“Brand” and “culture” have become buzzwords in the business community, but their meanings remain nebulous to the entrepreneurs who need to understand them best. For growing companies emerging beyond the start-up phase for the first time (and beginning to invest more heavily in brand and culture), the nuance between the two can be particularly challenging. Brand and culture intersect, and can have a compounding effect on your company… but shouldn’t be treated as interchangeable. How can we easily differentiate between the two? Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners and best-selling author, explains the crux of each in a conversation with Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative, and Ruth Lund, President of The Legacy Center.
Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative, has some leadership lessons from her experience in ultrarunning that can apply to the discipline of brand strategy. Companies that are looking to grow and scale can learn from these tips for building an enduring brand.
Six-Point’s CEO, Meghan Lynch, ran the Vermont 50 miler in 2014. A race of that length pushes people to their limits, so it isn’t surprising that she learned some things along the way. What is surprising is that she learned some things about brand strategy! Meghan noticed five parallels between what it takes to run 50 miles and what it takes to grow and scale a brand.
Going through a rebrand (or any major change to your company’s branding or positioning) while readying your company to scale and grow is an emotional process, akin to sending a child off to college. A new brand strategy will push the aspirations of your company to new limits, and as a CEO, it will push you to exercise letting go. Be open-minded to the new perspectives and creative energy brought into consideration, but also don’t feel that you need to simply accept what is presented to you without revisions.
The term “second-stage business” is rarely recognized by entrepreneurs, yet your company might be one. Second-stage businesses are defined by the Edward Lowe Foundation as privately-owned, growth-oriented companies between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue and 10-99 employees. Unsure if your company is in the second stage business life cycle?