Business, Culture and Entrepreneurship

Monday, September 8, 2008

Building brands for Startups

From the latest article in my Start-up Logic series in the Hindu BusinessLine

If I had a dollar for every prospective employee who said he loves what he’s seen and heard at our company but his father/spouse/friends feel more comfortable if he joins ‘Giant Co Ltd’ next door, I’d be a rich man. And every one of those prospects was honest enough to admit that their father/spouse/friends felt far more comfortable with the safety, reputation and BRAND of ‘Giant Co Ltd’.
Brand, the very word seems to connote a variety of images. Advertisements, billboards and neon signs, models and Bollywood stars are what many people associate with the word. If you probe further, you may hear AirTel, Britannia, Disney, Coca-Cola and Pepsi or Sony and Samsung as companies that people think of as brands.People in the trade, be it marketers or financiers, talk of brand equity, brand loyalty and brand names. 
When you talk to entrepreneurs about brands and what it means to them, they, particularly those in the early stages of their business, admit that brand is important and something that they aspire to build one of these days. However, right now they have to run and take care of this cash flow matter or woo that key hire, so they will get back to it when they have more time and when it’s more appropriate!.

Read the rest of the article here.


  1. Ref to the post on Branding for start-ups. Just went through the latest post and while i quite agree to most of what was said. I find very few companies actually embracing that.

    More often than not, small companies are struggling with operations and sales (essentially survivability) to consider spending on branding, maybe it'd be good to explore small (read low investment) ways in which companies can build their brand in a cash crunch situation.

  2. Aditi,
    of course you are right - and that's my very point - before we do anything for branding, with or without dollars, we need to agree it is important and begin by being ourselves. Notice I did not talk of spending, and while brand building is always easier if you have money to burn, poverty does not prevent us from making a start.

    A whole another post, on how do we do brand building starting with PR with zero dollar spend is definitely in the works!