Branding Advice – What Not to Do with your Brand

Most of us have similar thoughts on Musk renaming Twitter to X: It’s a self-inflicted mortal wound that tosses a globally recognized name and verb (tweet) out the window. There’s absolutely no long-term value in altering a name, logo and trademark that nearly everyone with a smartphone recognizes. It’s a short-sighted move and a lesson in what not to do with your brand.

Luckily you can’t destroy your brand like Twitter if you’re a startup. That’s because no one has heard of your company. But, there are missteps that can make your branding path more difficult. Over the years, I’ve heard many CEOs, entrepreneurs and CMOs turn down media opportunities because they thought the news organization was too small. In some cases, they criticized the news website design.

Make Your Brand Scarce?

On the surface, it sounds rational. If something is scarce, it’s historically more in-demand. Why not hold out for a larger news organization? That logic doesn’t apply to branding, especially in early stage startups. Unless you’re Jeff Bezos or Marc Lore, you shouldn’t give exclusives as a startup. Your job as a new company is to get as much media exposure for your brand as possible, and as quickly as possible.

A common excuse I hear for rejecting interviews is the CEO is too busy. If the CEO is busy, find another person. It’s called delegating.

Don’t Judge News Organizations by their Website

Lastly, don’t judge a news organization by its website. We just secured a radio interview with the #1 morning news talk radio show in South Florida. Their website is not good, but their audience is captive, attentive and larger than some of the local TV stations. If you’re content is interesting, those drivers aren’t going anywhere.

In addition, MSN, Yahoo and others frequently pick up stories from smaller news outlets and publish them on their home page. It’s part of their syndicated deals, bringing your brand even more exposure.

If you want to hear more about building a startup brand (rather than destroying it like Musk), click here to read my Entrepreneur article on building your brand with smaller news organizations. I go more in-depth on how small media can in many ways build your brand faster than waiting for the big fish to bite.


Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.