Investigating the Process and Factors Affecting the Branding of Startups in Iran: A Multiple - Case Study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Due to the limited study and research in the field of startup branding, the purpose of this research is to investigate the process and factors affecting brand creation in startups. It seeks to examine the importance of branding startups and their strategies.
This research investigates the branding of 10 Iranian startups in different industries through multiple-case studies and conducting interviews with managers. Data gathered from interviews, organizational documents, and meeting notes were analyzed by the MAXQDA software. Data collection in this research was done using semi-structured interviews, and according to the purpose of this research, i.e. to identify the process and factors affecting branding in startups, an interview protocol was used to provide the possibility of gathering information under the guidance of the researcher. In other words, the interview was designed to provide access to three types of information: 1. background regarding the type and activity of the startups, 2. their views and tendency towards branding, and 3. Their branding activities.
This study confirms some of the findings of previous research. However, new findings are presented in this study. In the brand plan section, the findings of this research almost align with the theory. Theoretical and empirical findings show that brand design dimensions play an important role for startups due to their influence on company communication. In particular, empirical findings show that the logo design and name of a startup can be divided into two groups including internal goals and external goals. Based on the findings of this research, common patterns were observed in the branding process in the form of three themes including brand orientation, brand design, and branding activities. The branding process has various elements that should not be ignored to enhance brand equity. The findings show that branding is important to all startups, and they do take measures to improve it. The findings of this research are also different from the extant literature; activities such as public relations and sponsorship, using social media, and partnering with other companies were studied in this research, while they were not mentioned in earlier studies.
The most prominent features of startup companies are the lack of time, knowledge, capital, and human resources. Therefore, branding seems to be an important factor in the growth of a startup. In this study, it was emphasized that a brand is influenced by its visual dimensions. This study emphasizes the role of public relations and social media, participation in events, and partnerships with other companies, the importance of individuals and their personal brand in the company as branding activities.


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