OVERVIEW

Many great brands are built by trial and error ... but what if you could skip the "error" part and build your brand like the big guys would if they could do it all over again? Data doesn't lie, but building a scaleable (and authentic) brand is both an art and a science. Solve for Y captures both.

Our Solve for Y program reflects comprehensive research, experience, and experimentation that has led to insights such as ...

  • There is a proven ratio for how much of growth-oriented marketing should be focused on short-term lead generation vs. long-term branding.
  • Companies looking to scale should not have an annual marketing plan.
  • CMOs have a notoriously high turnover rate and often cost companies millions, but with better job design and alignment, they can be fantastic facilitators.

Solve for Y is designed for growth-minded business owners with a next-stage vision. Typically, companies who most benefit are "second-stage entrepreneurs," which means (mostly):

  • Between 10-100 employees
  • Between $1m and $50m in revenue
  • Have hit a growth plateau
  • Want to scale their business to be less dependent on the owner

Process

PROCESS

At a high level, this is the Solve for Y process. Of course, to get to the real detail, you'll have to contact us. (You didn't think we'd give away all our secrets on our website, did you?)

Education

  • Branding workshop for key members of your team
  • Customized market and customer research

Engagement

  • Ensuring buy-in and alignment across departments
  • Development of creative problem-solving skills for internal team

Processing

  • Data analysis and findings report
  • Brand audit and findings report

Delivery

  • Documented brand guide that provides visual standards, common company language, and customer value proposition
  • Brand integration into sales process
  • Marketing scorecard development
  • 90-day marketing sprint

Support

  • Ongoing 90-day marketing sprint development and execution
  • Dedicated team, including: brand strategist, creative director, designers, and writers
  • Monthly retainer inclusive of creative services, PR/media relations, strategy, and project management
  • Media and production budget tracking and analysis
  • Scorecard reporting
  • Quarterly strategy meetings

And that's the short list.

overviewPre-Application

RESOURCES

In addition to the resources below, Six-Point also has relationships with a number of programs, organizations, nonprofits, and consultants who specialize in second stage growth. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.

CHALLENGES OF SECOND STAGE

The Four Phases of Second Stage (Edward Lowe Foundation)
The Next Business Stage Requires Aggressive Growth (Forbes)
Entrepreneurs Share Their Biggest Challenges in Growing a Business (Inc Magazine)
Transitioning from a Start-Up to a Growth Stage Company (Fortune)
How to Ensure Your Company’s Longevity (Edward Lowe Foundation)

Scaling in Second Stage

Six Steps to Scaling a Business (Forbes)
Why Your Leadership Needs to Change as You Scale (Harvard Business Review)
Three-Legged Growth Strategies for Second Stage Entrepreneurs (Forbes)
From Doing to Managing: The Leadership Shift in a Scale-up (The Telegraph)
Great Businesses Scale their Learning, Not Just Operations (Harvard Business Review)
Life in the Fast Lane: A Road Map for Scaling up your Medium-Sized Business (UK report by Experian and Lloyds Bank)

Multimedia for Second Stagers

Simon Sinek Ted Talk - How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Adam Grant Ted Talk - The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
Podcast: Inside Strategic Coach
Podcast: How I Built This

Recommended Books for Second Stagers

Start with Why (Simon Sinek)
Traction (Gino Wickman)
Rocket Fuel (Gino Wickman)
Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company (Jim Collins)
Drive (Daniel Pink)

Interesting Reading

Why Consumer Brands Must Scale Faster (Harvard Business Review)
What an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Really Is (Harvard Business Review)
Start Ups Won’t Save the World Economy. But Scale Ups Could. (World Economic Forum)

overviewCase Study

APPROACH

Full disclosure: We used to do all the traditional things on this list. Then one day, we realized...it's not working. Maybe for a Fortune 500 enterprise, but not for our clients. Not in the real world. Sometimes it pays to admit you were wrong.

TRADITIONAL APPROACH OUTCOME

Annual marketing plan

A document that is irrelevant within six months

Brand identity package with new logo, colors, and tagline

Wasted resources on change for change’s sake

Long analytics reports on past activity

Data that tells you what happened

Tension between agency and the client company staff

Brand is undermined in day-to-day and customer brand experience is inconsistent and frustrating

SOLVE FOR Y OUTCOME

90-day marketing sprint with prioritized work

Relentless forward progress on key company objectives

Brand audit and brand book

Maximize resources by amplifying what’s already working and problem-solving what doesn’t

Maximize resources by amplifying what’s already working and problem-solving what doesn’t

Data that helps you shape the future

Buy-in and cooperation between agency, leadership, operations, and sales

Internal brand pride and a cohesive customer brand experience

overviewpre-application

PRE-APPLICATION

How do you know if you are in second stage and ready to scale your branding and marketing with Solve for Y? This ten-question survey will help.

If you’re a Solve for Y candidate, we’ll contact you with more detail about the program. If you aren’t, we’ll connect you with additional resources from our extensive network of entrepreneurial support organizations, or with information about other Six-Point services that might be a better fit.

Either way, you’ll hear from us within one business day.

01
a) Nope. We have an almost unlimited window of time to grow.
b) Sooner rather than later would be great, but no hard deadline.
c) Definitely. I feel the window of opportunity is going to close if I don’t move quickly.
d) I’m not sure.
02
a) Developing an innovative product
b) Devising a new business model
c) Creating a better or cheaper version of an existing product
d) Targeting an existing product to new sets of customers
e) More than one of the above
f) None of the above
03
a) Yes
b) No
04
a) Yes
b) No
c) As an owner, I fill that role.
05
a) Yes
b) Hell no.
06
a) Minimum viable product (smallest set of resources needed to test an idea/market/product)
b) Strongly inspiring and motivating others to invest their resources (time/money/effort) in my vision
c) Partnering with other companies to spread the risk
d) Funding (venture capital or similar)
e) More than one of the above
f) None of the above
07
a) Yes, we’re recognized as the market leader.
b) No way. We are a best-kept secret in our market.
c) Sort of. Our target market has a perception of us that isn’t accurate or complete.
08
a) Yes, we know the demographics of our best customer(s).
b) Yes, we know the demographics and psychographics of our best customer(s).
c) Sort of. Our current customer is not our future customer.
d) No.
e) Our customer is everyone.
f) None of the above.
09
a) We have a detailed annual plan that we stick to very specifically.
b) We have a high-level marketing strategy, but mostly keep our eye out for marketing opportunities.
c) We have a detailed annual plan that we never stick to.
d) We have a strategic plan, but no marketing plan.
e) Plan? We’re working too hard to find time to plan!
f) None of the above.
10
a) Not important. We have effectively scaled our operations, and are just looking for more sales.
b) Somewhat important. We still have some opportunity for growth with our existing operations before we need to figure out how to scale.
c) Critically important. We have a strong foundation but won’t be able to achieve our growth goals without repeatability and efficiency.
d) None of the above.