MVPs and MVCs | Software Branding

Applying the same agile mindset of an MVP to branding.

January 13, 2021

When you start building a product, your first goal is to make sure it works. It doesn't need all the bells and whistles you anticipate it will house in the future, only the most important ones. The ones that will set you apart and lay the foundation for everything your product could become.

This is referred to as your MVP (minimum viable product).

In constructing a brand for your software, taking a similar approach is essential. Specifically, you build a brand around a specific user base. It doesn't cover everyone you anticipate this product could serve, only the ones who would find it most valuable. The ones who will see you as set apart from any other option they have.

This would be referred to as your MVC (most valued customer).

By focusing on them and them alone, you can tailor your messaging, your identity, your marketing, everything you do is focused around them. Which is helpful, given that it is impossible speak with impact to a generalized crowd.

Have the courage to focus on your most valued customer. They will thank you for it and you'll make something amazing as a result.

More you say?

F Word 1: Fearless

Accepting failure is the first step in being rebellious.

9.21.2020

During my month off from writing, I wrestled with the concept of rebellion. There is a vision in my head of what a rebellious brand looks like, but it's hard to detail. Naturally, it seemed smart to try and breakdown the term into sizable chunks that could be combined into something more concrete. I landed on three "F-Words," starting with Fearless.

Understanding what it means to be fearless starts with defining fear. Cue Webster:

/ˈfir/ an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

In other words, fear is the looming awareness that things could go wrong. Unfortunately, our bodies can't help but be on the lookout for such threats because it is in our best interest to avoid pain. It's a primal function that enabled us to avoid meeting our doom at the jaws of sabretooth tigers and other adversaries hellbent on ending our existence. If that's the case, why is it so important for a rebellious brand to be fearless?

Cue Webster (again):

\ˈfir-ləs\ free from fear

In this instance, fear becomes a captor. A crushing slave merchant. Fear puts one in a cage and limits their potential.

Rebellion is anything but conventional or expected. It is a venture into the unknown and experimenting with what could be. A trip into chaos. To be fearless is to break free from the part of your lizard brain that tells you "this may be a bad idea, you might fail, you might get made fun of, people might reject you."

It is to liberate oneself from the chains of uncertainty. To understand that novelty, creativity, and change are found through a trial in the unknown. Most importantly, it is accepting that failure is necessary and to be expected in the search for greatness.

Rebels are not slaves to fear, they are free.

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Brandless

What is at risk in not branding a startup?

7.15.2020

Three things:

Be seen as a replaceable commodity.

Look and feel incoherent and unworthy of success.

Aimlessness. Without defining your purpose, vision, and mission, your actions will fall by the wayside.

Can you afford to be brandless?

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