Ask any business leader or entrepreneur what's amongst their key goals, and they're sure to say 'growth'. Ask any business leader or entrepreneur what's amongst their key challenges, and they're sure to say 'growth'.
Developing a business from concept, to startup, to unicorn is a sought-after lifecycle for any venture. But it also means facing - and overcoming - many key issues head on. We've spoken to a panel of experts who've been there, done it, and bought the t-shirt to bring you the best insights on why your brand might be the 'secret sauce' to building your business.
Watch our full webinar on scaling your business with the help of your brand here. Featuring James Maddison, CMO & Founder of Prompt, Gareth Davies, Head of Integrated Media at Golin, and Diane Perlman, Fraction CMO. Chaired by Madeleine Weightman, COO and co-founder of The Work Crowd.
Insight #1: All growth-based strategies - and objectives - need to be set at Board level.
Gone are the days where strategies are determined in siloes. Where the 12-month Sales & Revenue Strategy is set by one department, Marketing by another, Retention by a third, and so on. Now, a company's strategic direction needs to be holistic to be a success, and led by the very top dogs in your brand.
"If there's nobody at upper level setting the strategy, things can be quite disjointed. It's easy to become distracted by shiny things, but it's so important to stay focused."
- Diane Perlman, Fractional CMO
For many scaling businesses, a marker of success is discipline in objective setting at Board level, and the way strategies work cohesively to achieve the competitive outcomes needed at growth stages. How C-Suite level leaders direct the travel of growth for senior managers, teams, and the wider company will set the precedent for immediate and future success.
Key Takeaway: Don't just communicate objectives externally - start with internal teams.
Reputation in brand is everything. Establishing and successfully rolling out the right message for your business starts with securing internal buy-in. Driving a 'common understanding' throughout the company will ensure your brand mission and objectives come to life across teams, and your externally-facing touchpoints live and breathe that vision.
Insight #2: Dedicate time to brand building and storytelling now for greater results later.
A common thread for startups and scaleups is where to allocate [often limited] resource for the best possible outcomes, and with the most efficiency. According to our experts, the likes of lead generation, sales, conversion, and so on are key. But for sustainable growth, businesses should look to brand building and storytelling.
"Getting the brand story right will help you understand and communicate with your target audience, and ingratiate your brand with those individuals."
- Gareth Davies, Head of Integrated Media at Golin
Brand and target demographics is a circular economy. Determining one will always help identify the other, so understanding the needs and wants of your audience will help tailor your brand story and communications to effectively build greater brand awareness, inbound lead generation, and secure a solutions-based reputation long-term.
Key Takeaway: Breaking away from predictable narratives can strengthen your brand narrative.
There can be merit in exercising creativity and differing from the 'sector norm' with your brand narrative - even in stereotypically dry industries. In many instances, burgeoning businesses will focus too heavily on the identity of the sector they best fit, rather than the position they want to carve for themselves in the market.
Insight #3: Brilliant brand marketing incorporates word-of-mouth and talk-triggers tactics.
In many circles, the term 'brand marketing' connotes digital touchpoints, analytics tools, channel content, and other on-screen methods. But according to our panel, real-life, people-led tactics can be just as impactful as what we see digitally, and for startups and scaleups, often amplifies brand awareness and customer loyalty.
"Talk-triggers can make your brand go off like wildfire. They activate social audiences, expand your reach, and more."
- James Maddison, CMO & Founder of Prompt
Word-of-mouth and talk-triggers can give any business a great launch pad. Appealing to the innate needs and wants of a consumer is accelerated when you not only know their needs and wants, but when those needs and wants are communicated by relatable individuals, through relatable methods.
Key Takeaway: Incorporate team members of all seniorities in your brand marketing.
Brand isn't something solely external - like all good things, it starts at home. Your talent and team leaders have huge influence in how your brand is shaped, evolves, and goes to market. Facilitating teamwide workshops will enable individuals to demonstrate their on-the-ground experience of your business, weigh-in on strategic approaches, and provide accurate views of your customers.
Knowing where to focus time, resource and energy can feel like a full-time job in the startup world. Competing objectives, competing challenges, and just plain old competitors often detract away from building the right foundation for any growing business: your brand.
For entrepreneurs and startup founders, a strong brand is like gold dust. Establishing a strong brand will accurately communicate your vision and USPs to stakeholders, propel marketing performance, and achieve even the most demanding of objectives set by investors. Supporting your business growth through thick and thin.
If you're interested in working with a Brand Strategist or Specialist, or simply want to sign up for our next event, you're in the right place. At The Work Crowd, we offer new talent and new insights every day. Speak to a member of our team today to find out more.