Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Branding & Positioning 4 Startups & Sith Lords


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slides from my talk @ SeedCamp Week (London, Sept 2012)

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  • Also worth a quick read is this classic on the subject, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - http://www.amazon.com/22-Immutable-Laws-Marketing-Violate/dp/0887306667
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  • @AnnaPietka there sure is a method to the madness. It's so bad a presentation that you remember it. Allow me to explain. Technically, in finite systems, this theory holds. Since whatever boundaries we have defined to contain the world is finite, if you overflow the 'bad buffer', a 'modulo' operation wraps the 'badness' into the good side. And since our brain remembers more when an emotion is tied to the scene, in this case it's disgust at the horribble presentation, we remember more detail. As we recall more detail, we recall some of the good messages in the presentation while keeping the horrible form of presentation at the back of our minds. After a few seconds, when we think 'dafuq did i just read??', we conclude 'It is the ugliest presentation ever but there is a method in this madness - it stays in your head'
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  • It is the ugliest presentation ever but there is a method in this madness - it stays in your head
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Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Branding & Positioning 4 Startups & Sith Lords

  1. Branding & Positioning4 Startups & Sith Lords
  3. WARNING!!!this deck is guaranteed to offend,provide tragically incorrect advice, and perhaps get you arrested. Fucking  Deal  with  it.  
  4. [This Talk]•  WTF is a BRAND?!?•  Be Different, Take Risk!!!•  Stand 4 SOMEthing. (or u stand 4 NOthing.)•  Tap Into Humanity: Fear, SEX, Power, etc.•  Be a Hero, or a Villain. (just don’t fucking BORE me.)•  Pictures, Text, Music: they all say 1000 words.•  When It Works, Double Down.•  Be Yourself… Only More SoKISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
  5. [Dave McClure] Blogg er , M Angel arket2001-2012: /VC I ing, nves Founders Fund•  Startup Investor: 500 Startups, t or•  Tech Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com•  Advisor, Investor: 300+ Startups•  Conferences: Warm Gun, Lean Startup, SMASH•  Stanford Lecturer: Facebook, Startup Metrics ER, OD Computing (acq.) K, C NEUR80’s & 90’s: GEE EPRE•  Entrepreneur: Founder/CEO Aslan•  Developer: Windows Apps / SQL DB Admin EN TR•  User Groups: E-Commerce, Internet, Client-Server•  Engineer: Johns Hopkins ‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  6. 500 STARTUPS Seed Fund & Accelerator (375+ companies, 20+ countries, 15 staff, 180 mentors)•  Design•  Data•  Distribution
  7. [Interesting Shit]
  8. Read Geoffrey Miller.Sex + Evolution + Consumer Mktg = Awesome Sauce.
  9. More Great Shit. Psychology + Comics 
  10. [Start(up) + Heart]
  11. NEGATIVE Emotion Examples Fear, Anger, Sadness, Pain, Pathetic, Pariah
  12. POSITIVE Emotion Examples Humor, Sex, Power, Daredevils, Babies & Kittens
  13. DO! Marketing & BRANDing (it’s not Evil… most of the time ;)•  Tell a Story, Build a Storytelling Culture•  Identify by a Color, Animal, Number, Word, or other SINGULAR element•  Create Unique Position in Mind of the Market, relative to [Visible] Competition•  Embrace & Adopt Negative or Shameful Positioning when Necessary•  Know When to Get Back to Product
  14. What is BRAND?•  Brand (def): a name, term, design, symbol that identifies one sellers good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.•  Branding began as way to tell one persons cattle from another by a hot iron stamp.•  Branding is usually full of PAIN.
  15. Q: Who FEELS Your Brand?•  Customers•  Partners•  Investors•  Employees•  Press
  16. Be DifferentTake Risk.
  17. Be Different.•  Take Risk Early. U Have Nothing 2 Lose.•  Playing it Safe = Death.•  Pissing People Off is OK. (in fact, #WINNING)•  U Can’t Build Brand around INDIFFERENCE.•  “Niche 2 WIN” (see blog post)•  Love *or* Hate are Ok. Both are Good Signal.
  18. CHANGE.   PEACE.  POWER.   SEX.   Stand 4 SOMEthing. (or stand 4 NO-thing)
  19. Stand 4 SOMEthing, or Stand 4 NOthing.•  Be Iconic.•  Single word or emotion.•  Don’t be afraid 2b Hated.•  Don’t be afraid 2b Shamed.•  Aim for the Moon. [Land on the Roof]
  20. Tap Into Humanity Fear, Sex, Power
  21. Tap Into Humanity•  Fear: What u run from•  Sex: Who we love, lust 4•  Power: Ability 2 Control Ur World•  Family: Find Ur Tribe.•  Anger: Fight 4 Ur Right [2 Party]
  22. Be a HeroBe a Villain
  23. Be a Hero… or Villain•  Who do u LOVE, Admire, Want 2 B?•  Who do u HATE, Despise, [secretly] jealous?•  Whatever u are Drawn 2•  Just Don’t Be BORING.•  Again: Indifference = Death.
  24. Say 1000 words.[or just 1 Finger]
  25. Say 1000 words.•  1 awesome picture.•  3 powerful words, or a few sentences.•  30 sec meaningful music or video.•  Less is more.note: these slides are not less.
  26. If/When It Works Double Down.
  27. When It Works, Double Down.•  If someone loves u, it’s working.•  If someone hates u, it’s working.•  Once u get signal, try iteration, repetition.•  Once u get repetition, try variation.•  Good artists COPY; great artists STEAL (from themSELVES!)
  28. Be Your SELF.(But Be Ur SUPER Self)
  29. Always Be Your [SUPER] Self•  Start from the Heart.•  Be Yourself. Be Authentic. Be Comfortable.•  But: the MOST AWESOME, PASSIONATE u.•  Find a feeling or emotion u can sustain•  [sometimes even weakness can be ok]