Alright, if today is going to force me into facing my childhood nostalgia and yet *again* feeling the regret of quitting gymnastics when I was 15, you have to too.
Put a Little Mustard On It
We just stumbled across Mustard (we don’t dig the naming/branding if you ask us, which most people do), a startup targeted at young athletes whose software/app analyzes biomechanical movements and offers tips for correction.
With $1.7M in new funding to improve their prototype (and a beta release to the public supposedly coming soon), it’s no surprise that they also have investors on board by the name of Nolan Ryan and Drew Brees. But in an industry worth ~$8B, we were wondering how it’s different from other softwares and apps out there, like Coach’s Eye or Athletic Logic?
What we found, aside from staying in the biomechanical analysis niche and not trying to be everything a coach could possibly need to coach a team, is a pretty savvy mission. Their aim is to augment and/or replace expensive coaching for young athletes, citing the sharp dropoff rate by the age of 13 when they don’t have access to quality coaching.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
Here’s what we see that as: a SaaS that, instead of touting its own tech and targeting huge industry players, targets the young athletes directly and brands itself as big guys wanting to help little guys. It makes athleticism feel like much more of a family. That, folks, is a good mission statement, as long as they can hold out that authenticity.
What so many startups do (purposefully, this is not a ‘fall victim to’ scenario) upon experiencing growth is roll back transparency and back-peddle original mission statements. A startup seen as increasing access to quality coaching regardless of one’s ability to afford it or live in a community that supports it has a lot to lose if caught red-handed only sticking to their mission as long as something more profitable doesn’t come up.
Because if you hadn’t noticed already, people would rather celebrate your no-frills transparency and see that you don’t do much philanthropy, than discover they’ve been tricked all this time through funky copy and expensive campaigns.
Being Yellow Doesn’t Make You Bright
As for their brand design, we won’t lie, it could be much more powerful. It’s fun, but not convincing. Creative yet bland. Given all they aim to do, nothing about their brand design strategy in our creative opinion shows off their differentiators– nothing shows that they are the clear winner. In 2020 they should know to never name in vein and to only put themselves in a box that sells.
When you have a solid mission and vision, backed up by branding that makes it shine through the crowd, you’ve won half the sales cycle battle. Everything after that is CRO (what is conversion rate optimization?), including rebel experiments and ROI numbers out the wazoo. That’s where the fun begins.
Hope to see you there, and not in the wildly depressing startup graveyard that 2020 has turned out to be.