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Branding & Storytelling For Startups (S5E5)

What you’ll see this episode:

With the finale looming over contestants’ heads, some entrepreneurs are truly standing out while others are beginning to get left behind. The day’s lesson is all about telling stories, which these Bloxers certainly are not lacking! With a challenge that has them sticking to a particular branding and storytelling script, who will stand out, and how? It’s up to these contestants to score one last win before finale night.

 

The Competition Narrows

As the episode opens, the previous night’s Blox Off winners discuss how the competition is truly weeding out the standouts. We are starting to see who is really in it, but the contestants are also keenly aware of other contestants doing well in their pods who could take the whole competition without ever having been in a Blox Off.

The fourth lesson of the season is based on branding and storytelling. Wes explains that there is often a disconnect between what is going on in our heads and how people are interpreting it. It is the entrepreneur’s responsibility if they don’t get it, so Wes addresses the importance of assessing the room and how to get people to the a-ha moment for their businesses.

The contestants are tasked with their challenge of the day: completing their idea introduction patterns. As the contestants get stronger in their storytelling abilities, judge Neman remarks on how the entrepreneurs are literally changing right before his eyes and growing stronger in their abilities.

The Blox Off winners for the day are chosen with many familiar faces gracing the stage, to the dismay of many competitors who felt they performed well that day. The six pod winners are each tasked with pitching for a different made-up scenario. A tie for first place causes a switch-up when Wes chooses the winning tiebreaker, and the contestants all gear up for the final day.

 

Branding & Storytelling For Startups

Pitching is commonly associated with fundraising and popular TV shows like Shark Tank. However, pitching is not limited to these scenarios. It occurs when dealing with banks, recruiting team members, negotiating lease rates, and collaborating with supply chain partners – essentially, you’re pitching yourself all the time. Despite the unpredictable nature of pitching, effective preparation involves understanding how people perceive new ideas and tailoring our stories to align with their perspectives. As founders, we possess deep knowledge and expertise in our business or solution, but this advantage can become a weakness if we fail to communicate effectively to non-experts. That’s where the Idea Introduction Pattern comes in, to help founders with effective branding and storytelling.

 

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. The filtering system of the crocodile brain has a very shortsighted view of the world. Anything that is not a crisis it tries to mark as “spam.”
  2. Context matters. You DO NOT get to choose the context. The context chooses you. And if you’re not prepared, or capable, of handling the context – force-feeding your agenda will make you look stupid and hard to work with. 
  3. Perception and reputation are where decisions are actually being made. Do I like or trust this business? Do I feel like they could actually solve my problem? Do they match my values and ethos? Is buying from them too risky? A good reputation assuages most questions like this.
  4. Branding is at the root of how we change our reputations. Branding + classical conditioning + patience = reputation management.
  5. We must have a consistent brand voice, personality, look, and overall vibe or else we’ll be diluting our brand and not influencing our reputation

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