Startup Lessons Learned: Wear Your Brand Like A Billboard

Marc Cuban once said he’d never invest in a company that ‘wastes money’ on tchotchkes and promo stuff to give away to your customers.  We don’t necessarily agree since the likes of Mailchimp has done a great job of branding through their awesome swag as well as their cool email marketing product.

At Dasheroo  we’re not spending big money on branding things like watches or boxer shorts, we do use Sticker Mule for our cool (and cheap!) Dasheroo stickers and our co-founder & VP Customer Success actually made it a family project to silk screen some sharp-looking Dasheroo T’s for the team.

I consider it a smart, and high ROI, investment much more than just throwing swag at employees and customers. It’s advertising, and I wear it like a billboard. You can often find me just about anywhere I am sporting a Dasheroo T, and if not that I always have my iPhone with a Dasheroo sticker emblazoned on the back cover.Dasheroo branding

I get so many people that may not have struck up a conversation before, asking me “So what’s Dasheroo?” And since everyone business in the world needs a dashboard, I’m confident my explanation will be relevant to the person next to me.

So when I pick up my phone,  point at it while I give the elevator pitch about Dasheroo, a few things happen:

  1. People are instantly drawn to the colorful logo and (they say) cute name; they smile and want to know more about what Dasheroo does! Nice branding opportunity!
  2. They see me smiling because I love what I do.
  3. 9 outta 10 times they ask for a business card (which is a fun square card with our logo and fun pictures of the Dasheroo sticker on the back, thanks Moo cards!)
  4. Often they ask for a job, or
  5. They are interested in a demo, a partnership or just launching right in and paying us. Recently, I even had a very interested person ask if he could buy us! (I factored in the 2 bourbons he had drank while we conversed into this;)

So bottom line, even though in SF and many other tech hubs large and small it seems like everyone is sporting swag of some sort, if you create cool branding and wear it well, you ‘ll get plenty of folks striking up conversations with you. And who knows where they might lead, but I guarantee you my ROI has been fantastic!