After making the journey from Estonia to London for Seedcamp Week, pitching, learning, and more pitching throughout the week, GoWorkaBit made the cut and joined the Seedcamp Family with seven other great teams. But that was just the beginning. After a week back in Estonia, the GoWorkaBit founders were back on a plane to London for Seedcamp Onboarding Week. In this post, co-founder Kei Karlson shares some of the team’s learnings from one of the several masterclasses that week – branding for startups by Gabbi Cahane of Meanwhile.
He enters the room like a rockstar and turns the audience into fans in no time. ‘Cause he’s a rockstar at making stellar brands.
This is how Gabbi Cahane‘s branding session for Seedcamp onboarding starts. Full of fun and plenty of wisdom, but I would especially like to point out and share a few things that I took from it.
If you want to build an amazing brand you need to ask three questions: Why do we exist? Where do we belong? How do we express ourselves?
Forget the slogans, names and logos. It does not matter what colours you use on your website or if you wear the company t-shirt all the time. If you do not know why you do what you do, you are not building your brand. Brand needs consistency. You and your team are your brand. So everything you do and say has to be related to the reason why your company exists.
It’s quite easy to get stuck in the details, but it’s essential to ask the big questions.
So we did. After returning home, we gathered on the Anniversary of Estonian Republic – February 24 – and sat down to ask the big “why”. We have worked like crazy over the last 4 months and we know what we are doing. And what we are doing is awesome. Many people have told us so. But what we have realised recently though is that people hear what they like to hear and not necessarily what we’re trying to say. We realised we have not communicated our vision clearly enough, why we are doing GoWorkaBit.
We wrote down all the why’s – the reasons we are building this company – and there were many: it’s fun, to change the world, to create a new reality, to make work easier, for freedom of choice, to change people’s mindset, for self-realisation, for adventures, to create new ways of working, to make work that fits people’s lifestyles, to simplify ways of mixing work into life, to create a just-in-time model of using workforce, and so on.
And it was damn difficult to put it all in one answer. But we did it.
We are changing the way work gets done, by matching companies’ just-in-time workforce needs with people’s lifestyles.
Another important part of branding is to make it clear what you do not do.
If you clearly establish what your company is doing, it’s possible to use big brands to reposition yourself against them. For example we will never ask our users to fill out long and pointless CV forms. So we could position ourselves against those who do! And if you have ever filled out a questionnaire with 102 fields to get a 2-day job in a warehouse to unpack boxes, you know what I mean.
And now, once you know who you are and why are you doing your startup, keep it real. People believe what you believe. And they also see quite easily if you are full of BS or not. So if your brand is about healthy and green lifestyle and you live like a 80’s rock band singer… what is the message?
Something to try.
In the end, Gabbi gave us cool exercises to get the feel of our brand and what emotions we want to deliver with it. Here goes:
Imagine that your company is a movie.
What would the plot outline be? What genre would it be? What would the audience feel while watching it?
Here is ours:
A movie full of adventure, fun and power. A girl who was tired of ridiculous rules decides to shake up the employment field. Innovation, challenges and possibilities…on demand. In selected countries soon.