7 Costly Mistakes That Can Be Avoided By Brand Research

Branding strategies can make or break an organization. There’s a lot that goes into developing a successful brand, and the best companies around the world put substantial time and effort into brand development and image. Creating a successful brand requires time and research commitment and is an ongoing strategy that can yield amazing results.

However, small businesses at the start of their inception can potentially create crucial branding mistakes during their initial stages of development that costs them a lot of customers, money, and time. Even major brands make big branding mistakes, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and Amazon’s Fire Phone.

Brand research services for positioning strategies, brand mapping, and perceptual mapping can help you, whether you’re a small business or a long-time market player, to avoid pitfalls and the costly mistakes of failed brand positioning.

Common Branding Mistakes by New Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do you remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy in 1995? You might not because it’s one of Nintendo’s biggest failures in the history of the company. It didn’t offer what it promised, a true VR experience, resulting in incredibly low sales and quick removal from the market. What about Amazon’s Fire Phone in 2014? It only lasted one year because of its limited availability and features that didn’t resonate with audiences. Even major companies like Nintendo and Amazon have to be careful about product or service branding that can tarnish their reputation and result in massive profit loss.

Even small branding mistakes can cost a company. Not only will your efforts and time spent towards planning to be lost, but you will have cost your business a lot of money and even potentially tarnish your reputation permanently, which can be completely devastating for the longevity of a brand.

Below are seven mistakes that you can avoid when it comes to brand positioning so that you learn more about them and avoid them altogether:

  1. Lack of Competitor Research
    You have to learn about your competitors if you want to be successful. How do they position their brand? What types of products and services do they offer? How are they perceived in their respective industry? How are they succeeding? Do you have a potential opportunity in the market where they do not? You don’t want to identically replicate your competitor’s strategies. But you do have to learn everything there is to know about the successes and failures of your competitors so that you know how to uniquely position yourself in the market.
  2. Brand Messaging Doesn’t Suit Target Audience If you can’t develop a brand message that fits with your target audience, nobody is going to buy from you. You have to learn everything about your target audience like demographics, what they like to buy, where they shop, what times of the day or times of the year do they make purchases related to your offerings, what colors motivate and drive them to make purchases, what parts of the world are they located, how does culture affect purchasing, and many more.
  3. Failed Market Study
    Effective market research needs to be obtained about how people are reacting to your brand, products, or services. Survey analysis can be obtained to further your market research and understanding, or a complex study of social media research and analysis can help you to understand how people review or perceive you in the market. If you don’t analyze feedback from your customer base, you will be making a costly mistake in your brand research initiatives.
  4. Association or Dissociation with Events and Motives Just because you want to create a product or service or build your brand around a particular design or niche space in the market, doesn’t mean it will be successful. You can’t just build and sell tablets just because iPad’s are popular, create a bottled water company because you feel people will always need to drink water, or design makeup and cosmetics because there is a popular trend in that space this year. You have to delve deeply into your brand research strategy to truly understand the reasoning behind purchasing decisions and product and service popularity.
  5. Inconsistent Corporate Identity Everything about your brand identity has to make sense, from the colors that you choose to represent your company, to the logo and fonts that you use throughout your campaigns, to the style of writing, tone and messaging that you implement to speak to and reach audiences. Everything has to remain consistent so that people understand your brand values and what you are offering them. If you fail, you could spend a lot of time rebranding and causing confusion to your audience and miss a lot of opportunities.
  6. Poor Product Packaging

    Product packaging is the first thing people see when looking at your brand, whether they are online or physically in store locations. Everything from materials, graphics, size, shape, and color all are important elements of packaging designs. You could spend a lot of money rebranding your packaging if your product performs poorly. On the other hand, you might spend money rebranding your packaging when it isn’t even necessary and have to revert back to the way it was. Effective brand research is going to help you understand the best elements and packaging designs that will help your company thrive.
  7. Making the Wrong Impression If you are selling premium services, you don’t want to use commodity branding. You will deter audiences from your brand. There is a reason why so many fast food restaurant chains use the colors red and yellow, like Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr., and software companies use blue and black like Intel, IBM, Apple, or Google. People associate certain attributes to particular products and designs. People won’t understand what you are offering them if you make the wrong impression. Pay particular attention to detail and use the right research and analysis to make a lasting impression that makes sense with audiences.

How Brand Research Can Help

Brand marketing research is integral to the success of organizations in the modern world. In fact, no business out there that is successful in today’s market leaves home without brand research.

Brand research improves your competitiveness, visibility, and messaging and can help your business take a strategic position in the market using proven data from effective research and analysis services. Here are some of the major benefits of effective brand research:

  • Integrated Metrics: You can see the impacts of your project decisions and forecasts with measurable and tangible results.
  • Allocate Market Spend: Understand how to make investments that will lead to successful outcomes.
  • Identify Competition: You can not only find out who your competition is, but you can find out how and why they are successful in the market, or even discover how to position your brand in areas where your competition is lacking.
  • Develop Accurate Strategies: Create informed decisions built on a foundation of research and analytics with a better understanding of market developments, pricing, and positioning.
  • Capture Target Audience: Better understand consumer behavior and create effective marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Brand Perception: Truly understand how audiences feel and react to your brand, products and services.

Effective Brand Research for Organizations Across Industries

Research Optimus (ROP) has top research and analyst specialists who are tenured in market research, business research, customer analysis, and brand research services that provide the required insights to take the appropriate steps towards building effective and long lasting business brand awareness, brand marketing, and positioning strategies. Apart from services like market research, product research, and risk analysis, contact our team today to jump start or further advance your journey into brand research and obtain the targeted insights you need to avoid branding mistakes.

By: https://www.researchoptimus.com/

.

Decision Analyst

An introduction to brand strategy, and the tangible and intangible elements that make up a brand. And a brief discussion of the questions of to ask in order to focus and improve your brand strategy. Learn More: https://www.decisionanalyst.com/servi…

.

More Contents:

ROI Focused Digital Marketing Agency in Kolkata, India http://www.digitale.co.in – Today[…] Brand Marketing Strategy Project Launch Omni-Channel Identity E-Commerce Roadmap for Customer Acquisition FMCG […]0

What Makes A Successful Brand? – Aepiphanni Business Consulting aepiphanni.com – Today[…] We currently live in a time when business is shifting over from product marketing to brand marketing […]0

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: MARKETING MANAGER 4 SUNNYVALE CA USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 19 Senior Brand Marketing Manager Fremont, CA, USA We are looking for a Senior Brand Strategy Manager with a proven trac […]  A minimum of 4-6 years of marketing experience (at least 3 years in brand marketing in grocery/food  […]N/A

Drive Growth by Picking the Right Lane — A Customer Acquisition Playbook for Consumer Startups | First Round Review firstround.com – Today[…] g PR, brand marketing), but the lanes outlined above are the only reliable paths for long-term and sustainable busines […]3

trivago N : Q4 2020 Shareholder Letter | MarketScreener http://www.marketscreener.com – Today[…] likely return to travel at different points in time, we believe that we will need to implement a brand marketing strategy that is more granular in approach in order to more efficiently target our customers an […]0

02/11/21: Call of Duty League locked in a deal with USAA http://www.cynopsis.com – Today[…] Associate Manager, Brand Marketing WB Games Burbank CA https://careers […]N/A

Product Marketing Manager http://www.aplitrak.com – Today[…] to ensure product marketing needs are represented in content marketing, digital marketing, PR and brand marketing plans […]0

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: COPYWRITER PERFORMANCE MARKETING US NEW YORK NY USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 17 Brand Marketing Lead / Content Manager New York, NY, USA You will also be responsible for working with designers […]N/A

It’s never too late to innovate | The Content Mix veracontent.com – Today[…] Lim Maravillas, global head of marketing enablement and Bernardo Lemgruber, head of content and brand marketing, join Shaheen Samavati today to discuss the history of the company and their recent evolutions […]0

Consumers increasingly seeing the benefits of rechargeable batteries, finds Panasonic – http://www.retailtimes.co.uk – Today[…] are looking for The global pandemic has changed the way people shop, explains Vicky Raman, brand marketing manager – Panasonic Energy Europe […]3

What is growth marketing? | Positive Hüman http://www.positivehuman.co – Today[…] when you think about the difference between growth marketing and traditional marketing strategy (brand marketing, for example). Traditional marketers are usually doing some kind of brand marketing […] ) Brand marketing is useful once a company has product market fit; is in a traditional industry; or is selling t […]N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: DIRECTOR SAN ANTONIO TX USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] If you are a Manager or Director with Brand Marketing experience  […]N/A

Pegula Sports Jobs http://www.teamworkonline.com – Today[…]   Qualifications Experience working in brand marketing (sports and entertainment experience a plus but not required) […]3

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: STRATEGIC MARKETING DIRECTOR DENVER CO USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…]  Drive strategy and execution of brand marketing initiatives through video content storytelling  […]N/A

Hyatt Announces Hyatt Loves Local Initiative in Support of Local Small Businesses http://www.newsexperts.in – Today[…] opportunity to support local communities,” said Amy Weinberg, senior vice president, brand loyalty, brand marketing and consumer insights, Hyatt […]2

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: MARKETING DIRECTOR BATAVIA IL USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 28 Brand Marketer – Direct Sales Wheaton, IL, USA Brand marketing and assisting our sales and marketing team * Using proven methods to connect with  […]0

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: MARKETING OPENINGS ELIZABETH NJ USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] * Partner with creative and brand marketing team members to  […] Apply Now>> 15 Brand Marketing Director New York, NY, USA Reports to the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications […]0

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: BRAND MARKETING ASSISTANT HOBOKEN NJ USA http://www.e-physician.info – TodayFIND THE PERFECT JOB! keywords location distance 1 Brand Marketing Director New York, NY, USA The Director of Brand Marketing works in close collaboration with the Programming team, Director of  […] Apply Now>> 2 Brand Marketing Lead / Content Manager New York, NY, USA THE ROLE We are looking for a Brand Marketer to lead th […] Apply Now>> 3 Brand Marketing Assistant Hoboken, NJ, USA The team leads the design, planning, and implementation of nationa […]N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: MARKETING MANAGER CLEARWATER FL USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 6 Brand Marketing Manager Saint Petersburg, FL, USA Brand Marketing Manager – Kingpin Tattoo Supply FLSA Status: Exempt Reports To: Kingpin Tattoo Supply Genera […] Kingpin Tattoo Supply General Manager EEOC: Mid-Level Officials and Managers POSITION SUMMARY: The Brand Marketing  […] Apply Now>> 36 Marketing Account Coordinator – Brand Marketing GURU Clearwater, FL, USA Marketing, client relations, sales, advertising, management) * Exceptional […]N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: BRAND DIRECTOR MUSIC CATEGORY FORT LAUDERDALE FL USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…]  Brand Marketing and Sales team for the Beverage Appliance category in the Appliance & Cookware  […]N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: MARKETING MANAGER LOS ANGELES CA USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 3 Brand Marketing Manager Los Angeles, CA, USA The Brand Marketing Manager is responsible for leading brand and product marketing strategy/activity across all owne […]N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: EVENT MANAGER TRAINEE MARKETING PROMOTIONS SANTA ANA CA USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 15 Brand Marketing Manager Irvine, CA, USA Planet Technology is seeking a Brand Marketing Manager on a contract to hire basis, with a  […]  Brand Marketing in cultural development, promotions and key partnerships to execute culturally  […]N/A

Breakfast w/ Brand, Marketing & Comms Specialists http://www.joinclubhouse.com – TodayThursday, February 11 at 8:00am GMT with Brett Goldhawk, Dominic South, Marc Elmer, Annica Wainwright, Jessica Wicks, Sonya Gonzalez Mier, Shelley Harrison, Isabel Lydall, Paul Doran, Richard Medley, Fran Bridgewater, Leonie Jackson, Nick Raeburn.N/A

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER TAMPA FL USA http://www.e-physician.info – Today[…] Apply Now>> 12 Brand Marketing Manager Saint Petersburg, FL, USA […] Apply Now>> 35 Marketing Account Coordinator – Brand Marketing GURU Clearwater, FL, USA Marketing, client relations, sales, advertising, management) * Exceptional […]N/A

Uber Technologies (UBER) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript http://www.fool.com – Today[…] like Europe, we are continuing to lean into delivery opportunities, including with incremental brand marketing spend, customer acquisition spend, as well as investments in our growing grocery and other ne […]1

Race Ahead CLE | Promotional Products and Apparel | Brand Marketing | Anaheim, CA – Home http://www.promoplace.com – TodayRace Ahead CLE. Best selection of promotional items, apparel and corporate gifts. Let us earn your business with our 1st class service and low prices.3

Enterprise Content Strategist at Citizens jobs.citizensbank.com – Today[…] cost and resource availability Lead paid social media content marketing efforts for community and brand marketing programs and partners closely with social distribution teams to ensure successful execution o […]N/A

Kelly Linkous (she/her) on LinkedIn: Build Your Career with Confidence. http://www.linkedin.com – Today[…] RealSelf is seeking a Director of Marketing Strategy to define and deliver our Consumer and Brand marketing strategy and OKRs […]0

HOT JOBS & COOL JOBS: DO YOU LOVE STRETCHING OTHERS…SO DO WE! LIVINGSTON LIVINGSTON NJ USA

Productivity Tips to Help You Work Smarter in the New Year

Here are some highlights from Amy Landino‘s appearance on Agorapulse’s weekly Facebook Live show. You can also view the entire show if you like (and which we recommend!).

Onward to the productivity tips!

1. Broaden Your Creativity

“See what you can make fly, so that you can observe the results of it and then any success that you have, duplicate that or figure out what that looks like.”

Establish a steady (not frantic) pace

“When you have a content goal, and let’s say it’s to have a weekly show on YouTube, which is industry standard. If you started weekly, you’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, YouTube would tell you to start with once a week. Don’t do more than that!”

Try new things

“I like to compare it to carpool karaoke on the set. On these night shows that we start to see on YouTube that work, it’s because you test them on the show. That’s their testing ground, and then what ends up flying ends up being their huge success online.

“That could also be true for the actual show itself, like what they become known for …

“Maybe you become known for a segment, but you have to build that segment out.”

2. Write Out Everything  

“The procedure for that for me is we have to write everything.

Embrace documentation

“Obviously, everything has to be documented, from all the talking points that we need and any other basis we have to cover it or sponsor it or stuff like that.

Establish deadlines

“And then we’re reverse-engineering what the deadlines are. When is the video to go out? When does it need to go to certain approvals? What days are those approvals? When do you film? When do you edit?

“Everything is just a reverse-engineering of a deadline.”

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Reverse engineer deadlines to avoid feeling overwhelmed

“And so I do like to look at what are all the deadlines for a month and then reverse engineer the filming. If I can do at least two videos in one day to make the most of hair and makeup, it pays off for me because I don’t have to go crazy and get ready to film so many times in a month.

“That takes a lot of careful planning and making sure that you’re covering your bases and making the time.

free trial of agorapulse social media management tool

Use your time wisely

“Scheduling is a very big passion in my life. I believe we can all make better use of the time that we have.

“And so if you want the content to be good, I do think it needs to be timely.

“It’s amazing how even a video that’s very well-planned, sometimes just when it’s made too far in advance, even on my channel, it just doesn’t fly the same way as it would if it was like this idea that we came up with and got out like traditional YouTube culture.

Give yourself enough time

“But you do need to give yourself enough time to create it.

“So maybe not looking too far in advance but looking at a monthly level or from a monthly viewpoint of what are we trying to get done and when are we going to do it, especially if you’re hiring people to get this kind of stuff done for you.

“You’re definitely going to want to schedule that as well. So it’s pretty obvious that you would then have to schedule whatever you have to do as it pertains to that content.

“But going on a week to week basis with those videos would be really difficult if you’re thinking, we’re going to do this again, I gotta do this, again, I gotta do this.

“Again, if you can kind of knock out for marketing and content creation, just a certain period of time in that month, and then all the other logistics to follow, just have to get done in time for the deadline, you’re in pretty good shape.

“So I do a lot of batching whenever possible.”

Bonus Materials: Free SMART Goals Guide

4. Take Notes and Outline

“The places I spend my time are Evernote for a lot of outlining and note-taking.

Amy Landino productivity tips for social media managers

“But Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are like my main situations because absolutely everything that I’m doing has to do with the feedback that I’ve been getting from my community.

“There’s no reason to write a book unless people want it. There’s no reason to create a video unless there’s some way to convey a message or a tool or a tactic that people wanted.

Practice the art of listening

“And so I have to be listening to all the time. Otherwise, I’m just creatively dead because I specifically make my videos for a specific person and for a specific community, so I need to go to them a lot, especially when a video goes out.

“You watch and see, like, what spawned from this conversation like, Where do we go from here? What follow up questions are to be had? Because that’s probably a great follow-up to this video.”

5. Embrace Talking About the Same Thing a Lot

“I think one of the hardest things for people when they’re creating content is getting out of their head about talking about the same thing all the time.

“I actually love getting that comment from like the random troll every once in a while, like, Oh, my gosh, you talk about the same thing all the time.

“My answer to that is: Yeah because I’m an expert.”

Cultivate your expertise

“So if you are feeling that you’re talking about the same thing a lot, you’re an expert.

“And people usually need to hear what you’re saying a lot for you to make a change if that’s the type of content that you create.

“No matter how many times I feel like I’ve said something, there’s always another way to put it. Because I still get the same types of questions all the time.

“The reality is everybody thinks that their problems are different from everybody. We all think our problems are special and different. But when you really break it down, we’re all talking about the same issues.”

source

6. Give Yourself at Least 15 Minutes Every Morning

“At least allocate 15 minutes to start your day on your terms. You’re going to be better off for the rest of the world because they’re going to be pulling at you for the rest of the day.

“So I’m unbelievably passionate about having my ‘me time’ in the morning. I’m an introvert; I just need that moment because I know that I have to be on the rest of the day. It’s just a part of the gig. And so I take that for myself.

You just have to find what works for you and that was probably the final passion behind this book was everything online is really outlining what you should be doing in the morning. I don’t like the word ‘should.’ I shut down when people save them.

“And so to me, it’s what works for you, and just covering the bases.

“Get that little bit of time it might just take for you to feel like you’re up for that day, and make the work around what your season of life is at that moment.”

By: Veronica Jarski

In Conclusion

Social Pulse Weekly brings you incredible marketing experts and today’s latest social media news and developments. Tune in every Friday at 2PM ET to keep your finger on the pulse of social media.

* * *

Want more helpful, actionable content like this? Subscribe to the Agorapulse newsletter, and get the most recent blog posts and news about the social media channels you use most.

.

.

Brian Tracy

The most successful and wealthiest people all practice the habits I am about to share with you on a daily basis. Adding these daily success habits to your own routine will contribute greatly to your achievement. http://bit.ly/2wHVsEs If you want to set yourself up for success, you must create an effective to-do list. Use my ABCDE Method Checklist to plan your days and weeks more efficiently than ever before. Click the link above to download my ultimate prioritization tool for free. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” @BrianTracy (Click to Tweet: http://ctt.ec/9bdah) ___________________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

The 80/20 Rule And How It Can Change Your Life

4.jpg

What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80% of your work disappear?

If you’ve studied business or economics, you’re well familiar with the power of the Pareto Principle.

The Man Behind The Concept

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Italy in 1848. He would go on to become an important philosopher and economist. Legend has it that one day he noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. This observation caused him to think about uneven distribution. He thought about wealth and discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. The generalization became:

80% of results will come from just 20% of the action:

Pareto’s 80/20 Rule

This “universal truth” about the imbalance of inputs and outputs is what became known as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. While it doesn’t always come to be an exact 80/20 ratio, this imbalance is often seen in various business cases:

• 20% of the sales reps generate 80% of total sales.

• 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.

• 20% of the most reported software bugs cause 80% of software crashes.

• 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare spending (and 5% of patients account for a full 50% of all expenditures!)

On a more personal note, you might be able to relate to my unintentional 80/20 habits.

I own at least five amazing suits, but 80% of the time or more I grab my black, well-tailored, single-breasted Armani with a powder blue shirt. (Ladies, how many shoes do you own, and how often do you grab the same 20%?)

I have 15 rooms in my house, but I spend about 80% of my time in just my bedroom, family room, and office (exactly 20%).

I’m not sure how many miles of roads are in the small town where I live, but I bet I only drive on 20% or less of them, as I make daily trips to my kids’ schools, the grocery store, the bank and gas station.

On my smartphone, I have 48 different mobile apps pinned to the tiles, but 80% of the time I’m only using the eight on my home screen.

When I go grocery shopping, I definitely spend the most time in the aisles that are around the edges of the store: produce, the fish market, dairy, breads—and generally skip the aisles in the middle of the store (except for health and beauty).

As a massive introvert, I don’t actually socialize too much, but when I do, 80% of my time is spent with the same 20% of my friends and family members.

In my research into the productivity habits of high achievers, I interviewed hundreds of self-made millionaires, straight-A students and even Olympic athletes. For them, handling every task that gets thrown their way—or even every task that they would like to handle—is impossible. They use Pareto to help them determine what is of vital importance. Then, they delegate the rest, or simply let it go.

How You Can Use It

So how can you apply Pareto’s principle to gain more time in your life?

Are you an executive? You’re surely faced with the constant challenge of limited resources. It’s not just your time you need to maximize, but your entire team’s. Instead of trying to do the impossible, a Pareto approach is to truly understand which projects are most important. What are the most important goals of your organization, or boss, and which specific tasks do you need to focus on to align with those goals. Delegate or drop the rest.

Are you a freelancer? It’s important to identify your best (and highest-paying) clients. Of course, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. But too much diversification will quickly lead to burnout. Focus on the money makers and strengthening those long-term relationships.

Are you an entrepreneur? The temptation always exists to try the new and exciting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it boils down to your goals. Are you trying to grow your current business? Would an 80/20 mindset help you to stay focused on your strategic plan and spend less time chasing endless new opportunities?

No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.

So, what 20% of your work drives 80% of your outcomes?

 

He Was Employee Number 7 At Tesla And Now Has Built A $1 Billion Business That Makes Your Phone Or Car Run Longer

Gene Berdichevsky was one of the early team members at Tesla. Now he’s building his own unicorn startup, Sila Nanotechnologies, which is valued at over $1 billion. One which looks like it will fuel every way you travel from the road to being in the air.

Berdichevsky recently appeared as a guest on the Dealmakers Podcast. During his exclusive interview, he shared his journey, building his first solar car, and how he’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his own technology startup that is growing at an incredible pace.

Thousands of Miles & Designing Your Own Education

He was born on the Black Sea in Ukraine, spent time in St. Petersburg, Russia, and even lived north of the arctic circle for five years. All before landing with his family in Richmond, Virginia, and attending college in California.

Gene was fortunate to grow up in an entrepreneurial family, and see his father start his own small businesses. Both of his parents were software engineers and worked on nuclear submarines.

So, the one thing he says he knew was, “I definitely wasn’t going to be a software engineer.” He did enjoy math and science a lot. That led him to study mechanical engineering.

Within his first year at Stanford, he got involved in their solar car project. Students would compete to build a solar-powered car and race it across the country, 2,300 miles, from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Gene’s team built the car chassis from scratch, built a carbon fiber body, and powered it with a battery with about the same strength as the toaster in your kitchen.

That was it. He fell in love with energy, problem-solving and building, and was really energized by having really built something from the ground up.

Mastering Energy

Berdichevsky went on to get a Master’s in energy engineering from Stanford. There was really no such program in existence at the time. So, he put together his own curriculum. He dove into materials, semiconductor physics, quantum mechanics, and solar.

Many people are already struggling with the decision to go to university. So, why go, and even create your own studies, when you can piece everything you want to know together online these days?

As with many of the other highly successful startup founders I’ve interviewed who have come out of Stanford, Gene found the network you gain access to very valuable. Some of those people still work for him at Sila today. He also credits the value of learning from your peers there.

Tesla & Battery Issues

At the end of his junior year, Gene became the seventh Tesla employee as a tech lead for battery system architectural development.

It’s no secret that there were plenty of early challenges for Tesla. They started out literally supergluing laptop batteries together to make the battery pack.

Then with safety the main concern was avoiding random failures. They happen in batteries. Even being rare, when you are using 10,000 batteries to run a single vehicle you really have to expect this to happen and preempt that.

Tesla grew from around 10 people when Berdichevsky started there, to around 300 when he left. About 30x in just four years. Tesla now has over 45,000 employees with a market cap of $40 billion.

His big lesson from Tesla was that as a startup founder, you want to go after really big problems. Ironically, Gene says sometimes it is easier to solve a really big problem, than a smaller one. For a start, it enables you to attract incredible talent. It is also both incredibly rewarding and reduces your competition.

From Tesla, he saw that you need to be willing to do things the world doesn‘t think are possible. This requires a mindset and a culture that is self-reliance where you are willing to do a lot of things in house.

Entrepreneurship In The Making

From the day he walked into Tesla, Gene says his brain was already fixated on “How do I start my own company? How do I build something like this?” He had even previously written a business plan for making electric cars in the U.S. market in his junior year at Stanford.

He then did a stint at Sutter Hill Ventures where he understood the VC lens when identifying entrepreneurs that have the potential for success. The key ingredients and how the lens is used to identify patterns includes the following:

1) Great markets defined by a great distribution

2) A strong product that captures the value

3) Founding teams equipped to resolve complex technical problems

Gene was traveling the world meeting many founders. During his time with Sutter Hill Ventures, Gene met his future co-founder, Gleb Yushin. Shortly after, Gene’s former Tesla colleague Alex Jacobs joined them as Sila Nano’s third co-founder.

After multiple conversations and understanding the value that each one of them brought to the table, they got started with a 1,000 sq. ft. lab in a basement at Georgia Tech and Sila Nanotechnologies was born.

Financing The Next Big Thing

Right after forming the team they went out to raise financing. They had a big advantage and that was the intellectual property Gleb had amassed which included six patents and four years of technical data around the problem they wanted to resolve.

They knew the technology was fully compatible and had a clear understanding of the road ahead given the years of experience at Tesla from Gene and his co-founder Alex.

They went out and raised a Series A round with Sutter Hill and Matrix as co-leads. Both of whom have continued investing in every round.

Sila’s most recent round of financing was a $170 million round led by Daimler. So far they’ve raised around $295 million.

The business positioning was critical as a lot of people had lost money in battery companies. From day one they were very clear they were not a battery company, but a technology company that makes materials for batteries. Batteries are a low margin market but the materials have a very healthy market as the better the product the higher the sales.

They are valued now at over $1 billion where storytelling played a big role. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Sila Nanotechnologies

During the early days, the cofounders were able to recruit a group of talented engineers to join them and from there started to build the business.

Their business model revolves around inventing, developing, manufacturing and selling their product.

In this regard, their product is a powder that replaces graphite powder in existing lithium-ion batteries. The more efficiently you can store lithium, the less material you need for the same amount of energy. Sila Nano’s material can store energy more densely, giving you more energy at similar volume and weight.

Sila can reduce battery weight by approximately 20 percent or increase energy stores by approximately 20 percent with it’s material. Meaning vehicles have the potential to go 20% further than anyone else’s.

Consider that every electric vehicle will need around 15 to 20 kilos of this material. Think forward to a few years from now when all vehicles are electric. You’re talking about a market of 100 million new vehicles per year. At 20 kilos per car, you’re talking about 2 billion kilos of this entirely new-to-the-world material that has to be produced, every year.

This material could also be used to fuel new air taxis, and change the way we travel, and the aerospace industry.

Sila has been growing by around 40-50% every year for the past five years, and there are no indications of that slowing down anytime soon.

Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:

  • The essential ingredients for raising money
  • Gene’s top piece of advice for his younger self and new founders
  • How to grow as a leader when your team is growing at 92% in two years
  • His approach to solving strategic problems

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a serial entrepreneur and the author of the The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs. Most recently, I built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online. Prior to CoFoundersLab, I worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where I was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake). I am an active speaker and have given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and at NYU Stern School of Business. I have been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide my stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.

Source: He Was Employee Number 7 At Tesla And Now Has Built A $1 Billion Business That Makes Your Phone Or Car Run Longer

How To Beat Procrastination (Backed by Science) – Darius Foroux – Pocket

Procrastination has been around since the start of modern civilization. Historical figures like Herodotus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and hundreds of others have talked about how procrastination is the enemy of results. One of my favorite quotes about procrastination is from Abraham Lincoln: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today…….

Source: How To Beat Procrastination (Backed by Science) – Darius Foroux – Pocket

%d bloggers like this: