Branding & Positioning
4 Startups & Sith Lords
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
@DaveMcClure
@500Startups #GoaP
Bangkok, July ...
WARNING:
WARNING!!!

this deck is guaranteed to offend,
provide tragically incorrect advice, 

and perhaps get you arrested.
so Fuc...
[This Talk]
• WTF is a BRAND?!?
• Be Different, Take Risk!!!
• Stand 4 SOMEthing. (or u stand 4 NOthing.)
• Tap Into Human...
Dave McClure

Founding Partner & Chief Troublemaker, 500 Startups
00’s & 10’s:
VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Sta...
500 Startups

Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator
What is 500?
$100M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator
30+ p...
[Interesting Shit]
Read Geoffrey Miller.

Sex + Evolution + Consumer Mktg = Awesome Sauce.
More Great Shit. 

Psychology + Comics ☺
[Start(up) + Heart]
NEGATIVE Emotion Examples
Fear, Anger, Sadness,
Pain, Pathetic, Pariah
POSITIVE Emotion Examples
Humor, Sex, Power,
Daredevils, Babies & Kittens
DO! Marketing & BRANDing

(it’s not Evil… most of the time ;)
• Tell a Story, Build a Storytelling Culture
• Identify by a...
What is BRAND?
• Brand (def): a name, term, design, symbol
that identifies one seller's good or service
as distinct from t...
Q: Who FEELS Your Brand?
• Customers
• Partners
• Investors
• Employees
• Press
Be Different
Take Risk.
Be Different.
• Take Risk Early. U Have Nothing 2 Lose.
• Playing it Safe = Death.
• Pissing People Off is OK. (in fact, #...
Stand 4 SOMEthing.
(or stand 4 NO-thing)
CHANGE.
POWER. SEX.
PEACE.
SEXIST!
Ronda Rousey
FIGHT. 19
Stand 4 SOMEthing, 

or Stand 4 NOthing.
• Be Iconic.
• Single word or emotion.
• Don’t be afraid 2b Hated.
• Don’t be afr...
Tap Into Humanity
Fear, Sex, Power
Tap Into Humanity
• Fear: What u run from
• Sex: Who we love, lust 4
• Power: Ability 2 Control Ur World
• Family: Find Ur...
Be a Hero
Be a Villain
Be a Hero… or Villain
• Who do u LOVE, Admire, Want 2 B?
• Who do u HATE, Despise, [secretly] jealous?
• Whatever u are Dr...
Say 1000 words.
[or just 1 Finger]
Say 1000 words.
• 1 awesome picture.
• 3 powerful words, or a few sentences.
• 30 sec meaningful music or video.
• Less is...
If/When It Works
Double Down.
When It Works, Double Down.
• If someone loves u, it’s working.
• If someone hates u, it’s working.
• Once u get signal, t...
Be Your SELF.
(But Be Ur SUPER Self)
Always Be Your [SUPER] Self
• Start from the Heart.
• Be Yourself. Be Authentic. Be Comfortable.
• But: the MOST AWESOME, ...
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Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Positioning & Branding 4 Startups & Sith Lords

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

  1. 1. Branding & Positioning 4 Startups & Sith Lords Take A Walk On The Dark Side @DaveMcClure @500Startups #GoaP Bangkok, July 2014
  2. 2. WARNING:
  3. 3. WARNING!!!
 this deck is guaranteed to offend, provide tragically incorrect advice, 
 and perhaps get you arrested. so Fucking Deal with it.
  4. 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 So ! KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
  5. 5. Dave McClure
 Founding Partner & Chief Troublemaker, 500 Startups 00’s & 10’s: VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com, O’Reilly ! ! 80’s & 90’s: Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy) Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT) Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  6. 6. 500 Startups
 Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator What is 500? $100M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator 30+ people / 10 investing partners Locations: SV, NYC, MEX, BRZ, IND, CHN, SE Asia 1500+ Founders / 200+ Mentors Community + Content + Conferences ! 800+ Portfolio Co’s / 40+ Countries Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M) MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M) Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M) Simple (acq BBVA, $117M) Twilio SendGrid Credit Karma Udemy Barkbox HomeJoy Builk Taamkru Playbasis Eko Noonswoon
  7. 7. [Interesting Shit]
  8. 8. Read Geoffrey Miller.
 Sex + Evolution + Consumer Mktg = Awesome Sauce.
  9. 9. More Great Shit. 
 Psychology + Comics ☺
  10. 10. [Start(up) + Heart]
  11. 11. NEGATIVE Emotion Examples Fear, Anger, Sadness, Pain, Pathetic, Pariah
  12. 12. POSITIVE Emotion Examples Humor, Sex, Power, Daredevils, Babies & Kittens
  13. 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. 14. What is BRAND? • Brand (def): a name, term, design, symbol that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. • Branding began as way to tell one person's cattle from another by a hot iron stamp. • Branding is usually full of PAIN.
  15. 15. Q: Who FEELS Your Brand? • Customers • Partners • Investors • Employees • Press
  16. 16. Be Different Take Risk.
  17. 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. 18. Stand 4 SOMEthing. (or stand 4 NO-thing) CHANGE. POWER. SEX. PEACE. SEXIST!
  19. 19. Ronda Rousey FIGHT. 19
  20. 20. 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]
  21. 21. Tap Into Humanity Fear, Sex, Power
  22. 22. 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]
  23. 23. Be a Hero Be a Villain
  24. 24. 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.
  25. 25. Say 1000 words. [or just 1 Finger]
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. If/When It Works Double Down.
  28. 28. 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!)
  29. 29. Be Your SELF. (But Be Ur SUPER Self)
  30. 30. 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]
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