Sep 19, 2011
Cece Salomon-Lee

Five Tips for Launching a Memorable Start-Up Company

Photo by Gregg Salomon


So you’re launching your company in a few weeks. You’re focused on getting the product to work. If you’re one of the lucky ones who was selected to launch and can afford to go to DEMO or Disrupt, you want to make sure that nothing fails. But whether or not it’s debuting at a conference or getting noticed, there are several things that start-up companies can do to prep for a successful launch.

Finesse Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch

Let’s be frank, in today’s ADD world, it’s more like the 140 character pitch. The goal – can you succinctly describe what your company does and why should I (i.e. the venture capitalist, potential customer, or average joe schmo) care.

Tell a Story

Whether you’re selling cloud-based software or shoes online, take your 30-second elevator pitch and tell a story. Stories engage and enthrall your audience. Product specifications and features do not.

Create a Company Brand or Persona

To me, a brand is communicating a specific persona to the market place. Are you the know-it-all Uncle Joe, chatty Aunt Sue, or gentle Nana Betty? It’s a technique that marketers use to describe their different target audiences. Why not use it as a way to position the company within the marketplace? Personally, I’d rather relate to a person versus a “company entity.”

Develop a Tagline

This is something I read in Jeremiah Owyang’s blog regarding start-up companies at the Disrupt conference. Lacking the first three points, companies should craft a 4-6 word tag line. The tag line would at least provide a springboard to a larger discussion about your company and value proposition.

Empower Your Employees

In today’s world, a company is no longer represented by its founders but also by its employees. As such, communicate the key messages about your company to your employees and empower them to be your ambassadors.

Conclusion: Memorable is more than buzz

In the end, launching your company is more than creating short-term buzz via publicity stunts. It’s about telling a story with an engaging persona that people will remember weeks and months after the launch.

4 Comments

  • I think you make a great point in “Creating a Company Brand or Persona”. I also think the elevator pitch is a great point. With most potential clients you only have 30 seconds or less and many owners and sales people have not mastered the art of being memorable quickly. Here is an other blog that discusses some other basic questions every start-up should ask themselves http://www.back40design.com/news/m.blog/22/i-m-a-start-up-where-do-i-start

  • @James – great point about the press release/media alert.

    @Mike – agreed. I think we get focused on what the product does versus what problem does your company/product solve.

  • I would also add to send out a press release or media alert (if the launch is at a conference) to start putting a start-up on the radar of influential media. Whether it gets distributed over news wires or is just sent out directly to the publications in a start-ups space, in my experience just having one helps tremendously in building up credibility.

  • Quite a list of things to get right when marketing your start up. I was happy that you included the elevator pitch. It is often overlooked. Why are we in business? It is fundamental to marketing. Thanks for the great list.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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