Write If You Find Work

Just trying to learn as much as I can about marketing, venture capitalism, start-ups and New York

Start-Up Marketing School: Class 2- Developing a Brand and Positioning It to Stand Apart from the Crowd

Creating a longstanding and successful brand takes more than a good name and a logo. This session will include two talks on how to clarify the vision of what your business can be and the process of creating the story that surrounds it. (keywords: messaging, value proposition, publicity)

Intro:  Legal Protections for You and Your Brand

     Karen Won – Associate, Cooley LLP

Talk 1:  Creating a great brand strategy
     Michael Duda – Managing Partner, Consigliere Brand Capital

  tai foster   Tai Foster – Senior Manager, Communications at Under Armour
Talk 2:  Public Relations and Creating Your Story. Marketer + Agent + Journalist

     Kevin  KingKevin King – Senior Vice President, Horn Group

     Tami Forman – Senior Director, Global Corporate Communications at Return Path

     Lauren Goode – The Wall Street Journal Digital Network



3 pillars of marketing

developing brand

developing cases and content

developing customer base

vision, messaging, publicity, how you put that story out there


Karen Won on trademarks:

from a legal perspective, not all brands are legally respected/ protected as brands

under the law there are 5 strengths

– fanciful marks- completely made up- examples include Starbucks, Verizon

  • very strong trademark rights

– arbitrary marks- exist in English language but change meaning- examples include Apple, Kayak

– suggestive marks- allude to quality or characteristic- examples include Coppertone, Jaguar

  • protectable under trademark law as long as they don’t blur into the next category

– descriptive marks- describe goods or services- examples include hotels.com, Cartoon Network

  • not legally protectable until your brand gets recognized
  • at least 5 years to prove it to the legal system, invest in brand and cannot hold proprietary rights

– generic terms- name is exactly what it means, cannot be recognized as a brand under the law

completely innovative product that the market has not seen before- need to create a genre of product and unique product name; ex. Xerox and photocopier

legal clearance- search relevant field to see if there are previous, already existing brand names

federal trademark register- clearance gives you valuable info

federal vs. state filing

– go to federal pending


Talk 1

Mike and Tai

Build products with soul

adjust the conversation but stay true to the brand

brand- mission, purpose, story, people, experience

what people say and feel about you

customers control the convo

great stories behind great products

brand matters

  • bond with your customers
  • irrational reason to buy things

brands can help save the company

  • react well in disaster
  • be honest
  • go above and beyond

you should be clear about the brand from Day 1

brand strategy= business strategy

vision, purpose and promise, soul, personality, tell your story, what makes your brand unique- cut to the chase and communicate it clearly

have to know your consumer markets- local, global

publicity and PR in the beginning

need to inspire your employees

start with the story-communicate easily

appease- consumers, wall street, B2B

throw the ball where the receiver is going, not where he is right now

be consistent with your brand

  • messaging might change a little but you need to build a culture that believes in the message
  • employees are biggest brand advocates

amplify the message through all channels

influencers- employees, consumers, celebrities

look for niche markets- where the story would be told

be realistic about agencies

  • you can have two out of the three- fast, good, and cheap

viral is not a strategy

  • can’t control it
  • usually an after-effect

listen and respond, then listen again but have a point of view

can’t spin anything

be transparent- be polarizing but not offensive- nobody talks about someone in the middle

parallel path- product and statement

balance- continually pushing out stuff but not forcing it

priorities- traffic has the experience they came for; blog is only an avenue


Talk 2

Tami- B2B; sell to marketers

storytelling- very important

1. launch a blog

  • update regularly

2. give your customers a voice

3. get help but not too much

if you’ve heard of the company, they’re too big for you


Kevin- all comes back to your objectives

spend less time talking about what you do and more time talking about how you’re doing it

media training helps but someone has to be that “visionary”

figure out what tone you want to take as a young entrepreneur


Lauren- big companies are good to get the word out; also have accountability

what are your PR objectives?

the squeaky wheel gets the grease

good communication strategy is closely tied to your business strategy

make sure its simple and good

too many words in life; cut through the clutter

have your own take, but make it good

the media is also an audience- be open to new world of media


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