Build Your Startup’s Brand with BrandBuds

Allison Startup Spotlights

Your company’s brand is its personality. It’s the face presented to the public. It’s what your customers think of when they think of you. Knowing this, it’s no wonder that branding your business is such an important part of your marketing strategy. And, knowing this, it’s even more surprising that so many companies aren’t more concerned with finding and building their brand.

Brand Buds™ wants to stress the importance of branding to startups and small companies and then help them build the brand that will make them stand out.

Founded:

Gregg Palazzolo

Thomas Coke

The Problem Being Solved:

Brand Buds™ founders know that Startups are strapped for cash. When choosing where to put their limited funds, they are often forced to put their money into daily operations, basic  marketing and product production. “This leads to mediocre and awfully ineffective branding,” says Thomas.  BrandBuds wants to help.

Exciting Opportunities:

Looking around at the ecosystem excites BrandBuds. “There is a boom in the number of startups going on now,” says Thomas. As a startup themselves, Brand Buds™ is a part of that ecosystem and they understand what makes startups tick.   

Where the Idea Came From:

While the idea of a branding company was something Gregg had been thinking about for a while, he says it was a meeting with Thomas, about the struggles startups have affording great branding, that really pushed him over the edge.  The idea was born and they launched into the effort full force, finding success with the company SheFit® who recently received funding through the TV show, SharkTank.

“Now,” says Thomas, “we are expanding our sales and marketing efforts across Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.” They are also in the process of partnering with local banks to engage their micro-lending programs to help finance the branding for companies that qualify.

Target Customer

BrandBuds has been focusing on reaching out to startups but they have recently expanded to companies as old as five years. “Essentially, any startup is a good fit.” They can also help companies that are looking for brand extension or to launch a new product or service.  

Biggest Challenge

Because they are so new, BrandBuds says their biggest challenge is getting the word out.  Beyond that it is simply finding companies that are open to branding advice.

But, Gregg’s experience as the owner of one of the top-ranked boutique firms in the country has helped them move past both of these challenges. They make sure to mention to companies how important branding is to the bottom line of a company, especially a young one looking to stand out.

Surprises

Despite more and more sources pointing to the importance of branding, they have been surprised to see how little attention the problem is getting. Especially since those who invest in companies are extremely interested in how a company presents itself.

Funding

Both Gregg and Thomas believe strongly in maximizing tight startup capital and building a business based upon actual sales and traction. Given this belief, BrandBuds has been completely bootstrapped.

The Future

“We’d like to grow the company to working with 200 startups a year within the next three years, and then add other services, either through partnerships or by building them ourselves, to support startups,” says Thomas.

Advice

BrandBuds wants to encourage other entrepreneurs to not be afraid to ask for help. “Michigan is full of awesome mentors and folks willing to help.  Also, bootstrap when  you can for as long as you can.”

 

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Allison

About Allison

Allison is a writer based out of Lansing, Michigan. She loves writing great content that helps Michigan businesses tell their stories, educate their customers, and promote their brands. Her work has been featured in Capital Gains, Mason Today, Williamston Today and more. She is also helping to promote startup activity in the region at StartupLansing. Follow her @AllySpoon

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