Matt and I often have the good fortune to be asked to speak to various professional and business groups and organizations but it is the opportunity to interface with students that is consistently rewarding. I had that chance again this week in the role of guest lecturer to Wayne State students participating in the university’s entrepreneurial E2 Challenge.
As each of these students is currently working to develop a particular product or service through the university’s Technology Commercialization Office, I spoke on considerations for branding and promoting same in a changing media and communications landscape.
Key to this discussion was the importance of telling your own stories via communications avenues you control, in light of shrinking newsrooms and constricting news holes; including social media. We also reviewed the “ins and outs” of product launch tactics both old and new, including what works today and what does not (and why).
However, before communicating to anyone, we talked first about developing and honing your brand and “key messages”—ensuring that they properly and effectively speak to “who you are” and “what you do.” It is at this stage that you differentiate yourself from the competition and provide a value proposition to prospective customers.
Doing this initial groundwork, my presentation underscored, is essential—vital—to getting any product or service “off the ground” and effectively launched.