What is Marketing Hell Week?

MHW is Growth Marketing 101 Bootcamp 500Startups puts together for every one of their seed stage cohorts. The event is also livestreamed free.

Join us for Sales Hell on March 1-2, 2017 here: http://www.growth.500.co/

Below are notes on what’s in the talks and some key takeaways written by Tyler Tate, founder of Crema. If you found the talks useful we would appreciate it if you shared them with your friends!

Product Driven Growth with Annabell Satterfield

Annabell Satterfield, Senior Product Manager, Growth at BitTorrent, Inc. talks about:

  • Why Product is the delivery device for core value
  • How to approach growth from a product perspective
  • Finding the company’s core value and making that your number 1 goal.

Developer Marketing w/ Dellaena Maliszewski

Dellaena Maliszewski, Senior Marketing Manager at O’Reilly Media talks about:

  • Difference between developer and technical practitioner
  • The deadly sins of developer marketing
  • Amplifying your message in the developer ecosystem

Emerging Channels with Aurelie Davis

Aurelie Davis, VP Marketing at One Kings Lane talks about:

  • Programmatic direct mail
  • Podcasts
  • Content Marketing

Pricing Strategy & Optimization with Jeanette Sacks

Jeannette Sacks, Senior Director of Merchandising & Marketing @StackCommerce talks about:

  • How to keep up with your Competitors and Peers’ prices
  • Testing Pricing Changes
  • Multi-level Pricing Structures

 

Minimum Viable Branding with Scott Kraft

Scott Kraft, Angel, Mentor, Strategy, Brand talks about:

  • Why you should invest in your minimal viable brand
  • How much you should invest in each brand investments
  • New School Branding formula

First up, design expert Scott Kraft talked about developing a brand in startup time. His central message: don’t spend too much time spinning your wheels on name, domain, and logo (contrary to what we typically associating with “brand”), and instead focus more on your brand story and values. Bottom line: you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a good brand.

What is MVB?

A minimum viable brand has stopping power — the ability to grab someone’s attention. It has the ability to quickly differentiate you in a crowded, noisy world. And it has staying power, giving you the ability to build into the future.

Why should you invest in building a brand?

A few reasons are: * To increase return on ad spending (ROAS), gross margin, LTV * To lower CAC * To attract more and stronger talent * To increase press attention * To raise valuation * But the best reason is speed. A strong brand can help accelerate decision making and execution.

What Are Brand Investments?

  • Name
  • Domain
  • Logo
  • Elevator pitch, story
  • Voice and personality
  • Behavior

Contrary to our gut reaction, Scott recommended that we spend the most time on the bottom three, not the top three.

Common Brand Myths

  • Myth: Branding is expensive. Reality: Nike spent $35 to get its brand going
  • Myth: Building a brand takes years. Reality: How old is SnapChat?
  • Myth: Branding effects are unmeasurable. Reality: Try an A/B test where you don’t identify your brand
  • Myth: You can’t be a great brand without a great name. Reality: Success makes most names great but great names don’t guarantee anything
  • Myth: You need a branding expert. Reality: It may help, it may hurt; but many great brands were created without experts

Key Components of an MVB

Like MVPs, great minimum viable brands solve immediate needs and demonstrate future promise. There are six key components of a minimum viable brand — audience needs, functional benefits, emotional benefits, personality, promise, and vision — anchored by your brand pillars. Take time to brainstorm and talk through each of these key components with your team.

Audience Needs

Who are the people you want to reach? What are their objectives and motivations? How will you fulfil their needs? Here’s how to pin down your audience needs: 1. Start by listing all your audiences, including investors, talent, press, etc. 2. Then use the 80-20 rule to segment your customer audience into a primary and secondary group 3. List out the needs of each user group — try to get down to unspoken reasons (e.g. “I want to look good”) 4. Lastly, narrow the list down to the top 2 or 3 needs for each group.

Functional Benefits

These are the tangible gains that your audiences get from working with you and using your products and services. * List out the problems your product solves using the most active verbs you can. Avoid soft verbs (like connect, facilitate, enable) and vague verbs (like revolutionize, redefine, scale); straightforward verbs are best (such as simplify, save, reduce, increase, shorten, grow, protect).

Emotional Benefits

The positive feelings your audiences get that cause them to prefer you over competitors. * What does using your brand make your audiences feel and why? Try to complete this sentence: “You will feel more X because of Y.” (Some example words: Productive, attractive, innovative, protected, recognize.)

Personality

How you want to be perceived or, conversely, how your audience will describe you. * Think about your brand pillars (explained below), your top customer audience, their top 3 needs, and top 3 emotional benefits, etc.

Promise

What you deliver time and again that demonstrates that you are dedicated to your audiences. This is the best area for your tagline to speak to (e.g. “The Ultimate Driving Machine”). * What is your commitment to your audiences for choosing and sticking by you? It could be functional (“Always low prices”), or emotional (“Don’t be evil”).

Vision

Your big objective that encompasses both the immediate and the very long term. What does the world look like in 5 years with your brand? How would it have been different without your brand in it? Try to avoid vision statements oriented around being the biggest or best. Here are some example vision statements: * A completely emission-free transportation system that outperforms the fossil-fuel system * “Obliterate bad coffee.” * “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

Brand Pillars

Your brand pillars are the three attributes that you cannot exist without as a company. They might be values, principles, personality traits, beliefs, or an area of focus, but stay away from words like: innovative, revolutionary, connecting, trustworthy, reliable, disruptive, honest, bold. They’re trite and people will immediately

Try to get to something more human. Some better examples might be: imaginative, athletic, empathetic, conscientious, reliable, steadfast, radical, pragmatic, exotic, badass, provocative, egalitarian, enthusiastic, romantic

For example, whose brand might these three pillars describe: 1) electric, 2) uncompromising, 3) master plan.

Putting it all together.

Complete these phrases to create your own “one-liner”: * We make  * For  * Who need  *

Because

Here are some examples: * “We make shoes for competitive runners who need lighter equipment because lighter is faster, and faster means winning.” * “We make an online payments platform for any business or consumer with email who need to send and receive online payments securely, conveniently and cost-effectively because traditional payment mechanisms underserve them.”

To put together your MVB brand marketing kit, use the key components and brand pillars above to craft your one-liner, elevator pitch, sales story, and product marketing pitch. By going through this process first, things like name, domain, and logo will come more naturally and be better grounded.