Lesson #6,531: "Brand" or Identity Don't Matter for a Startup

Branding and a strong, unified identity to present the market matters for big companies. It doesn’t matter for start-ups. Especially when there’s a lot of relationship based selling or in-person interactions with prospects, trying to craft a unique “brand” is silly. In the start up phase, the company is responding to customer needs and growing organically through additional modules or services. It is totally natural for a company to get in the door with X, the customer is pleased, so they say “Gee, can you do Y?” Typical entrepreneur response (me included!): “Oh man, is this going to fit with our tagline/mission statement/vision/brand/identity?” Who gives a shit? If they’ll pay for it, then you are continuing to build the lock-in effect, you are continuing to gartner good customer feedback, and you are continuing to grow a client base. There should be a business model in there somewhere, but that’s a distinct issue from vision/branding. Worry about that crap later.

(Hat tip: The Mobius VC Kool-Aid, first Mr. Feld, and last week Mr. Prow over lunch. I guess I have to hear it many times for it to sink in.)

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