By Allan Gates
Marketing for startup technology companies can be a tricky thing.
Startups are usually launched by people with a technology background and, not surprisingly, the dominant focus is on building the product and finding funding. Marketing is generally an afterthought in these early days. That creates a branding gap that can have serious consequences for East Coast startups.
We’re not alone in this.
Recently a smart post from Israeli Venture Capitalist Michael Eisenberg made the rounds. In the post, Eisenberg notes that Israel produces many strong technology companies but they often don’t break out and reach their full potential. He blames this on the fact that many Israeli companies are “inept at messaging, branding and positioning.”
According to Eisenberg, the most successful startups have “great messaging and branding from the start. That great messaging inserts these early companies into key conversations and helps themself-fulfilltheir destiny. It makes them H O T. Hot companies get talked about and get invited to the right conferences and events and it is a positive feedback loop that helps propel these companies. Solving messaging and how you deliver that message creates a critical foundation for building leading and dominant businesses.”
Eisenberg lays out the reasons why he feels Israeli companies fail at branding. Reading it, some interesting parallels emerge with the East Coast Startup community.
Bonfire Communications is looking for a web developer to work with a team of professionals developing digitally focused marketing and communications campaigns for some of the best clients on the East Coast.
The ideal candidate is:
- A nice person who plays well with others
- An independent worker
- Good at juggling multiple tasks
- Proficient with web development tools (and constantly learning)
- Knows his or her way around WordPress
- Can perform usability and functionality testing
- Active in social media
- A new university or college graduate or up to four years’ experience
- Loathes Nickelback with a passion some find unsettling
How to Apply
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and links to your own site and sites you have worked on as a student, staff or a volunteer.
Bonfire is an integrated marketing and communications agency that tells stories for brands. Based in the Red Rose Tea building in Saint John, NB, Bonfire works with clients throughout Eastern Canada.
by Donna Gates
As 2013 winds down, there are ‘Best of’ lists, and ‘Worst of’ lists, and resolutions and reflection. There is also the deadline for charitable giving as the tax year draws to a close. In fact, the American Cancer Society is running a celebrity-filled ad to herald their accomplishments and a call to action for donors for December 31st.
As you are thinking of where you’ll give, here are some things to keep in mind.
St. George, New Brunswick is a wonderful town located between Saint John and St. Stephen. We had the chance to work closely with some outstanding volunteers with the St. George Business Improvement Area (BIA) group in developing a new brand for the community. Earlier this week we unveiled the brand and logo in presentations to the Town Council and members of the community.
At Bonfire we believe that good place branding comes from within the community. Our job is more like a translator, to interpret the community’s values and beliefs and present that in a tidy marketing package. So we spent a lot of time in St. George and talked to many local residents in focus group sessions and one-on-one meetings. We found that people in St. George really love their town – it’s a welcoming place, safe and nurturing, all surrounded by some of the best scenery in the Maritimes. In St. George, the idea of community means something special – people care about their neighbours and go out of their way to help in times of need.
Bonfire picked up a Gold Ice Award recently for top logo and identity in a celebration of the best advertising and marketing in Atlantic Canada. It’s nice recognition from our peers from outside the region who judged the work.
Say hello to Melanie McEwen, the latest person to join our team at Bonfire.
A graphic and web designer, she’s a Saint John native who recently graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Melanie is already an award winner, having picked up the Charlotte Glencross Award for Excellence in Design while at the College. A web design fanatic with a soft spot for typography, Melanie will work closely with Lise Hansen.
Bonfire was proud to be a sponsor of Saint John’s Harvesting The Arts festival, organized by the great folks at Fusion Saint John. (And check out Lise’s fantastic illustration on the poster.) A huge crowd of people enjoyed a brilliant fall day with music, food and arts. Congratulations to everyone at Fusion who worked so hard on the festival.
Storytelling has become the “trend of the moment” in marketing.
That’s unfortunate. Business trends come and go but storytelling is much more fundamental to our collective society than any buzzword.
Miley Cyrus, once a Disney sweetheart, is now a hypersexualized pop star, twerking her way to notoriety. And cash.
As art, we can pretty much agree there isn’t anything there, just soulless autotuned pop songs and cultural appropriation. We’ve seen this all before. But as a radical repositioning of a product, maybe there are things marketers can learn from Billy Ray’s daughter. And make no mistake; Miley is a product, not an artist.
Every day thousands of press releases are issued in North America, fueling a bunch of websites and clogging up the inboxes of reporters and newsrooms.
Most of those news releases are met with a resounding “Meh” from the media.
Why? Because if something is in a news release, it probably isn’t news. Seems kinda contradictory, but it isn’t.