Minimum Viable Brand
Recently I had the privilege of speaking to the community at NestGSV, a co-working space and incubator for tech start-ups in Redwood City. I shared with the founders and leaders of start-ups in residence there several of the brand-building principles from my book, What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest, and got great feedback.
But as I reflected on their questions, I realized many of them probably think they are too short on cash and time to spend either on brand-building. I hope they know it would be a mistake to skip brand development in the rush to get a new product to market. I understand that start-ups need to move with agility and speed; I also know that new products and services needed to grounded in a brand foundation in order to be successful.
So I propose we adapt the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concept, made popular by Eric Ries in The Lean Start-Up, to brand development and develop a Minimum Viable Brand (MVB) as an alternative to a complete, robust brand platform. My new Harvard Business Review column outlines my thinking of what comprises a MVB and the key principles to developing one. Please give it a read and let me know what you think.