There you are, in an investment pitch, presenting your business, which you know has great growth potential. But somehow, you just don’t have the right words. Sure, there’s lots of words you could use, but with limited time to make an impact, you’re looking for just one succinct phrase you can say that expresses your brand in a nutshell.
Take Vitaccess, a biopharmaceutical scaleup on Tech Nation’s Upscale 6.0 programme. On a fast growth trajectory, they discovered that their brand strategy and messaging was not hitting a clear mark as they stepped up into new markets and communicated with wider audiences.
They needed to be crystal clear.
Tasha Gladman, the founder of strategic brand marketer Flintlock, noticed that while Vitaccess was demonstrating groundbreaking innovation, but like many others, the company was stuck in a relatively low-fi brand space and the articulation of their story and visual identity did not reflect their cutting-edge work.
Whatever the key brand message is, the pithier, punchier, more pertinent and memorable, the better. If you can’t present your message in just a few words, then your window of attention and opportunity has likely already passed.
When Vitaccess began the process to go back to their roots to uncover that brand essence, they involved members of the Vitaccess in-house team and key stakeholders. By seeking those views and including them in the process, they knew they could be more definite about the outcome and its delivery.
Facilitated through Flintlock’s Spark workshops, the whole Vitaccess story was told and heard. “Our job was to both listen and be really inquisitive so that we could take a strategic and creative leap with them,” explains Tasha.
“We get to that into one simple idea – their ‘truth’. And backed that up with evidence to prove what differentiated them in their brand pillars. These become the marketing and communications workhorses for a brand. Everything is crystal clear, in just a few words.”
In fact, at Vitaccess the result was just two words: ‘Real Progress’. It encapsulates and neatly reflects their refreshed strategic positioning. Two carefully chosen words – ‘real’ and ‘progress’ – captures what is at the heart of the brand: ‘real’ data, with ‘real’ people, created from ‘real’ trust whilst making scientific, patient and ultimately human ‘progress’.
“I’m incredibly proud of what’s been created and how it’s unified the way we talk with all our audiences,” says Helen Williams, Vitaccess COO. Founder, Dr Mark Larkin, adds that “the project was very collaborative, and it was fascinating for me personally, to see the workings of this particular creative process.”
“…bold, positive and energetic – it’s really ‘us’“
Dr Helen Williams, COO, Vitaccess
Clearly, good branding and story-telling can help win more pitches and ultimately scale up faster.But pressure on resources, budget, and time often means that ‘getting on with things’ – like preparing for investment pitches, new business meetings and operational systems – can feel more productive than going back to your brand roots. Dedicating time to brand strategy and how to express its story can be unquantifiable and seen as an extravagance.
But it only works if all works. Some of the most successful brands in the UK – B&Q: You Can Do It; Tesco: Every Little Helps; Marmite: Love It Or Hate It; Pepperami: Bit Of An Animal – always tell their story in the simplest terms because that is what endures.
Tasha, who’s worked with these companies, comments that these are the ‘truths’ she’s always working to find for brands. These ‘truths’ are their roots. So, when you’re standing there waiting for the words to come to you in that investment pitch, knowing what this is could be the difference to achieving success or not. It can help people to understand you – loud and clear.
Great brand strategy can save you time, mistakes and money, and taking time upfront to get that rights will help to:
get you clear on what makes your brand different and unique.
set an ambitious goal for what you want your brand to achieve
qualify the ‘why-what-how’ that your brand exists to do
build the evidence your brand needs to be believable
… in just a few words.
To get a head-start, Tasha is offering a free 45-minute chat where you can ask her any questions before delving into the process. Get in touch to book your call.
Don’t forget to sign up to the Flintlock newsletter to get regular branding tips and insights that will also get you sparked.
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