Getting more buck for your brand
Using the power of a solid brand strategy to make your start-up investible.
We work with a few investors who often point the start-ups they are funding in our direction. They send them with a very specific instruction: “Get Sherry to sort your story out.”
The problem the finance people have identified is always the same. Those tech wizards and smart entrepreneurs are so tangled up in the weeds of their genius idea that they can’t quite believe it when no one else gets what their ‘thing’ is instantly.
It’s still a great idea. But you don’t get an hour to convince people of that.
For your ‘thing’ to take off, your audience will need to be left in no doubt about what the big pay is going to be if they decide to invest their time weighing up your business. And if the investors can’t see what that big pay off is for the masses – they won’t want to invest either.
Whether financially or emotionally, if you are asking people to put time into your ‘thing’ you’re going to need a damn good story laced with some charm and persuasion to convince them why they should.
Here’s the thing about your ‘thing’…
New business, new product, new service, whatever it is – if your ’thing’ doesn’t have tangible hooks that people can latch on to – they won’t go looking for them.
Most entrepreneurs go to market not with a brand, but with an idea – an idea that is generally so personal that it can be challenging to present and explain the benefits to others. You think your plan is genius. You think everyone should intrinsically understand it as you do – because it’s brilliant. That’s enough right? Errr…nope.
Without a compelling narrative businesses are just more ‘things’ fighting for our attention. And we – the consumers – already have enough ‘things’ thanks very much! And that’s why you need to develop an effective, engaging brand package – strategy, identity, look, feel, messaging – all working together to deliver a succinct narrative to anyone that doesn’t have a clue about you.
Without all this, your ‘thing’ will remain just another ‘thing’.
And I’m sorry to break this to you but, if you think developing a brand strategy is just for the big boys then you’re never going to be one of them.
So when you’ve got that 15 minute crunch meeting with that all important new client or investor to ask them to be part of your ‘thing’, if your pitch doesn’t allow them to quickly see how and why you’re great, then neither their time nor their money will be coming your way.
The tech start-ups we work with leave with their brand and story on point. They then don’t need to reinvent themselves every time they go into a pitch and they make it easy for investors to size them up.
Unfortunately many existing businesses could do with going through the same exercise but generally they just trudge on regardless, continually baffled by their situation.
Whatever type, age and size of business you’re in – the rules are the same. You need to take the time to develop a strategy that allows you to amplify the reason your ‘thing’ is so damn good. And you need to do it in a way that people can get it in 15 seconds and remember when both you and your ‘thing’ aren’t in the room.