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G95 Branding Design (5)

George Morgan
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Page no: G95


Branding & Design

Get feedback on branding & design

Date: Apr 28, 2021
Starts at: 06:30 PM (Europe/Zurich)

In this Feedback Session, Founders will share their pitch and revenue model with Mentors for feedback and continued refinement. You will also get tips on how to sustain your startup before receiving financing or revenue, identifying the most lucrative revenue source for your business, testing different revenue sources with your target customers, and more.

In this session, Mentors will analyze your existing branding and design, and also discuss how to develop an enduring brand and great user experiences.


Below are just a few of the 10-15 deliverables you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:


Launch Track Deliverables

  1. Competitor Branding – Analyze and compare the name and branding of at least 15 companies with a competing offering, in a related industry, or with a similar value proposition in a different industry.
  2. Name Brainstorming – Use combinations of your naming words to develop a series of business names for the review of your peers and Directors.
  3. Name Research – Research the availability of the combined words as a domain name and list the ones that are most available.


Growth Track Deliverables

  1. Branding Expert – Leverage the FI Network to set up meetings with industry experts to get feedback about your name, branding, and customer experience.
  2. Close Sales – Follow-up on your previous sales activities, and measure the time allocated, conversion rates, financial spending and other metrics for each activity. Your goal is to convert new sales and/or show quantifiable traction before the Mentor Idea Review.
  3. Idea Review Pitch Deck – Finalize your 3-minute pitch deck for the Mentor Idea Review, using our templates and guidelines. Practice the pitch at least five times with your peers, and revise it based on feedback. Upload a final video on the deliverables page.

Branding & Design: Company Building Work


Questions Answer

#1 (Final Name List)

Provide the list of names that you have considered for your business. Provide a bulleted list of at least three Name Candidates that you have considered using for your business. Place the name that you have chosen at the top, which will be your Final Name Candidate. Rank order the other names. Write one sentence on why each name is good, as well as a second sentence on the potential problems with the name. (1 Hour)

Our initial customers are smaller companies and NOT SEO agencies.
In the previous section, we rather considered “Product-centric names” like
  • AutoBacklinks, EasyBacklinks, EasySEO, etc.
  • Actually a SEO Agency might have problem with insufficient number of backlinks to their clients.
    However, small companies simply want to have a better Google ranking (what at the end the SEO agency also wants).
    Interestingly most competitors use the product centric names related to backlinks or SEO.
Customer Problem Centric Names: 
  • Finally we opted for the following  Customer Centric Names:
  1. ranking-up
  2. google-up
  3. rankUP
Google-up was not good, because there is a Google product related to it.
Ranking-up was a bit long, so we decided for rankUP.

Moreover there are domains available, which are

The word Link also contains our product, namely to provide an automated way for generating backlinks.

Both customer problem and solution/product in one, still the ending Link can be used for other customer problems, too.

#2 (Competitor Names)

Examine the company names of competitors. Use multiple web and mobile application search platforms, such as Google, Linkedin, CrunchBase, AngelList and the App Store, to identify at least 15 companies with a competing offering, in a related industry, or with a similar value proposition in a different industry. Rank order the names in terms of memorability, ease of pronunciation and applicability to the market. Write the name of the company in order, the URL for the company and one sentence on why you like or dislike the company name. (1 Hour)

The linked table contains the domain analysis for competitors.

There are 3 groups of names

  1. Focus on the product / service that they deliver.
    Examples: SEO.co, Stellar SEO, Linkology
  2. Focus on the customer problem
    Examples: PageOnePower,HigherVisibility
  3. Combination of something funny to remember and the services.
    Example: LinkFish
  4. Focus on a speciality
    Example: VerticalMeasures,
  5. Not related to product or customer problem, but rather a name that remains.
    Examples: FatJoe, The Hoth

    We have not encountered anything that contains both customer problem and product.

#3 (Name Failure)

Spend some time to reflect on why your Final Name Candidate may fail to get brand recognition or fail to resonate with your target customers. Is it too hard to pronounce? Is it too hard to remember? Is the domain too complicated? Is it too abstract? Is it too literal? How does it compare to the names of other companies in the space? Write one paragraph that outlines your concerns on why the Final Name Candidate will fail. If the concerns are serious, consider another name from your Final Name List as the Final Name Candidate. (1 Hour)

Rank UP Link (alternatively ranking-up.link)

Is it too hard to pronounce?
No, easy to pronounce.

Is it too hard to remember?
No, very short name.

Is the domain too complicated?
rank-up.link is a nice short name

Is it too abstract?
No it describe the customer problem, namely to obtain a higher ranking.
Sure Google is not contained. So people might think about a university ranking, or anything else that has a ranking.
It also contains the product, we provide backlinks to the customer sites.

Is it too literal?
No, it is rather short and easy.

last considerations:
I might need to consult another English speaker
Ranking-up versus rank.up
Misspeller: Rack up is not negative.

Internet search:

Rankup – a game- allows players to “rank up” from one group to another, by satisfying certain requirements – such as experience, playtime, or money
Another game where you play “rank up”.

Rank up in Overwatch:
To “rank up” in games is important

Rank up in Football

 –> source and pons

1) While playing, you gain experience points and rank up. 
2) Face your opponents online and rank up your hierarchy to win more efficient troops and equipment.

3) Master each car in your own time , in any order to earn Speed Points and rank up .

All these statements are consistent with our proposition but – still not exactly your domain.
There is no domain/area that dominates rank up.

#4 (Working Group Feedback)

Share the Final Name Candidate with your Working Group. Email your Working Group and solicit their feedback on the Final Name Candidate. Provide a bulleted list of the feedback received. If the concerns are serious, consider another name from your Final Name List as the Final Name Candidate. (1 Hour)

The major feedback came from the working group during two sessions.
Namely: that the names AutoBacklinks, EasyBacklinks, EasySEO, etc. were too much product / solution focused.
This led to change to words associated with the customer problem:

  1. ranking-up
  2. google-up
  3. rankUP
While all people in the working group like rankUp.

#5 (Branding Expert)

Identify a Mentor or expert in branding, and set up a 15 minute conversation with them about your Final Name. During the conversation, spend five Minutes describing the Customer Problem and the Customer Archetype to the selected expert and show them any design materials that you have, including the logo. Ask them if they think that the Final Name and design will appeal to the Customer Archetype and to elaborate on their response. Write the name of the expert and their qualifications, along with one paragraph on the conclusions from the discussion. If the feedback is largely negative, consider another name from your Final Name List as the Final Name Candidate. (1 Hour)

I have scheduled two meetings with mentors, of which one with Erika on Thursday.
Moreover, I also asked my programming team in Ukraine that are very experienced in branding and logos from a technical point of view.

Mentor questions:
Some details with the name are still outstanding.
There are some detailed variants:

  1. RankUp
  2. RankUP
  3. Rank-Up (same as short internet domain)
  4. Rank-UP (UP in Upper Case)
  5. rank-up (lower case)
  6. Rank-Up dot link
These questions are closely related to Branding / Logo creation.

Customer Archetype:

  1. The customer is a 40 years old person that is likes new technology.
  2. He has a small websites in different languages, where he sells some products. ideally he does it in his second job
  3. He likes IT, uses the computer regularly.
  4. He sells a very particular type of products, a niche.
    He is convinced by this product. He faces the following problems:
  5. Main Issue: he does not sell enough, one reason is SEO
    a) Search engine optimisation is very expensive. A typical SEO campaign costs about 700 € per month. Usually one must run this campaign for many months, ideally forever.
    b) Moreover people do not know his product well. So he wants to show his product also to customers that usually would buy similar products.
    c) He has done very little SEO effort until now.

#6 (Final Name)

Consider all of the feedback you have received and select your Final Name. Refine your one sentence pitch using the Madlibs format with the Final Name (https://FI.co/madlibs) and pitch your business to at least 10 random individuals using the Madlibs format. At the end of your pitch, ask the individuals to repeat the Final Name back to you and spell the Final Name. Ask the individual to say if they have a positive, a negative or an indifferent reaction to the Final Name. Provide a bulleted list that contains if each of the individuals was able to recall and spell the name, as well as their positive, negative or indifferent reaction to the name. If at least 30% of the random individuals cannot recall the name, if they have negative impressions of the name or if they can not spell the name, consider another name from your Final Name List as the Final Name Candidate and repeat this exercise. (1 Hour)

my Company : RankUP
is developing: WordPress solutions
to help: Small companies that do not do SEO because of high costs
to rank up in search engines and keep costs under control

with automatic links to the customer site based on always new generated content

The major feedback that I received:

  • Isn’t “ranking” clearer?
    Rank is  maybe too short.
  • Can Google be contained in the name?
  • An English speaker must verify.
  • Do not use dash(minus) in the website name?
The feedback was mostly positive, >80%.
They could recall, they could spell it.

For refuting the dash in the website.

Impact of hyphens (dashes) in domain names in terms of SEO (source)

There’s no negative impact on domain names that use dashes. In fact, search engines are able to understand hyphens and perceive them as spaces (as confirmed by Google’s Matt Cutts in this blog post on the subject of dashes and underscores).

open Question: Should I name the company “RankUp Dot Link”?
Answered by Alexandra Pastollnigg: Swiss want .ch website.
To insist on Dot Link in the company name would be not a good idea.
#7 (Domain Names)

If you have not done so already, register various domains related to your Final Name on a domain registrar, like Name.com (See Resources). First, register your Main Domain, preferably as a.com, and then register all logical misspellings, which may include pluralization and mistakes when typing the name quickly. Next, register the Final Name on other top level domains, such as.net,.co and local domain variations. Provide a bulleted list of the various domain names that you have registered. (1 Hour)

I have registered the following domains:

The following are currently reserved, if this is necessary for each country.
my opinion is that they are not needed.

Unfortunately all misspellings like rankup.com, … are already taken.

#8 (Social Media)

If you have not done so already, register the Final Name or a shortened version of the Final Name on all major relevant social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram, using a service like Knowem.com. Try to keep the Final Name in a consistent form across all social media channels. Provide a bulleted list of links to all the Social Media accounts that you have set up. (2 Hours)

We have started registering the social networks.
One Example: https://twitter.com/rankup47710737

#9 (Email)

If you have not done so already, set up an email system for the Main Domain of your Final Name, preferably a.com domain, on an email hosting provider, which may be your domain registrar, like Name.com (See Resources). First, create email addresses for yourself and any other part-time or full-time resources using a first_name.last_name@ formatting structure. Next, create a series of email aliases for key functions of the business, such as sales@ and support@, that redirect mail to the appropriate person. Use your new email address for The List mailings going forward. (1 Hour)

Mails created and tested if they work.
  1.  [email protected]

#10 (Vision, Mission and Values)

Write a Vision and a Mission Statement, along with company Values. The Vision Statement is a one sentence statement of purpose for the company. The Mission Statement is a one sentence measurable objective that the company hopes to achieve over the next five years. The Values are three to five adjectives with a one sentence description for each adjective that the company uses to make decisions, set culture and hire Team Members. Create a nicely formatted PDF with the Vision, Mission and Values to provide to advisors, consultants and Team Members. (2 Hours)

#11 (Brand Positioning)

Write a Brand Positioning statement from the perspective of your Customer Archetype. Write a couple of sentences about the feelings, sentiments and benefits that your Customer Archetype experiences when they think of your Final Name, logo and positioning. Write a couple more sentences about how the Customer Archetype views your brand differently from other solutions and competitors in the market and explain why they trust you. Use words from your Name Brainstorming work. (1 Hour)

Customer Archetype:
(for repetition)
  1. The customer is a 40 years old person that is likes new technology.
  2. He has a small websites in different languages, where he sells some products. ideally he does it in his second job
  3. He likes IT, uses the computer regularly.
  4. He sells a very particular type of products, a niche.
    He is convinced by this product. He faces the following problems:
  5. Main Issue: he does not sell enough, one reason is SEO
    a) Search engine optimisation is very expensive. A typical SEO campaign costs about 700 € per month. Usually one must run this campaign for many months, ideally forever.
    b) Moreover people do not know his product well. So he wants to show his product also to customers that usually would buy similar products.
    c) He has done very little SEO effort until now.
“This is what I finally want, namely ranking higher in Google”.
I do not care how you do it exactly. I care about the higher ranking.
he has a Swiss company ending “.ch”; this is what I trust.
Customer Archetype views your brand differently from other solutions and competitors in the market
Rank up or going up in the Google ranking is the final aim for me
“I know this guy, he is very good.”  –> Relationship business, therefore we want to use existing sales networks/agents.
This is the only solution that helps me to break into the customers’ market, I tried standard SEO for Amazon, it was too expensive.

George understands the solution; it is not rocket-science at the end.
Why shouldn’t it work? ”
This is because the customer understands IT quite well.

#12 (Sales Follow-up)

Secure quantifiable traction with sales before the Mentor Idea Review. Follow-up on your previous sales activities, and measure the time allocated, conversion rates, financial spending and other metrics for each activity. Work to convert any of your sales prospects into actual customers. Write one paragraph on the lessons that you have learned, and provide a bulleted list of the data that you have gathered and analyzed through these activities. (3 Hours)

We have reached out for sales agents. We are using the following networks:

Which requires a minimum deal of 5000$ and 500$ per month.
This would be possible if we go with a price skimming strategy. Currently we are at 350$, half price of competitors.

Moreover we use the following networks for sales freelancers.
UpWork: Upwork, the world’s largest online workplace

Freelancer: Freelancer – Hire & Find Jobs
Fiverr – Freelance Services Marketplace for The Lean Entrepreneur

We are trying to employ Craigslist in the UK as well. The customer country could be anywhere in Europe
In Switzerland, we use sites like Ricardo or Tutti.ch
But also Freelancer sites like https://wetalents.net/ or Freelancer Schweiz
Moreover we started using XING and Linkedin.

#13 (Updated Materials)

Update all of your existing materials with the work done to date. These include your website, apps, printed materials and anything else that is available to customers. Provide a link to all of the updated materials with a brief description of the changes made. (3 Hours)

Please see the way how we gather material. We use a documentation website, that stores everything by area and keyword.
The current sales website, is subject to change until next week.
We are using the pitch PPT for sending to potential clients.

#14 (Weekly Update)

Provide an update on your weekly business progress. Copy the previous Weekly Update and mark all items that have been completed or Asks that have been fulfilled as “(DONE).” Mark anything that has not been completed or fulfilled as “(UNDERWAY),” and provide a one sentence update on their status. Add a few more bulleted items to be completed across Team, Product, Traction and Program for the coming week. (30 Minutes)

The Bulgarian team is celebrating Orthodox Easter and has some official holidays. Total 10 days off.
Unfortunately there is not much progress within the team.

Weekly update:

  • Product
    EasyBacklinks Prototype, plan for next week.

    1. DONE Define keywords that are specific the client’s site, i.e. ONYX Lamps. Complete the list
    2. DONE Define keywords that are specific for the competitors site, i.e. floor lamps, Table lamps, stone lamps. Complete the list.
    3. DONE Find Blogs and videos that are good as input, e.g. a blogs about interior design.
    4. NOT DONE Define the filtering keywords for these blogs and Youtube videos.
    5. In progress – Create a first Satellite Site with 2 sample feeds
  • Sales agent:
    1. In progress – see the question above.

#15 (Mentor Idea Review)

Prepare for the Mentor Idea Review. This coming week, you will present your business in front of a panel of Mentors, and you will be reviewed on (1) the viability of your core idea, (2) the skill of presentation and (3) the thoroughness of your research. To prepare, first, create a Pitch Deck to present your business in under three minutes using tips from this Guide (https://fi.co/guides/1071). Next, practice pitching your business with and separately without the Pitch Deck three times each, and write a bulleted list of the improvements that you make with each pitch. Lastly, practice the pitch with your Working Group and incorporate any feedback into the pitch and into the Pitch Deck, and paste an accessible link to the Pick Deck in your profile and here. (3 Hours)

Pitch Deck
We were trying to follow and verified it inside the Working Group

Criteria – what a good pitch should include.
(from Athanasios)
1. Intro You/your company
2. Problem
3. Solution
4. Traction
5. Benefit to the user
6. Secret sauce/differentiation from competition
7. Revenue model / Monetization / How you make money / Size of the market
8. Future growth
9. Team
10. Call to action / ask for a follow up meeting or money to do xyz

#16 (Office Hours)

Write three bullet points of notes on what you learned from the Office Hours you had with a Local Leader or Mentor last week or this week. Go to https://FI.co/ohours and schedule Office Hours with at least one Local Leader. Book a 15, 20 or 30 minute virtual meeting with at least one Local Leader to review your pitch and your Pitch Deck. Please ensure that your timezone is set correctly at the top of the page. (30 Minutes)

  • Look into the camera, not down.
    try to record yourself, and see how you come across.
  • Remove the chart in the background. It is distracting.
  • Be Really Excited about the solution.
Thomas A.:
  • Emotional component: Money works
  • Must be investor pidge, not investor pidge
  • Follow template
  • Customer Pidge: Question first the customer
  • First build the relationship
  • Traction,
  • Where are customers, where are investors?
  • Swiss investors ?
    Daniel: Valueable feedback on Co-Founder vs. employee.
Julien: Explain first what SEO is.
Word: Smart Content Engine for the engine that automatically creates content
  • Improve GOogle Ranking by % –> into pitch
  • Map our solution compared to customers: Manual vs automatic, End to end vs. single step.
  • Go through the story.
Wording: Auto-Blogger for the engine that automatically creates content
–> I prefer this one against Julien’s proposal

Your opening must contain an exposition:

  1. A statement about the power of the search engine
  2. A quick reference to the importance of SEO for business owners + supporting statistics.  good statistics here – https://www.bigleap.com/services/seo-marketing/
  3. The reference to the difficulties experienced by business owners due to the complexity of the seo process.
the function and power of backlinks in seo + the dependency on content

Then talk about your solution and how it makes the process of seo simpler.

A reference to what you are looking for.

#17 (Family and Relationships)

You are about to incorporate and launch a business. Running your business will have a significant impact on your personal relationships due to the toll that this endeavor will take on your available time and personal finances. Schedule to spend at least 30 minutes with your life partner, closest family member or any other person that you are in a close relationship with to discuss the future. In this meeting, start by describing why you are starting the business and what your vision for the business is. Next, discuss the time, the financial and the emotional impact that this effort will require. Third, ask them to rate their support for your ambition to build your business over the next five years on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is extremely supportive. If they do not rate their support at a 4 or a 5, then spend some time discussing what changes that would need to make to get their support to a level of 4 or 5. Write down their name, the relationship, their final rating and a few bullet points on the key lessons from the discussion. (1 Hour)

I have already had some discussion with my wife about these subjects.
The current situation is extra-ordinary, because currently I am in a double engagement with my day job and with FI.
She likes people that follow their heart and their enthusiasm.
She is used to the fact that I work 12 hours a day, a rhythm that I do already for some years.
Day job and blogging before, then creating the auto-blogger and now FI.
Hence neutral 3.
We are still discussing how to improve, but mostly it is a question of time for the family.

(Optional – Design Resource)

Identify a Design Resource to complete a professional logo, business cards, pitch deck template, Landing Page and initial mock-ups. You may choose to use a local design freelancer or an online freelance service. Review the various options and choose a solution to complete your necessary design work within 7 to 14 days. Write the name of the solution that you have chosen and a few sentences on your reasoning. (2 Hours)(Optional – Design Specification) Write a Design Specification for your Design Resources based on this template (http://fndri.com/2pieiQK). If necessary, ask a Working Group member for feedback on your work. Provide the Design Specification to the Design Resource, and start a project to complete the required Design Deliverables in less than two weeks. set up a schedule to block out an hour to review and provide feedback for the Design Resource every couple of days. Link to the Design Specification and write a few sentences on the plan to complete the required Design Deliverables quickly. (3 Hours)(Optional – Pitch Coaching) Organize an optional evening workshop with your fellow Founders and a Local Leader, Mentor or other expert to provide detailed feedback on your pitches. (2 Hours)

Director Feedback

Hi George, so in general my impression is that you dedicated sufficient time on this and that you did make progress and came to some clarity around the brand, execution, etc. I still miss the slogan/claim, the vision/mission. In question 10 you just gave a link to the overall pitch (which honestly will require huge amount of rework…but we will get there). Your mission/vision is completely unclear and missing, so there you need to work more and get more clarity. Now, regarding branding: I think you solution is not bad, it is simple, ownable, impactful, convincing…it does the job. For non-users it does not say anything though, it remains a strange acronym that could be anything. I think you could still dedicate more time in improving mission/vision/branding and all the related materials (slogans, design, etc.) to take much more advantage of the power of great branding. Again, it is OK, but it is not brilliant, it is not outstanding. It ticks the box. Of yours you will not be able to do that over night, but please do not consider the current solution as done and complete, keep working on it, even if you will pick a solution at some time to make steps forwards, but I think that in 6-9 months you might consider a re-branding or level-up of what you have now. Best, Daniel





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