After the death of Curt Cobain, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl tooled around with starting another band. Not realizing his band would enjoy instantaneous success, Dave has been stuck with a band name that was really intended as a placeholder. And it’s his biggest regret.
Lots of startups make similar strategic marketing mistakes that they regret down the line. Be it a product name, a logo, or company name, web platform, or other marketing investment. I’ve encountered several startups who threw a odd name on the wall that “will do for now” or have an engineers cobble together a logo as a temporary placeholder with every intention of rebranding once the VC $ starts rolling in.
That’s all well and good, but as you wait for the cash, you still need to create business cards, trade show booths, a website, data sheets, promo items, etc. and with each piece of marketing material you create, it becomes more and more ingrained in your brand and more costly to replace. Soon enough, you realized that you’ve spent $20 – 30K marketing a brand that you hate. And when you do finally get that VC cash, you quickly realize that you’d be better spend your cash on more engineering resources than replacing a brand that’s kind of working.
And lo and behold, you’re another Foo Fighter.
Marketing sometimes gets a bad wrap in the startup world, but that’s often because when it’s time to hire full-time marketing staff, we come in and ask for lots of $ to fix these early mistakes. If you make smart marketing decisions early on, then you’ll have a solid brand your marketing team can leverage once your ready to take the company to the next level.