Month: August 2020


Digital Surgeons Brings Branding Expertise to CT Startups

Accelerating your business through brand and marketing

“Should I really be worried about my brand?”

With so many things to focus on like product development and raising capital, have you ever found yourself asking that same question?

Chances are, if you’re an entrepreneur or in marketing, you’ve pondered the question at least a few times.

Ask Joe Pilcavage, Head of Creative at New Haven’s Digital Surgeons , a creative consultancy that specializes in positioning, branding, and launching visionary founders’ latest startups, and you’ll get an answer that might surprise you.

He’ll tell you that, “One of the single greatest reasons businesses fail is because of their branding. At some point in the journey, whether it’s their initial inception or their future marketing efforts, they fail to deeply understand their customers and deliver a consistent experience that answers their needs.”

That’s because a brand, as it turns out, is something people feel . Our ability to create a positive, lasting feeling is what ultimately gets investors and customers to buy in.

Wait a minute. Really?

Sounds like something worth exploring, right? Well, that’s exactly what Pilcavage and Pete Sena, CEO and co-founder of Digital Surgeons, did for a dozen Connecticut startups at the CCEI 2020 Summer Fellowship Program in late June as part of their thinkfwd initiative. Pilcavage and Sena, who together have over thirty years of experience in brand strategy, go-to-market innovation, and digital transformation, broke branding down bit-by-bit for the eager entrepreneurs. What follows are a few key takeaways of their presentation, one that was enthusiastically received by those in attendance and still being talked about here at the CCEI.

8 Key Takeaways From the Digital Surgeons Branding Presentation

  1. Branding works because of the emotional attachment we give to a product or a purpose.
  2. Brands are living organisms that must respond, adapt, and evolve over time.
  3. Positioning is all about deciding the space you want to occupy in the minds and lives of your audience.
  4. When you try to speak to everyone, you’re heard by no one.
  5. Humanizing your brand into what Digital Surgeons calls Brand DNA allows you to set a north star for how you want to communicate to and with your customers.
  6. Your brand’s tone of voice should be a driver of differentiation in your space.
  7. Your visual language is your voice without words. Choose your logo, colors, fonts, and images wisely. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
  8. Your brand should be regarded as sacred, but that doesn’t mean it’s untouchable. Testing, learning, and iterating often are vital in continuously providing a stellar brand experience.

Throughout the course of the program, Pilcavage and Sena also led exercises with the entrepreneurs to help them refine their own brands in real-time. Interested in doing them on your own? Click here to check them out. And if you want to learn more about Digital Surgeons, their work, and branding in general, hop over to the Digital Surgeons website.

Digital Surgeons


Summer Fellowship 2020 Highlight: onewith

 

onewith provides a smoothing, second-skin fit through a re-imagined method of creating swimwear that mimics the feel of seamless undergarments. In addition to feeling and fitting differently, onewith seeks to capture, in its aesthetics and detail, sun-soaked, nostalgic East Coast summers.

For as many swimwear companies as there are, they are all – even the brands that are ‘figure-flattering’ – constructionally very similar. I had this realization in the spring of 2019 when I was trying on roughly a dozen swimsuits in my living room, and was feeling frustrated (to say the least) with the way they were looking and feeling. I said, out loud, that I wanted to create a swimsuit that felt ‘one with’ my body, and upon saying that, the ethos and brand came to me immediately.

My background is in fashion, and more specifically, the bridal industry, so I was familiar with the pain points women had with garments and the way they fit, especially in categories as intimate as bridal, lingerie, and swim. I have also been a content creator for 12 years, making YouTube videos for an overwhelmingly female audience since 2008. With this experience, and now with the idea for a brand that I felt could help women feel more confident, I felt a responsibility – and unwavering passion – to bring onewith to life.
    As the daughter and sister of UConn alumni and a proud UConn alum myself, being accepted into Summer Fellowship was surreal. So many amazing businesses and UConntrepreneurs have come out of this University, so I knew I was going to take this opportunity and make the absolute most of it. The quality of curriculum, content, mentors, and speakers in Summer Fellowship is absolutely top-notch. I have absorbed and implemented so much of what I have learned already and look forward to continuing to do so. I also love networking – even virtually – with the other Fellows! It’s fun to bounce off of each other and feel so supported within the group.

    Summer Fellowship 2020 Highlight: Sourcery

    As a historian, Dr. Tom Scheinfeldt was no stranger to the challenge of gaining access to remote, non-digitized documents. In the past, he had brought to market software that aimed to solve other problems researchers had–so why not try to solve this one, too? Tom brought his idea of a remote document delivery tool to a team of developers, designers, archivists, and researchers at UConn’s Greenhouse Studios–and Sourcery was born. Sourcery is an open-source, community-based mobile application that expands access to non-digitized archival documents in this digital world. The researcher will make a document request from his or her mobile device by entering the document’s citation information, Sourcery will locate the document in the correct archive, and the archivist will have a simple platform to scan and share the document with the researcher quickly and efficiently. The Sourcery Team is excited to launch a custom enterprise version of Sourcery at the end of this summer to help researchers during a time when social distancing measures limit in-person access to collections and the ability to travel.