Why do you exist? What is your purpose?

So begins an amazing talk on Branding by Geoff Cook.

Geoff is a partner at a world renown agency Base, a long time mentor, friend and a supporter of Techstars.

Today was the second time I was fortunate enough to hear Geoff’s talk. It is a unique blend of art and science — inspiring and terrific. Geoff’s message is:

Brands are like people

They have personalities, shapes and even smells. Great brands, like Apple, are thought through, crafted and engineered. Great brands are not just about products, but about experiences.

Geoff challenged the Techstars founders to think about their brands — Why do you exist? What is your purpose?

Branding is often a forgotten part of a startup experience. Founders think about product, market, sales, revenue, KPIs, growth, culture, and vision.

But rarely do you hear founders talk about brand.

Yet, startups that become real businesses, and particularly the ones people talk about have to become brands.

Reviving and cleaning up the brand, is a lot harder than starting with the vision and brand, and weaving it into the product, web site, marketing, social media, pr, culture — all aspects of the business.

Watch an interview with Geoff, check out the slides from his talk, read his blog and think about your purpose and your brand.