Branding Tips for Startups from VCs, Entrepreneurs and Marketing Experts

We recently asked members of the #AccelFamily, including our partners, founders, and brand...

Ankit Agarwal
Venture Development, Accel
 Min Read
Branding Tips for Startups from VCs, Entrepreneurs and Marketing Experts

We recently asked members of the #AccelFamily, including our partners, founders, and brand practitioners, some questions often asked by startups looking to understand how good branding is executed today. Read on to discover the essential tools and know-how to make marketing and branding pathways work for you.

Q: How important is branding for tech-first companies?

Build a durable strategy that makes marketing a strategic component of the startup journey. Marketing should not be viewed as just a means to meet your tactical short-term goals.

Don’t: Use interim marketing methods in silos.

Do: Have a clear campaign objective, develop the right messaging and set up detailed metrics to determine creative quality. Measure direct response at the very beginning.

Prashanth Prakash (Partner, Accel India)

Q: How different is branding for B2B companies compared to that for B2C companies?

Branding is a must no matter who your client is because your brand is the association you build with your customers; it’s how they perceive you.

Don’t: Empty your pockets to invest in expensive media.

Do: Become synonymous with the function that your brand fulfils. Build a world-class product that users connect with and can use every day to foster word-of-mouth marketing.

Shekhar Kirani (Partner, Accel India)

Q: We think Flipkart has set a perfect example of creative marketing using limited Dollars. Can you tell us more about it and do you think digital branding will become more important than other forms of brand communication?

In the past, mass-market brands have been forced to use conventional methods of marketing such as television; but India’s digital ecosystem has undoubtedly evolved. This means it is possible to reach millions of consumers without using conventional mediums.

Having said that, there are two factors that play a key role in your marketing strategy:

  • Product differentiation — How different is your product from those of others players in the market?
  • Channel choices — Who is your target consumer? Where is your incremental reach predicted to come from?

Don’t: Use a rigid marketing plan that does not take the nuances of audience and the marketing goal into consideration.

Do: Evaluate your brand’s needs. Analyse who your target audience is and what purpose you are trying to fulfil with your marketing.

Shoumyan Biswas (CMO and Head of Loyalty, Partnerships & Advertising, Flipkart)

Q: What do you think takes a brand campaign from good to great?

The answer is simple: Data. As a lot of data has become real-time on mobile and desktop, use that to your advantage. Keep testing, keep iterating.

Don’t: Expect an unchanging digital marketing campaign to guarantee results.

Do: Be more reactive. Data allows you to tweak digital campaigns in real-time, use right tools to your benefit.

Gaurav Singh Kushwaha (Founder, CEO — Bluestone)

Q: How do you ensure that a brand maintains consistency between different campaigns and that the new campaign is not at odds with the previous campaign?

Every brand needs a single brand idea that is consistent over time. What happens across individual campaigns is that there is always a laddering of the messaging that is relevant to the campaign with the larger purpose that drives the brand.

Don’t: Lose focus of the bigger picture for a momentary campaign.

Do: Maintain consistency with the primary brand idea but experiment with the execution and advertising idea of an individual campaign.

Srinivas S. (Independent Brand Consultant, worked with brands like TVS, Indian Terrain, Bluestone, BabyOye and many more)

Would love to hear about your brand-building experience. Also, do share any questions that you may have, happy to answer them.

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