Startup Brand Strategy

9.2

(50 ratings)

·

2 Weeks

·

Cohort-based Course

What every early stage company needs to know about purpose, position, and personality to build the foundation for a distinctive brand.

Hosted by

Arielle Jackson

Marketing Expert in Residence at First Round Capital

Course overview

Great startups deserve great brands

Unlock your company's next level of growth by gaining clarity on what you do and why you do it. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be something great for someone. Join this two-week crash course to learn how.

Who this course is for:

01

Early stage startup founders who are just getting started (pre-seed to series A)

02

Growth marketers who want to add brand strategy to your skill set

03

Founding teams at any stage looking to better (re)position your product

Master the skills and frameworks that help build a lasting brand

Narrow in on your target audience using the concentric circle model

You can't be everything to everyone, so be something great for someone. Define who that someone is for the next 18 months.

Choose the category in which to play

If you don't define your category, someone else will do it for you — and not in a way you'll necessarily like.

Define your foil (what you're up against) in your customers' minds

Startups worry too much about other startups and not enough about the old way of doing things, which is often what loses when you win.

Craft your purpose and use it to make company decisions

Brand is a lens through which to make decisions and your company's purpose is your north star. Articulate one that will make people want to root for you.

9.2

(50 ratings)

Don't take my word for it. See what people are saying:

        For 7 years, Arielle has helped 100+ First Round companies build their positioning and brands. Having her on our team has been a game-changer for so many in our community. I'm thrilled more people will be able to learn from her in this new cohort-based class!
Josh Kopelman

Josh Kopelman

Partner, First Round Capital
        Unequivocally, Arielle is the brand strategist I've learned the most from in my career. If this is a priority for your company, this course is non-optional.
Camille Ricketts

Camille Ricketts

Head of Marketing, Notion
        I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with agencies across many months to get not as far as this course has gotten my company in the last two weeks.
Jay Trinidad

Jay Trinidad

VP & General Manager, Disney+ (and future founder)
        Arielle is fantastic and worked side-by-side with me in the early days of Bowery. Can’t recommend her and the course enough!
Irving Fain

Irving Fain

CEO, Bowery Farming
        This is a great course for founders that has the potential to change the trajectory of your business. Every founder must know how to market, position, and sell their ideas and this course provides practical actionable tools that any founder can use. Do not miss this chance to learn from one of the best start-up marketers!
Vanessa Coleman

Vanessa Coleman

CEO, Oceanworks
        Our new positioning has actually had more impact than I initially expected. No one really knew how to describe what we were doing. There's now such a clarity that has rallied the team along a broader mission.
Joseph Kitonga

Joseph Kitonga

CEO, Vitable Health
        Arielle creates a ton of value for a startup in a very short amount of time by taking founding teams through critical exercises to nail go to market positioning and early marketing. It's often a skill that's missing at a small startup. If you have the chance to work with her, do it.
Brett Berson

Brett Berson

Partner, First Round Capital
        As an engineer, I have built two companies and have gotten really good at product and engineering and even sales, but I am shocked to find out what I was missing after I took this course! Highly recommend
Jinal Jhaveri

Jinal Jhaveri

Founder, Enable.us
        Arielle is a master teacher! I gained a framework for thinking about branding that is so helpful for this (and maybe other ventures) going forward. I had of course thought about branding in the past, but I had no idea how to actually approach the process and now I have one.
Sola Lawal

Sola Lawal

Product, Nuro (and future founder)
        If you don't feel like you have connected with the market or your customers yet, you need to take this course and widen the aperture of how you view "branding." It can change the course of your company.
Chase Mohseni

Chase Mohseni

Head of Marketing & Growth, Pencil
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Meet your instructor

Arielle Jackson

Arielle Jackson

Arielle picked up product marketing on the job at Google, where she helped grow Gmail in its early days. At Square, she was one of the first marketers who led the launch of new hardware products and distributed them though >30k retail doors. She then joined a seed stage startup called Cover which hit >1M users in a matter of months before being snapped up by Twitter.


Since then, she's worked with >100 early stage companies — including Patreon, Loom, Front, Bowery, eero, and even Maven — on their foundational messaging. Now, for the first time ever, she's turning the brand strategy work she does at First Round Capital and through her own consulting practice into a cohort-based course. Arielle has a masters in psychology and is more interested in what makes people tick than in attribution modeling.

Course syllabus

01

What's a brand and why you should care

Most people think branding is about adding flourish, but actually it’s largely about paring things down to their essence. We'll demystify brand strategy and explain why it's important to unclutter your messaging and get a few key components right from the earliest stages of company building.

02

How to articulate your purpose

Stop circling on mission and vision. You just need one thing: a purpose. We'll use cultural tensions and your brand's best self to formulate your reason for being. Great brands use this as a compass for company decision making — and to make people root for them.

03

How to nail your position

Do you know your exact target market and the position you want your product to take in your customers' minds? If you've ever felt unsure about how you talk about your product, or whom you're talking to, this section is for you.

04

How to bring your brand to life

Brands are like people: they need tension to be interesting. Define your brand personality and see how brands come to life from brief to launch-ready assets.

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Course schedule

6-10 hours per week
  • Introductory session

    10:00am - 11:00am PT

    The first Monday.

  • 4 workshops

    10:00am - 12:00pm PT

    Workshops are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm PT to allow for people from as many timezones as possible to attend.

  • Pre-work / homework

    2-4 hours per week

    Refine your work with feedback from your instructors and fellow students.

  • 4 office hours

    10:00am / 4:00pm PT

    Optional office hours follow each of the 4 workshops.

  • Graduation

    10:00am - 10:30am PT

    Wrap up on the final Friday.

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active learning, not passive watching

This is a crash course that's taught live and interactively. Workshops aren't simply lectures — there will be live examples, breakout rooms, discussions, and Q&A.

Connect and learn with a cohort of peers

Surround yourself with like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you. Get feedback from your peers and instructors to refine your thinking.

Accountability and feedback

Trying to do this on your own is tough. This course keeps you honest and forces you to do the work in a supportive community with expert guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

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