Branding Secrets That Will Increase the Value of Your Startup

March 28, 2016

Image courtesy of Helloquence Image courtesy of Helloquence

Your Brand’s DNA

Every living thing on this earth is made up of DNA; it’s the code from which life is derived.  It contains information which tells your eyes to be green or blue, your cousin’s hair to be brown or blonde, and even tells your neighbor to be friendly or nice.  In fact, the reason we experience so much diversity in life is because of DNA… without it, life would be boring and mundane.  Did you know your brand has DNA?  It’s true.  Just like a person’s DNA is made up of genes, the DNA of any brand also has genes.  When it comes to your brand, these “genes” are your core values.  Just as every person has a unique set of genes that make them who they are, every organization has a unique set of core values that dictate the manner and quality in which they operate.  Without core values, you can’t have an organization, which means if you’re launching a startup, you have core values from which you operate—whether you know them or not.  Fortunately, they’re easy to identify.  Here are 2 suggestions:

  1. Make a list
    Make a list of your favorite characteristics or words that mean the most to you (around 50 is good).  You are free to choose whatever you want— we recommend writing down admirable qualities, or qualities you find important for business.  You can also click here for a printable list.  Once you have your list, you’ll want to do the following:

    • Place a check mark next to 20 of your favorite values among those on your list.
    • Next, underline 10 of your favorite values from among the 20 you previously check-marked.
    • Lastly, circle 5 to 7 of the values you consider most important from among the 10 you previously underlined.
  2. Identify your purpose
    Purpose is by far the most tangible value that any company has to offer.  We love this subject so much that we should probably write a book, but we will leave that for another day.  If you want to dive more into understanding your purpose, click here to check out
    V I R T U O J O ’s  blog on identifying purpose.  It’s probably safe to say that every purpose in the world is rooted in a set of core values, and your statement should be the context for any content, deliverables, advertising, and just about anything else within your business practice.  Simply take the values you selected in the first step, and use them to form a mission/purpose statement that conveys your idea, service, or product.  It’s important to keep your statement simple and digestible, so we recommend no more than 25 words.  This statement contains your core values, and the essence of who you are as a brand.

The Takeaway

Our company, V I R T U O J O,  is built upon 7 of the following core values:  Creative, Trustworthy, Unique, Passionate, Intelligent, Fun, and Community-Driven.  Everything within our brand is governed by these 7 values, and if we notice a conflict with any one of these (i.e. staff interviews or potential projects), we agree not to proceed because we know it won’t be a right fit for us or the other party—no matter how lucrative the project, nor talented the interviewee.   It’s always good to have some sort of interview process for new clients—we like to refer to these interviews as “discovery meetings.”  Obviously when first launching your startup, beggars can’t be choosers; but there’s a lot to be said about working with people or projects you enjoy, and the quality of your work will often reflect the relationship between you and your client.  Instead of trying to sell your product or service by dazzling future clients, aim to make sure it’s a right fit, and you’ll find that they will trust you, and the relationship works better.  When you put the right values in place, and uphold them with utmost integrity, everyone wins—from the CEO all the way down to the customer.  It’s the fabric of every business that ever existed, and is often the reason a company succeeds or fails.  Fortunately for us Daytonians, powerhouse organizations like Hitchhiker’s Guide To Dayton Tech & Startups has our back, and they’re helping hundreds of local startups in the Dayton area explode onto the scene by connecting entrepreneurs, and providing incredible support within our local business community.  It’s never been a better time to launch your startup, especially if your values and purpose are clear.

Have you defined the core values for your brand?


Chris Seelbaugh

Virtuojo Marketing Strategist

About Chris

“I believe my purpose in life is to design new pathways for truth, and to work alongside others to create value and freedom in the world.  Growing up, I always had an interest in advertising art and marketing concepts, so today I consider myself blessed to help people bring great ideas to life, and to work with a company who is redefining marketing as we know it.” 

Want to learn more about Chris and the Virtuojo team? Visit their website and Follow them on Twitter. You can also visit them at Nucleus CoShare.