Archives for November 2023

21st November 2023

The B Word: Harnessing brand to drive startup success

Welcome to The B Word, the show that unravels the intricacies of B2B branding. Our monthly episodes feature guests from diverse realms, including technology, venture capital, private equity, and more. Together, we delve into the essence of branding, its mechanics, and its profound significance in the contemporary business landscape.

Episode 8: In this episode, Omri Sagan, Co-founder and CEO of technology start-up CTRL, shares how the process of creating and defining the brand helped CTRL scale and grow.

We dive into the transformative power of self-serve and product-led growth, the crucial role of branding in fundraising (in terms of credibility and messaging) and the reflections of Omri’s journey, from securing funding to user engagement.

 

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Episode highlights:

Significance of Self-Serve and Product-Led Growth in Sales Software: The importance of a self-serve and product-led growth (PLG) strategy for their business, especially in the context of software applications for sales and the value it provides to end users.
  1. The crucial role of a self-serve platform and the concept of product-led growth (PLG) in the business strategy.
  2. The goal-oriented approach of CTRL, ensuring that the product adds value to end users, streamlining and automating their work processes.
  3. Recognition of the fundamental importance of starting with the end user to validate product effectiveness and user satisfaction.

The Significance of Branding in the Fundraising Journey: Its role in CTRL's  fundraising journey, particularly in terms of credibility, messaging, and perception by investors and customers.
  1. The pivotal role of branding in providing clarity, effective messaging, and shaping the presentation of the company's vision to potential investors.
  2. The transition in the second round of funding, where maturity and credibility became crucial, especially with a functional product ready for sale – the strategic rationale behind branding lies in bolstering the company's credibility, fostering a perception of maturity among investors and customers alike.
  3. Viewing branding as a tool to project a forward-looking image and establish consistency in messaging across the website and product, further reinforcing the company's maturity in the eyes of stakeholders.

A founders perspective on the Branding Exercise and Agency Selection: The branding process and Omri's experience with it, particularly focusing on his expectations and his key learnings.
  1. Seek a branding agency as a collaborative partner capable of realising specific objectives.
  2. Recognise that while some agencies may excel in certain areas, they might lack expertise in other critical aspects to your business.
  3. To achieve meaningful differentiation, you need branding to translate across messaging, persona, and style into unified visual comms and identity.
  4. Acknowledgment of the branding's impact on various materials, including the website, investor presentations, and customer decks.
  5. There's a level of granularity needed to bring your brand to life –essential elements like colour, language, branding style, and font choice, which extend their influence into the product itself.
Standout moments of building a start-up: From securing funding to team growth, branding, product launch, user engagement, and creating noise (PR).
  1. The excitement of securing the first round of funding, signifying the ability to move forward.
  2. The hiring of the first employee marked a significant milestone in transitioning from a founder-driven venture to building a team.
  3. The introduction of branding was celebrated as a major moment in the company's development.
  4. A key milestone was seeing users return to the product regularly, signifying ongoing engagement and value.
"When it comes to branding a start-up, as a new founder, normally you have more bandwidth earlier on. Once you start with your customers, your product is working, and your team grows, you will have less and less time.
So my advice is to do your branding first of all, or as early as possible."
Omri Sagan, CTRL
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13th November 2023

The B Word: The Rise of the CMO in the Tech World

Welcome to The B Word, the show that unravels the intricacies of B2B branding. Our monthly episodes feature guests from diverse realms, including technology, venture capital, private equity, and more. Together, we delve into the essence of branding, its mechanics, and its profound significance in the contemporary business landscape.

Episode 7: In the dynamic world of technology and marketing, the role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has seen a remarkable transformation over the past decade. Join us as Leah Anathan, the visionary CMO of Mews—an innovative hospitality management cloud, takes centre stage in our latest episode of The B Word. Explore how the marketing function has ascended to the top table, becoming increasingly quantifiable, measurable, and significantly revenue-driven.

 

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Episode highlights:

B2B marketing: The complexity and multidisciplinary nature of B2B marketing in the current landscape, encompassing various skill sets and strategies, and the importance of building a diverse and specialised marketing team to meet the demands of the industry.
  1. The diverse skill sets required in modern B2B marketing.
  2. The challenge of creating a team with expertise in various marketing areas.
  3. The importance of digital and physical events in marketing strategies.
  4. The balance between automated and human-centric marketing efforts.
  5. The value of creative and branding in marketing.

 

Rebranding: The importance of rebranding and repositioning a company, especially when transitioning from a start-up to a scale-up or when preparing for growth and scalability.
  1. The critical need for rebranding when a company reaches a stage where it's ready to scale.
  2. The challenges of maintaining a consistent and clear company message when expanding and reaching a broader audience.
  3. The role of product positioning and branding in the scaling process.

Category creation: The significance of category creation in rebranding and repositioning a company, specifically in industries where existing category names are outdated or do not accurately reflect the company's mission and offerings.
  1. The importance of tackling a problem in an industry where current solutions are outdated and not fit for the future.
  2. The challenge of having an unfavourable category name that does not align with the core of the company's mission.
  3. The example of the hospitality industry, where the category name "property management system" fails to capture the essence of the guest experience and the transformative cloud technologies.
  4. The constraint of being anchored by an old and inadequate category name.
AI: The evolving role of automation and AI in B2B marketing and its impact on the balance between automation and human interaction.
  1. Maintaining the importance of human experience, especially in industries centred on customer experience.
  2. The rise of AI and machine learning in marketing presents efficiency but also raises the importance of human connection and real experiences.
  3. The battle between efficient automation and the need for human interactions will be a significant challenge in marketing and branding.
  4. While automation can be valuable, it's crucial to ensure a human touch in interactions, as every person engaging with a brand is a human seeking a meaningful experience.
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13th November 2023

The B Word: Owning a valuable customer problem

The B Word is the show where we demystify everything to do with B2B branding. Every month we invite guests from the worlds' of technology, venture capital, private equity and beyond to discuss what branding is, how it works and why it matters for businesses today.

Episode 6: In this episode we talk to Christian Mouysset co-founder of Restaurant PerformanceOps platform Tenzo. Christian talks to The B Word about his journey as a former restaurateur, and how this experience led to co-founding a technology startup. We discuss how designing a new category has helped Tenzo communicate with far greater clarity and simplicity around the problem it solves and the value it creates for restaurant operators.

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Episode highlights:

The successes and impacts of Tenzo, its profound impact on businesses: Citing examples of significant reductions in wastage, increased labour productivity, and the transformation from loss-making to profit-making, underscoring the rewarding nature of Tenzo's impact.
  1. Strong relationships have been built with customers, including those who have been part of the journey since the beginning, fostering a sense of pride and achievement.
  2. Impact on businesses is a key measure of success, with examples including an 80% reduction in wastage, a 15% increase in labour productivity, and the transformation from loss-making to profit-making.
  3. The overall reward is highlighted, not only in business success but also in the positive environmental impact of reducing wastage.
Sustainability challenges in the restaurant industry and Tenzo's vision for the future, particularly in reducing waste and improving predictability ­– the three dimensions of sustainability: business survival, team well-being, and environmental impact. The use of AI in predicting future business trends and optimizing operations is highlighted, with a focus on reducing waste and improving revenue.
  1. 70% of restaurants go out of business in the first year, highlighting the difficulty of running a restaurant.
  2. Stressful work environments for restaurant teams due to unpredictable revenue and last-minute changes.
  3. Significant global waste in the restaurant industry, contributing to 500 million tons of CO2 emissions and $100 billion in lost revenue.
  4. Tenzo's goal is to address these challenges through AI-driven solutions. AI helps predict future business trends, overcoming issues with the traditional four-week average method.
  5. AI-driven predictions improve accuracy by 30 to 50 percent, reducing over-preparation, under-preparation, and food waste.
  6. The impact of AI extends beyond marginal improvements, offering substantial benefits in resource utiliSation and environmental sustainability.
Creating a new category with Structure and the impact of the new category "restaurant performance ops." for Tenzo: The category addresses the challenges faced by restaurateurs, such as scattered data, lack of real-time insights, and decisions based on gut instincts. And also, the internal and external benefits of category alignment.
  1. The category "restaurant performance ops," addresses challenges like scattered data, lack of real-time insights, and gut-based decision-making in the restaurant industry.
  2. The new category emerged from insights into the percentage of margin left on the table due to data fragmentation and the inability to generate actionable insights.
  3. Internal alignment within the business is crucial, helping teams to speak the same language, aligning product development and growth efforts, and fostering clear communication.
  4. The category helps the team understand the "why" behind Tenzo's services, leading to more meaningful product development decisions.
  5. External benefits include improved conversations with existing customers and prospects, helping them understand the unique value proposition and why it's better than alternatives.
  6. Overall, the new category brings clarity to decision-making processes, focusing the team on areas that contribute to the defined mission and vision.

 

The branding process lead to a positive outcome and the valuable insights gained through the collaborative process achieved via the guidance provided: The process, including decisions on colours and brand elements, successfully balanced the brand's fun side without appearing gimmicky. The team's trust in the new brand was solidified, leading to a positive reception during the unveiling.
  1. Initial apprehension before the category creation process due to uncertainties about how it would unfold.
  2. Appreciation for the guided and collaborative process, helping the team learn about focus areas, prospect needs, and improved communication.
  3. Positive reflections on the process, which built trust within the team and generated excitement and belief in the new brand during the unveiling.

 

Christian's advice for founders considering designing a new category and rebranding: Includes the recommendation to read "Play Bigger" for a deeper understanding of the process. He suggests that if there's a lack of alignment in conversations, both internally and externally, or if it takes too long to explain the product, founders should lean into the category creation process.
  1. Read "Play Bigger" to gain a deeper understanding of category design.
  2. Consider category design if there is a lack of alignment in conversations, internally and externally, or if explaining the product takes too long.
  3. Emphasises the importance of explaining the product simply and quickly to reach the right audience.
  4. Recommends working with Design by Structure, describing the experience as incredible and fun.
"There are conversations with very large customers that we are having today that I am really not convinced we would be having in the same way, had we not had such a clear way to describe the category."
Christian Mouysset, Tenzo.

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