As a marketer, I often wear two hats. Much of what I know about marketing comes from my years spent guiding the digital strategies of the world's largest companies, from both brand and agency perspectives. I've also been incredibly inspired by the startups I've worked with as a co-founder of The Brandery, the first startup accelerator focused on applying principles of brand marketing to startups.
Like similar groups across the country, The Brandery was founded with the goal of helping entrepreneurs turn great ideas into successful startups and find their footing, solidify their brand, and find success when launching in the marketplace. Along with my three co-founders, we introduced the first class of six startups in the fall of 2010 and set them on a 12-week program that included both a structured curriculum and deep expertise and mentorship from industry mentors.
We now select 10 companies annually, who each receive seed funding, mentorship and a partnership with a leading branding agency -- and the opportunity to pitch angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program. Since our founding, 26 startups have graduated from The Brandery program (and applications are now open for our next class).
While it's often the success stories you hear most about, I've also seen some promising young entrepreneurs fail. That is part of business, and especially so in the startup world. The bright side is that even those who fail learn valuable lessons along the way -- sometimes even more than the founders who quickly find success.
What can we learn from entrepreneurs and startups? It's more than just taking risks and staying lean to get off the ground. Startups bring passion and determination into every business decision, and that's an approach that can benefit all of us as marketers.
Here, I've distilled my experience in the startup world into 10 tips that every marketer can put into play in their own work to stay inspired and ahead of the competition.