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Brand Strategy & The Navigation of Funding Rounds

What's the value of “brand strategy”?

In the dynamic world of business, the journey from startup to a thriving company involves numerous funding rounds. The idea of lowering their investment risk and maximising growth opportunities within portfolios is, of course, top of mind for investors.

And investment is a tricky business. Particularly because, at each stage of scaling a business faces different types of challenges. It's hard to sometimes know how to help businesses through them.

I passionately believe good brand strategy makes it easier. Branding guides (or at least should guide!) companies from Seed to Series C Funding.

As a brand strategy consultant to executive teams, I’ve found that at each stage, brand strategy becomes an essential compass helping businesses through the challenges and opportunities that tend to crop up. Helping them make sense of the issues. Helping unite leaders and rally teams.

At each stage a leadership team, aligned around a clear brand strategy can help to build defensibles - de-risking investments and maximising the growth opportunity of those who have invested in them and their businesses. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked. Read on…

What is brand strategy?

A brand is the “meaning audiences attach to people” Branding is “the attempt to manage that meaning”. A “Brand Strategy” is a plan to do this.

Done well, there is deliberate activity by leaders to define, design and align around their brand meaning so that internally and externally the value of what the business does is communicated and understood. Not only at a product level. But at a higher level. The brand level.

A good brand strategy should take into consideration the main audiences the brand wants to attract. It needs to define their pain and the way the brand solves this for the customer. It should define what the brand stands for, why it exists and its authentic story. It should also contain the brands vision for the future and the way it believes it will get there.

A brand strategy is long term. Idealistic. Emotional. And it should complement the commercial ambitions of the investors, stakeholders and leaders that govern it.

But how does such a strategy help? I’m glad you asked. Let me explain…

Growth stages of a business and how 'brand strategy' helps

Consider typical business growth stages:

Seed Stage

General Description:

  • Employee Headcount: Typically a small team, often consisting of the founders and a few key early employees.

  • Turnover: Low to minimal, as the business is in its early stages.

  • Revenue: Usually minimal or no revenue, with the focus on product development and market validation.

  • Market Position: Establishing proof of concept and initial customer interest.

  • Typical Struggles: Lack of market recognition and differentiation. Unclear value proposition.

How Brand Strategy Helps:

  • Lays the foundation for a unique brand identity and positioning.

  • Develops a clear, compelling brand position and story to resonate with early customers and investors.

Series A

General Description:

  • Employee Headcount: Usually a team of 10 to 50 employees, with core functions in place.

  • Turnover: Some revenue generation, typically in the range of hundreds of thousands to a few million dollars.

  • Revenue: The business is generating meaningful revenue but may not yet be profitable.

  • Market Position: Proving the product-market fit and expanding market reach.

  • Typical Struggles: Scaling operations and expanding market reach. Building trust and credibility with a broader audience.

How Brand Strategy Helps:

  • Aligns the brand with an authentic long-term vision and mission.

  • Strengthens brand positioning with consistency and messaging to establish trust and attract larger investments.

Series B

General Description:

  • Employee Headcount: A team of 50 to 200 employees, often with an emphasis on scaling operations.

  • Turnover: Higher, in the tens of millions to low hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • Revenue: The business is experiencing significant revenue growth, possibly nearing profitability.

  • Market Position: Expanding into new markets, facing increased competition.

  • Typical Struggles: Competing in a more crowded market. Managing rapid growth and organisational challenges.

How Brand Strategy Helps:

  • Creates a defensible market positioning maintaining consistent messaging across different product lines.

  • Informs brand archetecture helping to make sense of assets in the businesses portfolio

  • Informs customer experience culture building and recruitment for greater focus and alignment

Series C

General Description:

  • Employee Headcount: Over 200 employees or more, with a focus on global expansion.

  • Turnover: In the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.

  • Revenue: The business is well-established, profitable, and poised for international growth.

  • Market Position: Leading in its industry, preparing for global dominance and continued innovation.

  • Typical Struggles: Achieving international expansion. Continuously innovating to stay ahead in the market.

How Brand Strategy Helps:

  • Facilitates global brand localisation and expansion.

  • Sustains innovation and culture.


And so, in this business world of funding rounds, you can see how having a comprehensive plan to navigate the meaning the brand ideally likes to portray - both inside and out - is crucial. A clear brand strategy is the constant guiding light for businesses. It evolves with the company, ensuring that your brand's identity, value, and reputation remain strong and relevant, regardless of the stage of funding.

Brand strategy is the core to building a defensible high value, market position for business investors.

This is the value of brand strategy.


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