It is never too soon to start developing your brand and brand strategy. The myth about branding being for major corporations has proven to be false. If a company wants to stand out from their competition, their brand strategy is what will do it for them. Creating key differentiation and having the look and feel to communicate that message is vital. Even as a start-up the message you create, the experience your customers have and the touch-points they interact with will make or break you in this first phase of growing your business. Developing your branding as early as possible is key to a lot of start-ups moving out of the start up phase. Recently I came across this article from Forbes.com. It goes into much more detail about this topic.