Brand Strategy for Start-ups: Lessons in innovation learned from great CEOs


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Public relations and branding for start-ups. Lessons in innovation learned from great CEOs, from Skycastle Media.

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Brand Strategy for Start-ups: Lessons in innovation learned from great CEOs

  1. 1. Powerful marketing is not about products.VISION 1
  2. 2. INSPIRE A VISION OF WHAT THE WORLD CAN BEPowerful marketing starts with a story that incites, inspires, ignites, emotion.Emotion is at the core of motivation, the precursor to all action.Story…design, style are the pathways to emotion. A meaningful brandextends beyond your product or service to inspire a vision of what theworld can be. 2
  3. 3. Embrace your differences.DEATH TO ZOMBIE BRANDS 3
  4. 4. STAND OUT OR FADE OUTOnly six ideas in a thousand secure venture funding. Six in a million make itto IPO. Boldness is required. Do not be put in your place. Do not playsmall, just to play it safe. Speak out. Question the status quo. Shine. En-courage your team to stretch—vigorously. Push. Push harder. Whencreative genius is sequestered in the shadows, it festers into somethingdestructive. That’s how zombies are bred. 4
  5. 5. Stand for something.RISE ABOVE THE NOISE 5
  6. 6. LIFE AND ATTENTION SPANS ARE SHORTDon’t squander them. Make meaning, not noise. What makes youdifferent? Where do you lead? What do you stand for? What makes yourmolecules flash and glow? What makes your blood flow fast in your veins?What makes you catch your breath and come alive? Share that. 6
  7. 7. Don’t just make sales.MAKE RELATIONSHIPS 7
  8. 8. NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LOVE YOUDon’t try to be all things to all people. Serve from your core strengths.Don’t chase the single sale. You can’t go right and left at once. Decide.To decide at its root is a kind of death. Hard. Listen to the fire in your belly.You’ll know your decisions are sound when you use them to crystalize yourdirection. Decisions ignite action. They sharpen vision. Stay true to your realcustomers. Stay true to yourself. In this way you’ll give the world the bestyou have to give. 8
  9. 9. Recurring dreams reoccur for a reason.DREAM 9
  10. 10. HONOR YOUR RECCURING DREAMSNotice what you notice. Daydream. Pay attention. Reccurring dreamsreoccur for a reason. Imaginations are meant to run loose. Be suspicious ofthe word can’t. Ask what if? And why the f*ck not? Assumptions by natureare used and stale. Surround yourself with people of strength and goodwill. Know the difference between constructive and unconstructivecritique. One is an energy breeder and one is an energy feeder. Oneleads to malaise and one leads to clarity. 10
  11. 11. Innovation emerges between chaos and complexity.EMBRACE DIVERSITY 11
  12. 12. MONOCULTURES ARE FOR CORNLearn to navigate at the edge of chaos. If there is too much conformity,there’s no place for creativity. If there is too much divergence, ideascan’t take shape and nothing will get done. The fertile edge betweenorder and chaos is where innovation takes root. Strong teams are likeVelcro, comprised of complementary opposites. Make space for diverseideas. Monocultures are for corn, antithetical to originality. 12
  13. 13. Create conditions for flow.PRAISE 13
  14. 14. Create Conditions for Energy to FlowNature, including human nature, flows along the path of least resistance.Minimize obstacles and bureaucracies. Create systems that supportpositive flow. Tell your team what you want and let them figure out how toget there. Mentor. Don’t hover unless you want to breed zombies. Zombieworkers produce zombie brands. Honest praise fuels energy. Strive to meetthe 80/20 rule. Praise outweighs criticisms 8 to 2. You dont water a treewith poison and expect it to grow. 14
  15. 15. Create an experience.STORIES MATTER 15
  16. 16. WE LIVE OUR STORIESAll great brands have a story. All great stories create an emotionalexperience. They touch us where we live and breathe. Compelling storiesdemand a high-stakes plot. There is a problem to be solved. There are vastchallenges to overcome. Success brings ultimate rewards. We live thetales we tell ourselves. Perspectives are countless. In business—in life—findyour position of unshakable strength and interpret your story from there. 16
  17. 17. Breathe Life into Your BrandINSPIRE 17
  18. 18. Skycastle MediaBreathe Life into Your BrandPublic Relations and Branding for Start-upsTracy Oliverhttp:/www.skycastlemedia.comInfo@skycastlemedia.com1.888.776.3893 © 2012