Overcoming Risk Aversion: How Established Brands Can Benefit from Working with Startups

Established brands can become very set in their ways. And that’s one of the best reasons to work with startups and bring in fresh new thinking and fresh new types of experiments. We asked 5 startups, “what advice would you give to corporations about embracing risk? Here’s what they said…

  1. Reframe risk as resilience: brands would do well to focus on resilience over risk, encouraging a mindset of ‘coming out fighting’ to respond to the opportunities they’ve got in front of them.
  2. Test and learn: Brands don’t always have to be first movers, but they can be early adopters. Testing and learning can help reduce risk.
  3. Work with trusted partners: Take the gaming industry, which is a huge industry with almost 3 billion players globally. It’s a bigger industry than music and film combined. So there’s a massive opportunity with a huge audience. If brands approach in the right way, if they work with a trusted partner in a specific space they are not an expert in, then they can do good things, even for smaller budgets. It can just be a small test.
  4. Speed to insight: Quickly gathering and analyzing data can help brands make informed, on-the-fly decisions about their campaigns.
  5. Create psychological safety:  Part of it is being really personable. Make sure that the client always has a point of contact. Keep levels of communication as high as they can be without being annoying. It’s a real art to get the cadence right to ensure that you’re just being really personable and totally solution-oriented all the time. 

 

Trusted by 50 of the Fortune 100, Co:cubed works with brands to understand their challenges and growth opportunities, and then curates solutions from a global network of over 12 million startups. At Co:cubed, we’re experts in helping brands collaborate with startups. If you’re interested in our brand startup collaboration workshop, get in touch with Mark.Janes@cocubed.com.