Why we believe founders need to rethink their investment in their startup brand
There’s the startup rush. That undeniable startup rush. That adrenaline flow that starts the moment you have an idea worth sharing. An idea that you’re willing to ask perfect strangers to fund. It’s a rush when someone says yes, and another rush when that first check shows up. The one that rents the homely first office and gets you going.
After that it gets harder.
The technology component of the idea might be easy for you. After all, it’s what you were trained to do. But for many startup founders, the hard part is figuring out the people part. It might come as a surprise that people do not always obey the laws of physics. That’s why brands were invented.
So how do you create a startup brand to wrap around your technological tour de force so actual humans can relate to it? Why should a supremely motivated, completely obsessed, workaholic driven, possibly undernourished startup CEO invest time, effort, and money to develop a brand with a purpose that has a deep, emotive core?
Investing in your brand can help in these 6 ways
- Differentiate or die
You’re in a crowded ecosystem. You have 100+ competitors in your Lumascape. You need a more distinctive position than: “We’re disrupting X” or “We’re like, you know, the Uber of Y.” A meaningful positioning can help everyone understand why YOU matter and why they should care. Differentiation is key to survival as a startup, so you need to get this right.
- Help them love you
In today’s hyper-competitive world, emotion is the secret sauce of many of the world’s most successful brands. It can help your brand become more appealing, differentiated, and loved once you recognize its power. Developing positioning and messaging that mixes both the rational and the emotional aspects of your brand will win both the hearts and minds of those people you are trying to capture.
- Get everyone on the same page
Nothing slows down an enterprise more than a workforce that is working at cross-purposes, who is unmotivated, and who are unclear about what the strategy is. You need to align the leadership team and employees around one solid reason for being, a strong positioning, and consistent messaging built on a solid foundation of brand purpose and company values. When a company is truly aligned, and working toward the same purpose, it can truly achieve anything.
- Exit on your terms
Every startup has an exit strategy. Aligning your brand strategy to your business strategy can really help you get there faster. Too many founders try to keep this under wraps when developing a brand strategy and the brand strategy is built to support the wrong strategy. Trust your agency to help you achieve your goals and objectives, share your exit strategy, and let them help you create the right brand strategy to help you get there.
- Behavior drives results
Extraordinary things happen when an organization embraces a purposeful brand strategy. It drives new attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors across your team. It evolves your marketing, communications, and advertising. It inspires new product development. It makes your workplace more productive. It changes how people experience your brand. The last piece is behavior. It’s both difficult and simple: When companies adapt their behavior to live up to the brand promise, people notice. And that’s exactly the result you want.
- Invest once
You don’t want to do it twice, so you want to do it right the first time. It’s true that many people, especially in software, are used to fixing errors on the fly. Software is relatively easy to repair. Reputation isn’t. Reputations are earned through consistent behavior over time. So it’s advisable to get your brand aligned early so it will stand the test of time.
At Emotive Brand, we usher newly created entities into the branded world for the first time. We straighten out brands that have fallen out of step with the pace of the industry. We reinvent brands that wake up one morning merged with another company’s brand.
Don’t wait too long to discover the true, authentic purpose of your startup brand, and define why it matters to the people that matter to your business. It will be well worth your time.
If you are interested in our agile marketing approach for high-growth companies, please visit some of our case studies and see how we’ve helped drive growth, developed strong messaging and positioning, and differentiated even the most crowded ecosystems.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.