Let's start 2024 with power, leaving aside chit-chat and embracing a hands-on approach to grow your tech startup strategically and effectively: everything you need to know if you are planning to (re)brand your company this year.
What does the year hold for the tech sector?
Rise of AI, horizontally and vertically
The tech outlook for 2024 is characterized by the gold rush of AI. This is not only reflected in the growing investment for AI startups with $15M median Series A funding but also in the rise of automated tasks across a broad range of industries. The CAGR of generative AI-based software is expected to be 69% by 2032. While AI startups can leverage this to reach the next stage, the AI market is already quite competitive. A powerful brand that communicates the value of the solution is fundamental to attracting funding and users and keeping up with the fast-paced AI environment.
Higher demand for cybersecurity solutions
Another trend that seems to be a double-edged sword is the rise of cybersecurity. On the one hand, companies and institutions need to prepare themselves for more cyberattacks; 55% of enterprises are expected to optimize their cybersecurity systems.1 On the other hand, cybersecurity startups will therefore see an increase in demand and funding opportunities.
Increasing number of mergers and acquisitions
Inflation is expected to go down, in line with interest rates. This is supposed to boost equity valuations of companies, making mergers and acquisitions (M&A) more likely. Also, with a lower chance of a recession, big companies are likely to speed up their acquisitions not only in cybersecurity, but also in areas like Fintech/Insurtech, Cloud Computing, and SaaS. Consequently, company hierarchies will change- in the context of branding, we therefore expect to see a higher demand for rebranding.
What should startups focus on?
A study by Brandemia revealed three pillars that should be the focus of tech companies in 2024: crafting an exceptional user experience, a clever brand strategy, and an appealing visual identity. 66% of respondents emphasize the importance of user experience, closely followed by strategy, with 64% of votes. 42% highlighted the critical role of designing a visual identity that differentiates a startup from competitors, is in line with the overall brand personality, and creates consistency on a visual level.2
Not only the visual part of a brand was considered highly important, 37% of respondents put emphasis on a tech company's tone of voice and 40% consider brand architecture of high importance.2 Thus, strategic branding with a holistic approach including strategy, visual, and verbal identity is key to offering a great user experience and reaching startup growth.
With the rise of AI, it has also entered the branding sector. As discussed in our blog series on the impact of AI on web design, focusing on AI-generated content for websites can lead to a lack of uniqueness in terms of layout, wording, and visuals, potentially affecting how a brand is perceived. The same applies to the whole branding process: tech startups need to be authentic and offer a personalized experience that establishes a profound emotional connection with their audience: therefore, the human element will regain importance in content creation 2024.3
What is important for branding a tech startup in 2024?
In 2024, the prevalent branding focus will be on clean design and on offering a premium user experience. Also, incorporating a human touch into technology and leveraging motion design will be highly important to create a successful brand. Across websites, user interfaces, and other brand touchpoints, these trends come together. This is what you should consider when (re)branding your tech company:
When it comes to the visual identity of tech startups, simplicity and minimalism take the lead this year, highlighting a clean and orderly design approach. It is expected that simpler and more organic visual elements will prevail, moving away from visual excess and focusing on flexibility and adaptability.
Therefore, each visual element on your website or platform should serve a purpose, steering clear of information overload and enabling users to focus on your solution. Also, minimalist visual elements add sophistication to your brand while conveying your startup’s core values effectively. The outcome is a brand identity that is timeless enough to accompany your startup on its way to business success and flexible enough to adapt to current needs.
How do you reach cleanliness on a visual level?
- Strategically incorporate white space. It contributes to readability, reduces eye strain, and creates a sense of organization, making the overall design more visually pleasing. In the web design for Andluca, a Cleantech startup, we incorporated white space strategically to give the content enough room to breath.
- Use sans-serif typography for texts. On your web and for UI, stick to sans-serif fonts: they are easy to read and also versatile.
Miqui Troncoso, Brand Designer at The Branx, points out:
White space isn't as white as it seems to be. Crucial for visual design, it doesn't only add depth but also makes the design more accessible and guides the users through the page. White space is more than a trend, it's a must.
Make it personal, make it human
Although technology is the driving force behind tech startups, the dichotomy between humanity and technology is a widely discussed trend in 2024. Products and services of Fintechs, Deep techs, AI techs, and other SaaS startups are often intangible; striking a balance between innovation and a people-centric storytelling approach is crucial. Establishing an emotional connection with the user becomes crucial for nurturing long-term relationships. After all, in the world of bits and codes, the human touch remains indispensable.
How do you connect with users via your web?
- Leverage videos for your above-the-fold section, ideally showing real imagery—just as you can see above in the hero section of the Sustainability startup Vivici's website. The video capture users' attention and enables them to immerse themselves in the startup.
- Focus on your users. Instead of deep tech talk on your homepage, highlight the user benefits. Address the reader directly and avoid long sentences, using active over passive voice. For product details, create a solution or product page—this is the place where they will find details on implementation, features, etc.
- Keep your storytelling consistent and neat. Starting from the brand name and its origin to the logotype, other visual elements, and motion design: connect each element of your branding to create a strong brand personality that appeals to users.
- Incorporate diversity. Next to sustainability, diversity and inclusion will be one of the most discussed topics in 2024, following the trend of last year. Consumers are looking to support businesses that align with their values; therefore startups will need to reflect the diversity of their customers in their branding. Also, while for SaaS products it is difficult to promote sustainability, their websites can be eco-friendly indeed, meaning that the amount of energy a website consumes is minimized. In our web development process, we achieve this by reducing image sizes for instance: this also increases website speed, providing a better user experience.
Master the art of movement
Whilst maintaining simplicity and clean design is a top priority in 2024 startup branding, motion design will also be shaping brand identities.4 Already noticeable during last year, our motion design team has been seeing an increase in the use of subtle animations and videos for tech startups.
Rafael Trujillo, Motion Designer at The Branx, points out:
Motion design has established itself in our digital environment, catering to both industry professionals and users. By animating various elements, we breathe soul, personality, and charisma into design. What was Pinocchio before the Blue Fairy gave him life? A simple, though beautiful, puppet.
By leveraging motion graphics and design, especially SaaS startups can add explainability to their solution, making it more tangible: the below video for the Deep tech startup Zero-True demonstrates this effect. This not only imparts personality and humanity to the brand but also bridges the gap, bringing it closer to users.
Where it all comes together: Optimizing user experience
All of this comes together to create an exceptional user experience across all brand touchpoints. Prioritizing user experience is vital to ensure positive interactions at every stage, from the initial engagement with your startup to the conversion. Fuel your brand with life while keeping consistency and clear design. By combining these pillars with a strong brand strategy, your tech startup is ready to reach the next growth phase in 2024.
In case you are considering revamping your visual identity, your website, or if you need any other branding advice, we're here to help.
3 Vertex Ventures US
4 Designer People