Branding is so old-school: Superbowl commercials, Maddison Avenue, platinum-plated advertising budgets. Isn’t branding a waste of time for a tech startup? Isn’t it the opposite of the lean startup approach? Aren’t products supposed to speak for themselves?
Not if you want passionate customers, according to Brant Cooper and Jeremiah Gardner. Brant is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and Jeremiah is an agency veteran who’s built brands for startups and Fortune 500 companies. In their new book, The Lean Brand, Brant and Jeremiah lay out the new-school of branding by applying lean principles to audience building. They kindly agreed to share some how-to wisdom based on case studies with top tech companies to help you turn your customers into champions.
In the interview, we tackle critical questions like:
- What does “brand” mean anyway?
- Why should entrepreneurs care about branding? Don’t they have more important things to worry about?
- What’s the biggest branding mistake that companies make?
- How do you find and inspire passionate customers?
- In all of your interviews and case studies for the book, what was the most counter-intuitive thing you learned?
- What differentiates The Lean Brand approach? What makes it “lean”?
- What tools can entrepreneurs use to optimize their brand? Can you give a specific example of a company successfully applying that tool?
- What’s something you present in the book that few people agree with you on? Why do others disagree and why is your position true?
- What inspired the book? What was your creative process like?
- How are you applying the lessons from The Lean Brand to launching the book itself?
- What have you learned as entrepreneurs that informs your work as authors and vice versa?
- What are the best books you’ve read recently?
- What’s the most important question I’m not asking?
- Jeremiah’s reading recommendation: Sort Your Brain Out by Jack Lewis and Adrian Webster.
- Brant’s reading recommendation: Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 by… yours truly (thanks Brant!).
- Inspiration for The Lean Brand: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Four Steps to The Epiphany by Steve Blank.
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