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Is your start-up customer-ready?

I have recently researched around 30 start-ups in the biotech space and was quite shocked with what I found. Only 3 of those companies I looked at had clearly communicated their purpose; why they were doing what they were doing; and only one really understood and demonstrated the power of branding in the business to business arena.

Now, you might say, B2B doesn’t need to really understand branding as they are selling to either rational, bottom line driven clients, or in many biotech cases, investors seeking out innovations to flip into the pharma and food industry. Not so. McKinsey has studied the impact of brands in B2B and have demonstrated that B2B businesses with strong brands outperform those with weaker brands by +20%. You might still maintain that biotech doesn’t need brands, it’s about science and clinical trials after all, which if it leads to a product, they will sell on to pharma or food.

Well here’s a thing, of all those companies I looked at, those that understood brands and communicated their purpose well were all further down the track – more investment and a higher capital value than the others. What is interesting here is what came first? Was it the foresight to brand and communicate well which led to the investments, or, did the great idea alone carry the organisation to investment which in turn pays for the branding folks to look at it. The truth is probably a mixture of both, and different by company, however if I were leading a start-up I wouldn’t want to leave this to chance.

The evidence suggests that including marketing and branding expertise early on in the process will help you ask the right customer focused questions that in turn will help you better position your idea, invention or potential product to attract investors and clients. Be “customer-ready” when you talk to investors and that will increase your chances of success.

The Branding Authority works with start-ups to help them position their business to be customer-ready.

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