Home Entrepreneur 4 Concepts To Elevate Startup Branding With Foundersuite’s Nathan Beckord

4 Concepts To Elevate Startup Branding With Foundersuite’s Nathan Beckord

4 Concepts To Elevate Startup Branding With Foundersuite’s Nathan Beckord


Simply the phrase “branding” might be sufficient to make some founders flip inexperienced. Colours, fonts, and the general feeling a emblem evokes are essential introductions to a model. Naturally, selecting yours might be overwhelming. Having seen a number of pitch decks in my day, I’ve some ideas on how you can stand out from the group.

I admit that my definition of branding is fuzzy and intangible, going past simply the bodily aircraft. It’s that emotional feeling I get when interacting with a enterprise: taking a look at their supplies, their web site, or when listening to the founders or different key workers communicate in regards to the group.

With my firm Foundersuite heading right into a model refresh in its sixth yr, branding has been on my thoughts. I just lately joined Fabian Geyrhalter on his podcast, Hitting the Mark, to speak about some branding hits and misses I’ve seen and realized from over time, in addition to a kooky method we at Foundersuite construct group.

Learn on for 4 recommendations on how you can craft a model that rises above the remainder.

1. Greater than a sense

Branding is all about making a connection, inviting clients and traders to (actually or figuratively) sit and keep awhile. It’s essential for branding to convey the sensation you need to specific, whether or not it’s in your elevator pitch or your pitch deck for fundraising. The colours, fonts, and general “vibe” of your visible supplies ought to replicate your model.

Pitch decks want to achieve out and seize the viewers, eliciting their emotion.

If I’m taking a look at your pitch, it ought to spark one thing in me on an emotional stage. My left and proper mind ought to be moved financially, too. Your deck ought to make me really feel a bit grasping. I don’t see a number of “mission/imaginative and prescient/values” slides in pitch decks, however good ones are stirring sufficient to make traders’ pocketbooks fly open.

One mistake to keep away from? Enjoying it too protected with messaging. I’ve seen loads of decks which are too clear, too boring, or too cluttered to be memorable.

2. Put a tag(line) on it: Catchy or informative?

Foundersuite launched with a cheeky tagline: “Instruments to get startup sh*t executed.” It grabbed consideration —and it was a robust solution to begin gross sales conversations. Nonetheless, we hit a significant roadblock: That tagline didn’t imply something. If you happen to requested somebody what Foundersuite truly does, they’d no clue. So we modified it, begrudgingly.

I hated to let it go because it gave us such robust magnetism at conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt. Nonetheless, the confusion the tagline created wasn’t well worth the buzz. With no clear definition of our firm’s product, there was no alternative however to retire it for one thing extra sensible.

We modified it to “software program for elevating capital,” which has much less panache. However it describes what we do. In case you are an entrepreneur elevating capital, it’s simple to grasp and laborious to overlook.

It’s supreme to search out the intersection of catchy and informative. But when there can solely be one, I lean towards an informative tagline.

3. Carry within the troops to construct group

One among my objectives for Foundersuite is to construct “group pondering.” The corporate developed an intensive consumer base over the past six years, including as much as an enormous databank of data on traders.

I need to faucet into that collective information to additional bolster the model.

Pre-pandemic, Foundersuite hosted occasions to attach with the platform’s consumer base. Now, we’re in search of methods to foster group in an more and more digital surroundings.

We simply launched a user-generated assessment characteristic. If you happen to simply pitched an investor, we’ll immediate you to go away some recommendations on them. Possibly you be taught that the investor is actually searching for firms with at the least $50,000 in month-to-month recurring income, or that they solely put money into Austin-based startups. We goal to seize these little bits of intel from our subject military, aka our clients.

Group sharing is usually a highly effective pressure in branding. Current audiences can carry insights that elevate a model, serving to to serve it higher in the long term. Groupthink breaks individuals out of their silos and pushes industries ahead.

Getting individuals to share insights might be difficult, although.

How will we get individuals to open up about what they know? All of it comes down to 1 precept: Founder karma is actual. You pay it ahead and we’ll ship it again to you.

4. Get private…with a large teddy bear

Foundersuite turned identified for one thing a bit off-the-wall on the annual SXSW convention in Austin, Texas. One among our advertising crew members got here up with the concept, and as an alternative of taking pictures it down for being too wild, I embraced it. It turned out to be a memorable a part of our firm’s presence at SXSW.

The concept? “TEDdy talks”: brief interviews with founders performed from the lap of a 7-foot teddy bear that covers their pitch — and whether or not they’ve been funded.

We put a custom-printed Foundersuite t-shirt on the large bear, and we movie the interviews, which normally embody a bit funding hack or a tip for our viewers.

It will get a number of consideration. It’s pleasant and completely totally different from most shows at SXSW. Individuals method us and simply need to cuddle with “TEDdy” as a result of it’s so welcoming.

Whereas an unlimited stuffed animal won’t be each firm’s key to beginning a dialog, it’s OK to be playful with the branding method when acceptable. Getting funding is critical enterprise, however individuals are nonetheless individuals. All of us need to really feel pleasure and heat.

As we work on our personal model makeover, we’ll be holding these 4 ideas in thoughts: Elicit Feelings, inform with the tagline, have interaction the consumer base for intel, and method all of it with a lightweight coronary heart.

Nathan Beckord is the CEO of Foundersuite.com which makes software program for elevating capital. Foundersuite has helped entrepreneurs elevate over $9.7 billion in seed and enterprise capital since 2016. This text relies on an episode of Foundersuite’s How I Raised It podcast, a behind-the-scenes have a look at how startup founders elevate cash.

Picture by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash



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