southeast Asian countries. The term “start-up” has been frequently discussed
to describe a company designed to scale quickly (Graham, 2012, online). Fundamentally,
managing start-ups are entirely different from managing corporate companies as
corporate companies are form in a structured organization that have a secure
financial sustainable position
in a local market and it focused
on the delivery of value to known consumers while start-ups are endowed on new
technology or take venture funding and it usually focus on growth (Graham,
2012, online).

 

Compass, a San Francisco-based research firm has
ranked the top20 potential global start-ups ecosystems and surprisingly
Malaysia is a runner up in Compass report (Henry, 2015, online). Many
entrepreneurs believe that Malaysia is one of the good places to grow start-ups
globally due to its multi-racial and multi-cultural diversity. In fact, a
start-up begins everything from zero; thus, everything has to be planned and
decided such as business plan outline, future vision, marketing strategies as
well as branding. However, many start-ups only focus on marketing their
innovative product or service and have a lack of awareness about the importance
of applying graphic design elements into the process of their business
branding.

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Technically speaking, branding has been around for
centuries as a tool for the owner to mark their animal to differentiate them
from those of another as the word brand is extracted from the Old Norse word brandr, which means “to burn” (Keller, 2013, p30).  Throughout
the history of branding, a
brand is now not just a name, sign, symbol or a combination of them; it is more
about making a certain promise and delivering the idea to the consumers (AMA,
2007, online). Although it might seem easy to build a brand, in fact, it still
requires a certain amount of effort on building the awareness, reputation,
prominence and etc. precisely for start-ups as a good branding will helps
companies position themselves strategically for the future and also to compete
with their competitors in the market.

 

According to Stan Bogdashin (2016), there are 8 out of
10 entrepreneurs believes that graphic design is equal to branding. Essentially,
graphic design is one of the element in branding but it took an important part
in the branding process because branding is more about the process of building
up a meaning to certain products or services by shaping a brand in consumer’s
minds while graphic design can be interpret as an art of visual communication that comes in fonts, shapes,
images and colors (Miller, 2017, online). It is commonly applied into brand
identity, logo, social media, advertisement, and etc.. In other words, graphic design is like a beauty tool to enhances the
brand and transform it into visual medium to attract consumers. Although the
brand itself can be simply influenced by the products, services or customer
experiences, but applying graphic design into start up branding appropriately
can also give an upgrade to the brand.

 

The purpose of this study is to find and show the
appropriateness and effectiveness of applying graphic design in Malaysian
start-ups branding. This study is divided into five chapters. The first part
gives an overview of Malaysian start-ups business, general image for branding
and the role of graphic design in branding. Theories on start-ups branding, as
well as description of graphic design in branding will be presented in theory
chapter in order to further understand the phenomenon in chapter 3. In chapter
3, this study will feature three case studies, ChristyNg Shoes, a local shoes
designer start-up, BloomThis, a florist start-up that runs by a husband and
wife, and Easylaw, a legal tech start-up that newly established in 2017. The
following chapter continues with an overview of the results. Conclusion falls
into the last chapter, connections between results and existing literature are
made using comments and discussion.