A quick note to articulate the importance of Branding as a separate link to Business on my blog. The cycle times for tech discovery and advancement are ever shortening. Someone needs to come up with a Moore’s Law* for new offerings. Regardless of barriers like IP protection and network effects, the current state of open systems, usability design, process management, inexpensive global collaboration platforms, et al makes the potential for domestic and international copycats to rapidly deliver similar offerings to commercially successful ‘pioneers’ more and more likely. In case you had not heard, copycats are longhaired nasty felines and pioneers are often the ones that end up with the arrows in their backs.
How can you, as a pioneer, compete with a newcomer that benefits not only from your lessons learned, but from the ability to possibly raise more money than yourself on the basis of the business model that your team has already proven is commercially viable? Whether B2C, B2B, or B2G, one good answer is Branding. It’s true that the best brands are built over substantial time, but there are things that start-ups can do to ensure the marketplace and investors understand that being first can mean that your team, your company and your offerings are better than followers’. Branding is becoming an increasingly important part of any start-up’s survival, and should not be overlooked by small entrepreneurial teams focused on going to market with MVP’s** and achieving market validation.
While I am not a Brand Manager, my instincts on branding have been validated. Future posts will elaborate.
*Moore’s Law is a widely held rule of thumb that integrated circuits double in performance every 18 months.
**MVP refers to Minimum Viable Product, i.e., the concept that to be the best pioneer one must go to market with an imperfect but viable product in order to gain market share and lessons learned as the “perfect product” is developed.