Branding for Growth and Scale with Kristin Luck
By Nick Westergaard
“Marketers today have to be data junkies.” Kristin Luck would know. She’s founded two marketing analytics companies that were so successful both ended up being acquired. Today she helps founders and executive teams scale and monetize their businesses. What role does branding play in all of this? We discussed that very topic and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast. About Kristin Luck Kristin Luck serves as an advisor and growth strategist to a number of cutting-edge marketing and analytics technology and services firms through her consultancy, ScaleHouse. She is the founder of two marketing analytics companies that she led to successful exits. Kristin co-founded OTX, an online research business that was named the fastest-growing research firm in the world in 2002 and 2003 and was subsequently acquired by Zelnick Media & Pilot Group and again by Ipsos in 2007. She then founded Forefront Consulting Group, a research technology firm that was acquired by Decipher. Decipher was acquired by FocusVision in 2014 after seven consecutive years of double and triple-digit growth. Kristin is a licensed investment banker with Oberon Securities and a founder focused on helping fellow founders and executive teams scale and monetize their businesses. Her deal expertise on both sides of transactions comes from participating in both acquisitions and exits from $30 million to $175 million. She is also passionate about supporting founders in international markets execute their entry into the U.S. Episode Highlights What does branding have to do with mergers and acquisitions? “Brand is huge in terms of attracting buyers. You have to have brand equity.” We also discussed that brand is hard to quantify yet companies lacking brand equity are usually lacking other performance metrics like annual recurring revenue—and vice versa. Analytics is everything. “Marketers today have to be data junkies.” However, you have to avoid the “phenomenon on analysis paralysis.” Kristin went on to cite a new report from Gartner noting that CMOs will spend more than CIOs for the first time ever. Speaking of the C suite … “It all comes down to the CEO.” We discussed how “investing in brand” can sound like a dubious proposition, especially as execs typically don’t like investing in marketing much less something “squishy” things like branding. Kristin says the CEO sets the tone. “They can be your biggest asset and advocate. Look at the T-Mobile CEO.” What brand has made Kristin smile recently? Want a smile? How about checking out “The Naked Truth About Laundry” from the CEO of Dropps, a sustainable laundry company that got Kristin’s attention and mine and made us both smile. Check it out! To learn more, go to scalehouse.consulting for Kristin’s company website and be sure to check out their blog. As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show. On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more. Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out. Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!