So you’ve identified a massive gap in the market and you’re convinced that you’re ready to pursue the dream of turning your side-hustle into your main profit - joining the masses in the excitement that is known as the startup game.
"Do you have what it takes to distinguish between priorities though?"
It’s no secret that building your own empire instead of contributing to someone else’s sandcastle dream takes some moxie, but too many startups are happy to simply slap on a “dream company name” and hope for the best. Usually these startups sport a shocking lack of consideration for the future, paired with a vintage “trust me, I’ve been thinking about this for ages”.
What are we getting at? Branding. That’s right, friend - culture, systems, colours and stories. You’ve been spending so much time on your “so here’s the deal”-box-office breaker that’ll 100% make you famous, that you’ve walked right into the “guess I’ll sell in six months” game-over-club.
“Goodbye follow-up and hello Ronald Wayne #3874657”
We can practically hear the millions of millennials screeching at their screens, “Branding? Are you kidding me?!” No, we’re not and yes, you need to focus for longer than a second on the next bit.
Why is this very crucial step so often disregarded and tossed to the save-the-date side? We get it - investors want to see the pudding (pronounced ‘product’). They want it ASAP and don’t have time for your obscure colour swatches, selection of ‘cool’ icons and ‘fresh’ job titles for employees. If you want to pass a 5 year mark and have a shot at real ownership however, then you can bet your bottom bitcoin that a sustainable and considered brand design is right there alongside product offering.
So now that we’ve ruffled some feathers, let’s see how you can ensure that your brand’s vitality and voice remains relevant and provides a potential ticket to the land of unicorns. No, not Scotland. Let’s rename it:
The 7 ways to not be Ronald:
1. Brace for impact.
You need to accept that you will never be able to cater for every demographic out there (hate to break it to ya). Focus on the group you’re selling to - Identify them; Investigate them; Connect with them; Constantly. They are your most valuable asset and deserve your love and attention. So put that nice growth chart aside and test your honesty by looking at the mirror and telling yourself that your brand is sustainable.
2. Don’t rush it, crush it.
You’re starting something from scratch and probably pushed a sizeable amount of capital into this venture. You’re obviously hell-bent on making this work and not simply to win over the support of your spouse or parents. So why on earth would you neglect your brand identity - the very basis off of which your company should operate?
How are you going to convince your potential clients that your product is the next best thing if your branding is barely supported by a powerpoint presentation you rushed on a Sunday afternoon?
“Invest time toward creating an impactful and intentional brand”
3. Call Ground Control, Major Tom.
It’s easy to get high on the fumes of potential success, but it’s a stupendous idea to stay grounded. You obviously believe that your product will sell itself, but unfortunately that mindset is a highway to bland-central-station (Really? Yes, get over it.)
“Not tapping into what branding can do for you just won’t cut it in today’s competitive startup league - so you better shape up.”
4. Embrace the Quirk!
There are millennial companies being born every second of every day. Embrace your quirk, the gimmick, your spiel! Be innovative in your approach to making a ripple in the entrepreneurial sphere and allow it to personify your story. Remember, you don’t have an incredible reputation to fall back on (yet), so the story you’re emulating to the world is all you’ve got.
5. Toss The Template
Anyone searching for the latest potential to join their incubator has seen the ‘Brine’ template in a million different formats. Have some self-respect and don’t settle for the typical it’ll-have-to-do template. If you’re bringing something “so unique” and “disruptive” to the table, then you should have no problem showing it off.
6. Wake and Bake
You’ve spent some capital, so make it a part of everything you do. The first breath you take when you wake up should be one that inhales the purest form of your brand. Once it kicks in you should undeniably be in a sustainable state of brand embodiment. No seriously - if you don’t know how to live it, then the value of your involvement will meet its demise at the hands of your passionlessness. Investors aren’t only looking for paperwork-pals anymore, they want someone who can get the job done. If you can’t adopt your offering as a branded product, then why should the market?
7. Call a Locksmith
If you feel like your copywriting skills, handful of stock images and that one blue you like is desperately hanging on by a thread, then be assured - we’re here to help you unlock the real McCoy. So before you waste more time trying to open the gate to the valley of the Unicorns - give us a call.
"We’ll help you strategize, skillfully script and skyrocket your startup into the stratosphere - where the big leagues are playing."
Kind Regards The JA-Team