I’ve got a question for you:
If you have a brand, but nobody knows about your brand, do you really have a brand?
I know this sounds like a crazy question, or something that would be in a fortune cookie, but stay with me for a second. This stuff is really happening! VCs are spending billions and billions of dollars helping hundreds of startup companies by bootstrapping them, giving them traction, telling them that X Y and Z will make them a unicorn – blah, blah blah.
It doesn’t happen like that.
Starting a company is hard. Freaking. Work.
And what I see over and over again that makes me crazy is that it’s so hard for these new businesses to get traction because they don’t have a brand, and they don’t invest in brand. Nobody knows who the heck they are!
If nobody knows who you are, how can you even be in their consideration set?
Don’t Fall for the Spaghetti Effect
Early on in the process, you’ve got investors opening doors for you, and your friends and family are helping you get going – which is great! But to scale up and to really be able to grow a thriving business, you must have a brand. And if you don’t, you’re going to end up throwing a lot of spaghetti at the wall. I call it the Spaghetti Effect – eventually, something might stick, but you’re not going to know why.
Why Brand Matters
It happens all the time – no one wants to invest in brand, because they think it’s fluff. So instead they invest in people, and time, and activities, and tactics, and social media, and paid, and this, and that – and at the end of the day, they’ve got nothing to show for it.
Why? Because without brand, it doesn’t work. If you don’t know who you stand for, what you stand for, how you’re solving the customer’s problem, or how to communicate something valuable, that’s unique, and that’s in your own words – then you’re saying nothing.
The Bottom Line
If you want to really get traction and get the flywheel going, you must have a brand. So, start to think differently about brand, figure out what you stand for that nobody else can own, and stop throwing spaghetti at the wall, please!