Branding Your Life Science Startup – The Logo and Tagline Are More Important Than You Might Think

27 Apr

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

Having a clear and consistent identity and message—or brand—that differentiates you is a critical requirement in establishing yourself as an investible identity to your prospective capital providers.

Many life science executives falsely believe that only consumer goods companies must invest in branding. Many also believe that their technology is so compelling that it will speak for itself. The reality is that branding is equally important in the life sciences, especially when it comes to raising capital, and that selling even the best of products takes some work.

Although you’re communicating with a small and highly educated audience, branding influences the choices they make. Your brand is what you present to the world. In creating it, you must ask yourself how you want to present your company and product and how you want to be seen and perceived. A logo may seem like a trivial component, but it’s actually an opportunity for you to create an image in an investor’s mind.

The goal of logo development is to create one that embodies the identity of your firm. Your logo is a symbolic representation of what your firm is all about, and it (like your marketing collateral) needs to be clear, crisp, and obvious. Too often, entrepreneurs will pick a logo that is inscrutable to an investor (for example, a complex molecular diagram) without thinking about it from a marketing perspective. You must take the time to consider what differentiates your company from the rest of the marketplace, what values your company holds, and what message you are trying to send. If you take the time to think through these questions, you’ll be able to develop a logo that is a strong and simple representation of the image you are striving to achieve in the marketplace.

Right below your logo should be your tagline. A tagline communicates in one crisp statement who you are and what you do. A common mistake people make is writing taglines that are general and nondescriptive rather than crisp and compelling. Examples of poor ones are “Moving Science Forward,” “Next Generation Solutions,” and “Creating New Therapies.” These don’t say anything specific about what the company does. A great tagline explains precisely what you do in a few words and starts to provide the context for who the company is.

Some examples of successful taglines include “Inventors of a Novel, Safe Anti-Cancer Agent” and “Anti-Infective Preventing the Replication of the Hep B Virus.” Life Science Nation’s tagline is “Connecting Products, Services & Capital.” The tagline needs to capture the essence of what your company does so that the reader has a general idea of what you are about. In the case of the latter example, the company name “Life Science Nation defines the arena the company plays in. The tagline informs the reader of the company’s role within that space.

Are your logo and tagline up to the task of representing your brand? LSN is launching a contest to find the best startup branding in the life sciences. Send in your logo and tell us the 5-7 word tagline for your startup, and we’ll feature the best submissions in a future edition of this newsletter, which will go out to 40,000 readers around the world.

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