4 commandments a woman founder should remember to get funds and keep their startup going

Published in The Economic Times, March 03,2018

By Vishakha Singh

I like elephants. A she elephant always leads the herd, no questions asked. But in the world of startups, where sometimes founders are bigger than the idea, the first question that gets asked is: Who are the founders? Fair enough. But what if there is just one founder and that too a woman? A single woman founder is a discussion that dies before it begins. Many a time.

There are two sides to the story — one glorifies the startup w ..




Are you scared of some words?

I am amazed with the energies of SMEs. Limitless. And such outstanding work that one struggles to think why should I classify them as SME. I will call most of them as curators in their respective fields. However, they seem to be wary of the word Brand. They want to build it, they drive all the way for a strategy discussion. And after layers of discussions with various founders, it is becoming clear that Brand is just a word in the dictionary, which is not so friendly. For many, brand building means advertising. For many, Brand is on the list of things to do, but the last thing to do.


Some words are there in our daily lives, but are difficult. They sound unapproachable, they sound esoteric, they sound as if they are in context with the neighbour or even neighbour’s neighbour. ‘Brand’ is one of these set of words. Especially for many start ups and small businesses where the founder is writing the whole story, she finds, ‘Brand’ as a distant relative.  While she knows Brand is an important word for the story, but still it goes on the back burner because there are other, more operational things to attend to, apart from the product.

However, there are three things to remember if you wish to grow:

1. Brand is the story, not just the name. It becomes the product. The product never becomes a brand.

2. Brand is a personality you can carve. Chisel and chisel and it will take a memorable and lasting personality.

3. In initial years you…

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The meaning of brand building

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

It is not about the product that smells like a rose, but if you call a fragrance a rose, you know what the fragrance would smell like. The name Rose has a personality. So wherever it goes, it will carry that personality.

So what is a brand- A name? A Logo? A tagline?

Is it all of the above?

A brand is a name to start with. And that name slowly showcases it’s personality. Sometimes the name is functional- like the service you provide, your brand name may indicate that directly. Sometimes it is not linked with the business. It is just a name. It still has a mission- to be etched in the customers’ mind. A name is just the beginning.

The logo of the brand is like the signature of that personality. It is not critical initially, but it starts seeping into the customer mindset slowly and it does influence the behavior. It could be soft, it could be bold, it could be bright, it could be subtle. Whatever it is, it adds a layer to the personality. It is like an individual’s dressing sense. It is the closest visual-aid for the name of your brand and anything visual sticks in the mind for the longest.

So a brand is a name, a brand has a logo and a brand has a tagline. What is a tagline? It is simply the promise that you make it to your customer. It is the promise of your product, the promise of your service. Do you need a tagline when you are a startup? No, it is not necessary to launch with a tagline. But what you need is to be clear about how you would like your brand to be remembered and this message we call as the communication goal. Tagline of any brand evolves from the brand’s communication goal. The communication goal is never advertised, it is written down for clarity of action and to shape brand’s personality. The credibility and the reputation of the brand are built on the communication goal. And this message caters to:

  • your partners, your vendors
  • your customers
  • your employees
  • your potential investors
  • your media presence- your website, your social media presence
  • and in your advertising, as and when you go ahead with that

Continue reading “The meaning of brand building”

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