Having a great idea, disruptive technology or an amazing problem-solving product is what you want in a startup. However, if potential investors don't understand how awesome it is, you'll be in for a slow uphill climb. How can you increase the odds that your startups will receive the funding it needs to make it to the next level?
How can you overcome this obstacle? Two words: good communication. There are many ways to describe what is needed, but it all comes down to communication. Some call it branding; some call it pitch deck, elevator speech, story brand, brand message, etc.
Here are a few articles that expound on this concept. One from Business Insider, titled “Startups with unique names get more funding— at least in the beginning”, another from Forbes “Over-Invest In Your Brand As Much As You Can Possibly Afford: Advice For Early Stage Startups” and the final one from Fast Co. titled “The Next Wave Of VC Strategy: Bringing Branding Into The Earliest Phases.”
The articles argue that:
1. Investing early in branding makes all the difference in the long-term success of a startup.
2. If you're going to hire experts in the technology or product why not hire a branding expert?
3. Branding and how much the company is investing in its brand should be a part of the equation when analyzing the value of a startup
4. Those companies, like Warby Parker, that have invested in branding has seen it pay off in less than two years
Here are my favorite quotes from these articles.
“They [well-named startups] tend to be offered more money, whether it's through crowd funders, angel investors, VCs or IPO investors.” From a Stony Brook University, Drexel University, and Villanova University two-part study on how names affect funding.
“Over-invest in your brand as much as you can possibly afford,” serial entrepreneur and branding expert Clive Jackson advises early-stage startups from the Forbes Article.
“VCs place understandable emphasis on a startup’s product. But they need branding experts on board from the very beginning,” argues Geoff Cook from the Fast Co. article.
Of course, I'm biased because this is my world, working with startups and CEOs to align their purpose and identity to their brand. Helping them tell their story so they can attract the right people for the right reasons. Excellent communication, starting with the name and extending to the verbal and visual brand, pay dividends far beyond the obvious. It helps attract not only investors that align with what you're trying to achieve but also helps attract employees, partners, strategic partners, team members, potential customers that believe in your vision.
Save yourself time, energy and pain by working with a professional brand strategist or communications specialist to clearly define your purpose so that you quickly get the right people on the bus — and that includes investors.