Branding is no longer about creating a name and a logo, it’s about combining product and magic, according to Marc Lite, CEO and co-founder of Firma, Barcelona’s most famous branding studio.

Marc has helped clients such as PepsiCo, Unilever and Esade, as well as local startups such as Badi and Bandit find their voice.

The following steps are what Marc thinks all companies need to go through, to begin the journey of building a strong, long-lasting brand.

However, before you invest anything in branding, make sure your product or service does three things:

  1. Works perfectly technically.
  2. Creating value for your users.
  3. And that the user interface and experience is very good.

Your brand is not LEAN

Marc Lite — CEO and co-founder of Firma.

The main goal of you creating a brand for your startups is to clearly define a positioning statement that communicates through all the brand touchpoints.

This communication needs to be presented in a coherent and consistent way to your audiences.

Many small startups are used to rapidly changing environments. Being agile and lean means iterating and changing a lot to make your product better, and for working with technology and product development this mindset is great. For brands however, staying the same is better.

Take a look at the strongest brands in the world (Coca Cola, Apple, Orange..), can you remember they ever doing a major change to their logo or color? Of course not, it would be a disaster.

Even though you see your own brand every day, remember that most of your users don’t, and suddenly changing would weaken your brand a lot.

But before you start producing your coherent content, you need to take a sharp look at your company and ask yourself these questions about your brand identity:

Is it ownable? Can we own the segment or the market?

Are we relevant? Does our target audience find us interesting?

Is it different? Do we stand out from our competitors?

Are we durable? Are we positioned to last over time?

If you want to ALL the insights from Marc at Firma, check out the video at the top.

Or read this:

https://blog.itnig.net/first-rule-of-talking-to-vcs-show-metrics-that-support-the-story-you-re-telling-3d31160db889

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T.

The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe

Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape.

I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.

I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.

It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.

However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?

When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology,  besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?

The new law will come to place the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.

PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.