Branding and Seed-stage Start-ups

Standing out from the crowd has as much to do with what you do and what you say as a seed-stage start-up, as it does with how you present yourself to the outside world.

A brand, especially one that stands out for all the right reasons, can be really impactful – often, irrespective of its size.

Do not dismiss, nor take lightly, the name and logo of your business. You might remember that infamous social media call to name a boat … Boaty McBoatface. So, your name needs to represent who you really are as a brand, what you stand for, and what your product/service is about. And your logo needs to be a visual representation of your brand name … so, you wouldn’t advocate against the Amazon deforestation, let’s say, and name your new business ‘Burn’, would you?

While humour and pun do have a return on risk, if we can call it this way, you have to be 100% sure that your target audience, customers, and wider stakeholders (let alone investors) understand your humour. If they don’t, don’t go ahead with it.

There’s something else that you need to think about which, in the light of what we mentioned above, follows suit nicely: personality. And this personality is not yours, the founder’s, but the personality of your business – though one could argue that the culture of an organisation stems directly from the behaviours and values of its founder(s).

So, does your business have an easy going, light-hearted personality? Or is it a more serious, no nonsense one? Once you infuse that personality vibe into your business, it’s not advisable to make a 180 degrees turn – the risk in doing that is too high.

The personality of your business goes hand in hand with the workplace culture you instil: is it a collaborative culture, a hierarchical culture, a matrix organisation? How are you going to run your business? Once you create that culture – and your role as a (co-)founder is critical here – you have to treat it like a sapling: make sure it grows into a beautiful, strong tree. You are the one who everyone will look up to, so don’t mess up.

Most tech savvy and digitally native start-ups operate in a community: of vendors, peers, clients, customers, media and so on; this is your ecosystem, and you need to figure out what values you share with that community. The values you find in common are the same values that will help you thrive and open up many possibilities for your scaling.

You need to have a purpose. Making money is not a purpose, it is a necessity in attaining that purpose. To make ourselves absolutely clear, imagine you dream of winning the lottery (who doesn’t???) because then you’ll have loads and loads of money. But that money in and of itself is not your purpose; that money will buy you the house that wish, the car you desire etc. The house and car are your purpose, not the money.

So, what is your purpose? And if you secure all the funding and investment you need to achieve it, the only question that really matters, and the only question you should ask yourself is this: can you achieve it?

Circklo’s Business Configurator Academy is solely dedicated to sustainable start-ups. We help you configure your start-up for both profit and purpose and, after 12 weeks of intensive business coaching, mentoring, dry-pitching, and networking with industry experts, angel investors, venture capitalists and other start-ups in the cohort, you will see the enormous difference we make to your business: we turn it from a “nice to do” into a fully executable, revenue generating and scalable enterprise.

Join our Configurator Academy to develop your product/service, and be confident about what it can deliver to your customer base. Apply now