Startup Branding — Mission Critical?

So you finally did it. You have made the decision to create a startup. You may be doing it from inside an existing company or by yourself with a small team that finally thought of something wild and unique that no one has ever thought of before. Maybe.

A STARTUP FUTURE

If we believe predictions and analysts, we will see a 2019 full of new ideas, new companies and concepts popping up faster than ever before. We will also see large companies focusing on internal startups, development of (new) technology centers, and completely autonomous rogue teams trying to find the next big thing for the corporation they are working for. Or maybe just trying to succeed in fighting off the next big thing.

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BRAND — DEBUNKED

Let´s debunk brand quickly — it is not your advertising, your logo, your design or your product. It also is not your office, or your technology. Brand is your core belief, your identity, the foundation of your efforts, and the fundamental driver of growth, positioning and ultimately, the dimension that will define your space in the market. It simply gives you direction, and it makes future customers understand what you do, how you do it, and why they should be a part of it in the future. It lets them connect emotionally.

THE HUMAN FACTOR

Remember — any commercial success depends on human interaction. Humans creating a concept, developing it, selling it, and ultimately buying, using and reviewing it. There is no “plan” that talks to another “plan” coincidentally creating scalable business. It comes from people. And brand is the strongest factor for any company or concept to influence human decision making.

DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS

Start like what Jeff Bezoz has implemented at Amazon and write your press release / essay of success. Don´t write it like an engineer, or a marketeer. Write it like a story that tells the essence of your concept, how it succeeded and what it did to your market.

WHY, WHAT & HOW (and WHO)

Having done this, we dive into the actual brand strategy. Spend some time with your team, stakeholders or advisors to answer these essential three questions:

CLIENTS, INVESTORS, INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS

They all need to understand you. Everything you are doing with this audience is sales. Sales, sales, sales. And you cannot sell anything these days without clarity, simple value propositions and a crystal clear idea of what you are selling. Imagine design without brand guidance, or your investor presentation without a proper storyline and ambition. You are getting the idea.

LONG & DIFFICULT? NO, SHORT, SIMPLE & EVOLVING

Never plan too long ahead. And never get too cozy with names and strategies. You may have to change your core strategy, you may have to change your name, or even your core concept.

DRIVE GROWTH, MANAGE BRAND

Going forward you will deal with tech development, design, organizational development, recruitment, profit and losses and everything else that comes with running a business. Make sure you keep two key ambitions set in stone:

XY01

All of human decision-making is based on emotions.

Robert Leinders-Krog (XY01)

Written by

International strategic branding leader, simplification advocate, transformation goon. In love with startups and everything brand. And motorcycles.

XY01

XY01

All of human decision-making is based on emotions. And strategies do not influence emotions, brands do. Here you will find inspiration and ideas on approaching business challenges with brand thinking, adding the deciding factor to any strategic approach.

Robert Leinders-Krog (XY01)

Written by

International strategic branding leader, simplification advocate, transformation goon. In love with startups and everything brand. And motorcycles.

XY01

XY01

All of human decision-making is based on emotions. And strategies do not influence emotions, brands do. Here you will find inspiration and ideas on approaching business challenges with brand thinking, adding the deciding factor to any strategic approach.

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