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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O.

On sales leadership

These are some values that I learned that define a leader:

– A leader is somebody who reaches their goals and achieves beyond their individual abilities aligned with their own values and the organization’s values. A leader without a team is not a leader. A leader works for the team, not the other way around.

– Humbleness. Leaders must get to know themselves first, acknowledge their limitations. Acknowledge they have no recipe for success (no one does). They will succeed only by being curious and trying things faster, testing, changing things again, failing again, learning as fast as possible. In sales, everybody notices when things work well, success is measured in € vs budget. A leader must embrace results with no buts and take action to reach the goals.

– A leader works harder, a leader cares about the goals more than anybody else, they took full ownership of the goals. A leader does about anything to remove bottlenecks away on his team, they assist, train, support everybody, anything it takes. They are always the best resource for their team.

– A leader will always be available for everybody in their team, for personal and professional issues. They go the extra mile. They make sure everybody knows that. They earn the team’s trust.

– A leader makes everyone aware that teamwork is not negotiable. Without a cooperative team, there’s no leader. Lone wolves kill the growing/changing organization. Growth happens only WITH the team, not at their expense.

– Leaders communicate all the time, they don’t keep things to themselves, they are honest with their team. They share good and bad. They share the why’s. They trust their team. Trust precedes process and it is the only path to grow at a scale.

– Leaders learn fast and learn mostly from their team. The team has the most valuable knowledge a leader can get, it doesn’t come from books, blog posts, degrees or mentors. The team gets the real shit from the front line. A leader listens to their teams’ impressions and ideas, they explore them all and give feedback. Leaders generate a culture of idea generation and idea sharing. Leaders stay away from guru preaching.

– It’s important to understand people’s personal and professional ultimate goals and motivations. Leaders spend time asking them on their one on ones and they think about them. They write them down. Everybody is playing the movie of their lives, a leader must find out which one is it, they make sure each team member keeps being the hero of their movie.

– Leaders always lead by example, not by title. They show real bravery. Leaders go first to battle. They call leads and close customers. They apologize to customers when the company screws up. They take the shit first. They don’t leave anyone behind. They don’t show their rank, their status, their difference, their pedigree. Startups are flat meritocratic organizations. Leaders must understand well the company goals and they put them first, they are prepared to step down, or step aside, or leave the company at any moment if needed. Company goals are what matters most. Leaders show this to everyone. Company/collective oriented leaders always thrive.

– Leaders celebrate every victory. They visibly show the pain of every defeat. They take every opportunity to show they care. They analyze why/what/how and find out always changes to be made. Then they go and make the changes. They change anything or everything, but never keep on doing what doesn’t work. They shake the whole company inside out before/when goals are not met.

– Leaders set goals that are both ambitious and achievable. They work along the team to make sure they meet the goals. They are flexible when the goals are set wrong. They are implacable when goals are not met.

Most people will never be a leader. It takes time and patience, it takes survival skills, it takes real personal strength. But after committing to all these things, things start to work. Leaders are such when and only when they brought teams to make things work, nobody becomes a leader just by trying it. True leaders make sure they don’t leave the boat until things work (as they will work, ultimately!). They don’t leave the job undone.

– Bernat Farrero CEO at Itnig