Your Business is Your Brand

Your ‘business’ is your ‘brand’

I see a troubling disconnect between holistic brand-building and the relentless pursuit of measurable growth everywhere I look.

Where are all my ‘B2B SaaS’ folks at? Just kidding.

This fixation on numbers has led many to view brand-building as a “fluffy” endeavour, relegating it to a mere checkbox on a marketing to-do list or isolating it in the corner of their plan.

The crux of the problem lies in a system of misaligned incentives that prioritizes short-term growth over long-term brand health. This is exacerbated by CEOs’ pressure to deliver rapid, measurable growth to appease impatient shareholders.

The consequence?

A narrow focus on tactics disguised as “revenue marketing,” which overemphasizes immediate demand generation and capture while neglecting sustained brand building.

This approach fails to recognize a crucial truth: enduring revenue growth is rooted in creating powerful, resonant brands that inspire loyalty and command premium pricing.

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

—Albert Einstein

By favouring quick wins over long-term brand value, companies expose themselves to significant risks. They become vulnerable to commoditization, erosion of customer loyalty, and diminished ability to maintain profit margins in an increasingly competitive landscape.

The AI disruption we’re experiencing is a great example of that.

This myopic strategy ignores the vital symbiosis between a strong brand and consistent revenue growth, ultimately undermining the very financial goals it seeks to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong, while metrics and immediate returns are important, they often fail to capture the intangible yet critical elements that build lasting brand value.

And then there’s the IQ folks trying to dismiss EQ.

The notion that those who advocate for a holistic brand approach are merely “traditional marketers” is a dangerous oversimplification that reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what brand truly encompasses. This view fails to recognize that holistic brand thinking sits far above and beyond the realm of marketing.

A holistic brand approach is not about clinging to outdated marketing practices or resisting data-driven strategies. Instead, it represents a comprehensive, enterprise-wide philosophy that permeates every aspect of an organization. It goes beyond marketing to influence product development, customer service, human resources, corporate strategy, and even financial decisions.

Those who dismiss holistic brand thinking as “traditional marketing” are often trapped in a siloed view of business operations. They fail to see that a strong brand is not just a marketing asset, but a powerful business driver that affects every touchpoint of the customer journey and every facet of the organization.

Moreover, a holistic brand approach doesn’t reject metrics or data-driven decision making. Instead, it advocates for a balanced perspective that recognizes both quantitative and qualitative factors. It acknowledges that while numbers are crucial, they don’t tell the whole story of a brand’s value or a customer’s experience.

In reality, embracing a holistic brand approach requires a more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of business dynamics than a purely metrics-driven approach. It demands the ability to navigate complexity, balance competing priorities, and think long-term – skills that are anything but “traditional” in today’s fast-paced business environment.

By relegating holistic brand thinkers to the category of “traditional marketers,” organizations risk missing out on the strategic insights and competitive advantages that a truly integrated brand approach can provide. This dismissive attitude could lead to short-sighted decisions that prioritize immediate gains over long-term brand health and sustainable business success.

Business and brand are two sides of the same coin.

Inside-out, it’s business strategy.
Outside-in, it’s brand strategy.

While business strategy focuses inward on core competencies, operations, and value creation, brand strategy looks outward at customer experiences and market positioning.

However, these are not separate entities but two sides of the same coin. Every internal decision and action shapes how the brand is perceived externally.

Companies like Apple, Nike, and Amazon exemplify this alignment, demonstrating how a strong inside-out business strategy drives a compelling outside-in brand perception.

Inside-out: At its core, business strategy is an inside-out process. It’s about building a company from within, focusing on:

  • Core competencies and capabilities
  • Operational efficiencies
  • Product development and innovation
  • Resource allocation and management
  • Organizational culture and values

This inside-out approach is the foundation upon which successful businesses are built. It’s the realm of executives, stakeholders, and employees who work tirelessly to create value, improve processes, and drive the company forward.

As management guru Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” This inside-out perspective is all about creating that value proposition that will attract and retain customers.

Outside-in: While business strategy looks inward, brand strategy gazes outward. It’s about how people perceive your company, products, and services. Brand strategy is inherently outside-in, focusing on:

  • Customer perceptions and experiences
  • Market positioning and differentiation
  • Emotional connections and associations
  • Touchpoint consistency and quality
  • Stakeholder relationships and reputation

This outside-in perspective is how your business is viewed and experienced by the world. It’s the sum of all interactions, impressions, and feelings that people have about your company.

As branding expert Marty Neumeier puts it, “A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” This encapsulates the essence of the outside-in brand strategy.

Why do I have a beef with the term ‘brand marketing,’ and why do I think it’s a misnomer? Because it misleads businesses about the true nature of their brand.

Most people believe the brand is something a company creates and controls through careful marketing efforts. However, this perspective ignores a crucial truth: a brand isn’t what a company says it is; it’s what people think it is.

In reality, every interaction a potential or existing customer has with a business contributes to their perception of its brand. This includes not just the carefully curated marketing messages but also the quality of the product, the responsiveness of customer service, the behaviour of employees, and even the company’s stance on social issues. In essence, a brand is the sum total of all these experiences and perceptions.

Daniel Kahneman’s work on System 1 and System 2 thinking provides insight here. Consumers’ gut reactions (System 1) to brand interactions shape their perceptions more than rational analysis (System 2) of marketing messages. This means that the lived experiences of customers have a more profound impact on brand perception than any advertising campaign.

Let’s look at Patagonia.

Patagonia is renowned not just for its high-quality outdoor gear, but for its genuine commitment to environmental sustainability. This commitment is reflected in every aspect of its operations, from sustainable manufacturing processes to bold environmental advocacy. This alignment between brand promise and business practices has earned Patagonia a loyal customer base that deeply trusts and resonates with its brand.

On the other hand, consider the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Volkswagen marketed itself as an eco-friendly brand, but when it was revealed that the company had been cheating emissions tests, the disconnect between its marketing and its actual practices severely damaged its brand. The fallout demonstrated that no amount of advertising could salvage a brand if the company’s actions contradicted its promises.

These examples lead us to a counterintuitive conclusion: you can’t really “market” a brand in the traditional sense. Instead, a brand emerges organically from the totality of a business’s operations and its place in society.

Let’s consider another pop culture analogy. In the TV show “Breaking Bad,” Walter White’s identity isn’t defined by what he says about himself but by his actions. Similarly, a brand is defined by the actions of the company behind it, not by its marketing slogans.

Move away from ‘Brand Marketing’ to ‘Holistic Brand Management.’

This approach recognizes that every aspect of a business contributes to its brand and seeks to align all operations with the desired brand perception.

While we can conceptually separate business strategy and brand strategy, in practice, they are two sides of the same coin. Your business strategy drives your brand, whether intentionally or not.

Every decision made internally (inside-out) has the potential to impact how your brand is perceived externally (outside-in).

For example:

  • A decision to invest in quality control (business strategy) can lead to improved product reliability, enhancing brand perception.
  • A choice to prioritize customer service (business strategy) can result in positive word-of-mouth, strengthening brand loyalty.
  • An initiative to reduce environmental impact (business strategy) can boost the brand’s reputation for sustainability.

Here’s why business owners, founders and executives struggle. You can’t read your own label.

For internal stakeholders – executives, employees, and investors – the focus is primarily on business strategy. They’re concerned with operations, financials, and growth trajectories.

For consumers and external stakeholders, however, the brand is experienced as a set of signals forming a perception in their minds.

They care less about the intricacies of your supply chain and more about how your product makes their lives better or how your service makes them feel.

The key to success lies in aligning your inside-out business strategy with the outside-in brand perceptions.

This alignment ensures that:

  • Your internal capabilities match your external promises
  • Your organizational values are reflected in your brand experience
  • Your operational decisions enhance rather than detract from your brand

Some case studies:


Inside-out: Apple’s business strategy focuses on design excellence, ecosystem integration, and user experience. They invest heavily in product design, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Apple develops its own hardware and software, ensuring tight integration across its product line. They also place a strong emphasis on creating intuitive, user-friendly interfaces and maintaining strict quality control over their products and services.

Outside-in: These strategic choices translate into a brand perceived as innovative, premium, and user-friendly. Consumers see Apple products as cutting-edge technology wrapped in sleek, desirable designs. The brand is associated with simplicity and ease of use, despite the complex technology behind their products. Apple is also viewed as a premium brand, with products that command higher prices but are perceived to offer superior quality and status.

The result is a seamless alignment between what Apple does (business strategy) and how it’s perceived (brand strategy). Their internal focus on design, integration, and user experience directly feeds into their external image as a brand that offers beautiful, easy-to-use products that “just work.” This alignment is evident in everything from their minimalist product designs to their carefully crafted marketing messages and even their retail store layouts.

Apple’s success demonstrates how a company’s internal operational choices and values can directly shape its external brand perception, creating a powerful and cohesive market presence. Every decision, from the materials used in their products to the way their software interfaces are designed, reinforces their brand promise of innovation, quality, and user-centricity.


Inside-out: Nike’s business strategy focuses on product innovation, athlete partnerships, and global marketing campaigns. They invest heavily in R&D to create cutting-edge athletic wear and footwear, collaborate with top athletes to develop and endorse products, and execute large-scale, emotionally resonant marketing initiatives.

Outside-in: These strategic choices translate into a brand perceived as performance-driven, aspirational, and culturally relevant. Consumers see Nike as a company that helps them achieve their athletic potential, inspires them to push their limits, and stands for more than just sportswear – it represents a lifestyle and attitude of determination.

The result is a seamless alignment between what Nike does (business strategy) and how it’s perceived (brand strategy). Their internal focus on innovation and inspiration directly feeds into their external image as a brand that empowers athletes of all levels.


Inside-out: Amazon’s business strategy focuses on customer-centricity, operational efficiency, and continuous expansion into new markets. They invest heavily in logistics and technology to improve delivery speeds, use data analytics to personalize user experiences, and constantly explore new business verticals.

Outside-in: These strategic choices translate into a brand perceived as convenient, reliable, and innovative. Consumers see Amazon as a one-stop shop for almost anything, known for its fast delivery, vast selection, and customer-friendly policies. The company is also increasingly viewed as a tech innovator, expanding beyond e-commerce into cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and more.

The result is a clear alignment between Amazon’s internal focus on efficiency and innovation (business strategy) and its external perception as a convenient, customer-focused brand (brand strategy). Every improvement in their operations directly enhances the customer experience, reinforcing their brand promise.

In each of these examples, like Apple, we see how the company’s internal strategic decisions and operational focus directly shape their external brand perception, creating a powerful alignment between business and brand.

a. Combining these approaches creates a powerful synergy:

  • Relevant Differentiation: The inside-out business strategy ensures the company focuses on what it does best, while the outside-in brand strategy ensures these strengths are communicated in ways that resonate with customers.
  • Innovation with Purpose: Internal capabilities drive innovation (inside-out), but customer needs guide its direction (outside-in).
  • Adaptive Execution: The company maintains a stable core based on its strengths (inside-out) while remaining adaptable in how it presents itself to the market (outside-in).
  • Balanced Growth: Business expansion is guided by core competencies (inside-out) but shaped by market opportunities (outside-in).
  • Cultural Alignment: Internal values and skills (inside-out) are expressed in ways that connect with external stakeholders (outside-in).

b. To implement this dual strategy:

  1. Conduct a thorough internal audit to identify core competencies and unique strengths.
  2. Perform extensive market research to understand customer needs and perceptions.
  3. Align internal capabilities with external opportunities, bridging the gap between what you do best and what the market wants.
  4. Develop a brand narrative that authentically communicates internal strengths in ways that resonate with target audiences.
  5. Create feedback loops that allow external insights to inform internal strategy and vice versa.

c. Challenges and considerations

This approach isn’t without challenges. It requires:

  • Balancing potentially conflicting priorities
  • Maintaining clear communication between internal and external teams
  • Ensuring that the brand promise aligns with operational capabilities

However, this method can create a powerful, authentic, and adaptable business model when executed well.

In the end, while we can separate business strategy and brand strategy conceptually, they are deeply interconnected in practice. Your business strategy is the foundation upon which your brand is built. Every internal decision, every operational choice, every resource allocation contributes to how your brand is perceived externally.

For business leaders, the challenge is to maintain this dual perspective:

  • Build your business from the inside out, focusing on creating real value and operational excellence.
  • Simultaneously, be acutely aware of how these choices shape your brand from the outside in.

As Simon Sinek famously said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” By mastering this balance, companies can create a powerful alignment between their internal capabilities and their external perceptions, driving both business success and brand resonance in the marketplace.

Remember, in the eyes of the consumer, your brand is not just what you say it is—it’s the sum total of their experiences with your business. Make every part of your business strategy count towards building a strong, resonant brand.

Your Business is Your Brand

The case for ‘brand’ to a metric-obsessed executive

“In their relentless pursuit of measurable ROI, today’s data-driven marketers are inadvertently killing the very essence of what makes premium brands valuable.

By fixating on short-term metrics like click-through rates, conversion percentages, and cost per acquisition, they’re sacrificing the intangible magic that elevates a brand from commodity to luxury.

Brands aren’t built on algorithms or A/B tests.

They’re forged in the fires of audacious creativity, cultural resonance, and an unyielding commitment to a singular vision. The marketers who slavishly chase every fleeting consumer whim, optimizing for immediate gratification, fail to grasp that desire itself is manufactured through scarcity, mystique, and aspiration.

Consider the iconic luxury houses of Europe. They didn’t ascend to their lofty perches by obsessing over website heat maps or social media engagement rates.

Instead, they cultivated an aura of exclusivity, craftsmanship, and timeless allure that transcends rational cost-benefit analysis. Brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton have mastered the art of maintaining desirability through controlled distribution and limited advertising.

The tragedy of modern marketing is its inability to value what can’t be immediately quantified.

Brand equity, emotional connection, and cultural cachet are dismissed as ‘soft’ metrics, yet they’re the very foundations upon which price premiums are built.

By reducing everything to data points, we lose sight of the human element that drives true desire.

As Daniel Kahneman and Rory Sutherland remind us, emotions and perceptions often drive decision-making more than pure logic.

Paradoxically, the path to creating a premium brand often involves deliberately ignoring certain segments of the market, limiting availability, and maintaining an air of aloofness.

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that seeks to maximize reach and accessibility at all costs. Supreme, for instance, has perfected the strategy of scarcity and strategic collaborations to maintain its premium status.

Not everything measurable is useful, and not everything helpful is measurable.

In their quest for efficiency, today’s marketers risk homogenizing the brand landscape, creating a sea of interchangeable, algorithm-pleasing entities devoid of true character or distinction. The result? A race to the bottom where price becomes the only differentiator.

The most successful brands of the future will be those brave enough to eschew the tyranny of metrics, embracing instead the art of brand building in its purest form.

They’ll understand that true luxury is not about meeting demand but creating it through the power of imagination, storytelling, and uncompromising vision. Leaders like Simon Sinek emphasize the importance of maintaining a consistent brand purpose and long-term vision.

To achieve this, brands should focus on cultivating cultural resonance, tapping into cultural moments and movements to enhance their appeal. Nike, for example, has successfully aligned its brand with powerful social issues through compelling campaigns.

Marketers should also measure success through alternative metrics such as brand equity, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and long-term customer loyalty. Investing in craftsmanship, superior customer service, and unique experiences will further reinforce a premium positioning.

The key to building a premium brand lies in valuing the intangible, prioritizing long-term vision over short-term gains, and daring to be different.

By focusing on creativity, cultural resonance, and emotional connection, marketers can create brands that not only stand the test of time but also capture the hearts and minds of consumers.”


Why “We Want to Be Like ‘X’ or ‘Y’ Company” Isn’t a Strategy

It’s easy to idolize successful companies and think, “If we do what they do, we’ll succeed too.” But mimicry is not the key to innovation and growth.

It’s also lazy.

Let’s dive into why copying others can actually hinder your progress, whether you’re a startup founder or a Fortune 500 CEO.

The Imitation Trap: A Case Study

Consider a mid-sized tech firm, Company A. They decided to mimic a major competitor’s products and marketing strategies. Initially promising, this strategy soon backfired:

  • Customer acquisition costs rose by 30%, straining budgets.
  • Customer retention dropped by 25%, increasing churn.
  • Employee satisfaction plummeted, with a costly turnover rate of 40%.

They lost their unique value and customer loyalty by chasing another company’s success.

The Problem with Imitation

1. Mediocrity Magnet

Copying often leads to mediocrity, keeping you reactive instead of innovative and proactive.

Be at the cause. Get my drift?

  • For startups: Pitch meetings become harder, making it challenging to secure funding.
  • For established companies: Justifying premium pricing and maintaining market share becomes difficult.

The more you look like someone else, the harder it is for your customer or user to discern between the choices. You’re on your path to becoming an undifferentiated commodity.

2. Loss of Identity

Trying to be someone else dilutes your unique strengths and culture.

  • For startups: You risk losing the passion and vision that founded the company.
  • For established companies: Long-time customers may feel alienated, affecting brand loyalty.
3. Missed Opportunities

Focusing on imitation blinds you to new market opportunities and customer needs.

  • For startups: You might miss out on creating a new market category.
  • For established companies: Potential areas for expansion or diversification could be overlooked.

Focus on Customers, Not Competition

When we obsess over competitors, we neglect our most important asset: our customers. Let’s look at two companies that prioritized customer experience over competition:


  • Strategy: User-friendly design and ecosystem integration.
  • Result: 1.8 billion active devices globally.
  • Takeaway: Prioritize user experience, whether you’re a startup or a large corporation launching new products.


  • Strategy: Streaming and personalized content recommendations.
  • Result: 231 million paid memberships.
  • Takeaway: Use data to understand your customers’ preferences and tailor offerings accordingly.

How to Compete Differently

Instead of saying, “We want to be like ‘X’ or ‘Y’ company,” focus on giving competitors a run for their money:

1. Highlight Your Strengths
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis: Involve team members from all levels for diverse insights.
  • Identify unique capabilities: Whether it’s proprietary technology or a skilled team, leverage your strengths or turn weaknesses into them.
  • Develop tailored strategies: Prioritize technical innovation if you have a strong engineering team, or partnership-driven growth if you have industry relationships.
2. Listen to Your Customers
  • Implement feedback loops: Use tools like NPS surveys and customer interviews.
  • Analyze customer behavior: Invest in tools that track user engagement and churn.
  • Create customer advisory boards: Get direct input on product roadmaps and strategic decisions.
3. Keep Innovating
  • Allocate resources for R&D: Aim for 3-5% of revenue, even as a startup.
  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Host hackathons or innovation workshops.
  • Implement an idea management system: Use platforms like Aha! or IdeaScale for employee suggestions.
4. Balance Data with Intution
  • Create space for visionary thinking: Schedule regular “blue sky” brainstorming sessions
  • Trust your expertise: Recognize that intuition often stems from deep industry knowledge
  • Test intuitive ideas rapidly: Use lean methodologies to prototype and validate hunches quickly

Balancing Data with Intuition: The Power of Visionary Thinking

While data is invaluable, it’s crucial to remember that it represents the past. True innovation often comes from intuition, vision, and a deep understanding of human needs that may not yet be articulated. As Steve Jobs famously said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

The Limitations of Data-Only Decisions
  • Data can’t predict paradigm shifts or disruptive innovations
  • Overreliance on data can lead to incremental improvements rather than breakthrough ideas
  • Historical data may not apply in rapidly changing markets or unprecedented situations
The Role of Intuition in Business Success
  1. Spotting Emerging Trends
    • Trust your instincts when you notice patterns or shifts in customer behavior
    • Example: Netflix’s decision to invest heavily in original content was based on intuition about the future of streaming, not just existing data
  2. Making Bold Moves
    • Sometimes, the riskiest move is not taking a risk at all
    • For startups: Your gut feeling might lead you to pivot your business model before data suggests it’s necessary
    • For established companies: Intuition might guide you to enter a new market or discontinue a profitable but outdated product line
  3. Connecting Disparate Ideas
    • Innovation often comes from combining concepts in unexpected ways
    • Encourage “what if” thinking sessions that go beyond current market data
Striking the Right Balance
  1. Use Data to Inform, Not Dictate
    • Let data provide context and background, but don’t let it constrain your thinking
    • Example: Amazon’s decision to launch AWS was based on intuition about the potential of cloud computing, supported by their internal infrastructure needs
  2. Create Space for Visionary Thinking
    • Allocate time for “blue sky” brainstorming sessions free from data constraints
    • Encourage team members to share hunches and gut feelings alongside data-driven insights
  3. Test Intuitive Ideas Rapidly
    • Use lean startup methodologies to quickly prototype and test intuitive concepts
    • For larger companies: Create “skunkworks” teams that can operate outside normal data-driven processes
  4. Develop and Trust Your Expertise
    • Intuition is often the result of deep experience and knowledge
    • Invest in continuous learning and diverse experiences to sharpen your intuitive skills
Case Study: Apple’s iPhone

When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, market data suggested that smartphones with keyboards were the future. However, Steve Jobs and his team trusted their intuition about the potential of touchscreen technology and user-friendly interfaces. This intuitive leap, combined with technical expertise, led to a product that redefined the entire mobile industry.

Building Your Own Strategy

1. Define Your Vision
  • Create an inspiring vision statement: Make it ambitious yet achievable, like becoming the most trusted financial partner for small businesses by 2030.
  • Align departments: Ensure every team’s objectives tie back to this vision.
2. Set Unique Goals
  • Use the OKR framework: Set key objectives with measurable results.
  • Focus on your strengths and market position: Prioritize rapid user acquisition for startups or market expansion for established companies.
3. Create Value for Customers
  • Develop a unique value proposition: Clearly state why customers should choose you.
  • Solve specific customer pain points: Identify top challenges and build solutions.
  • Continuously improve based on feedback: Test and iterate on new features.
4. Incorporate Intuitive Thinking
  • For Startups: Encourage founders to articulate and defend their vision, even if early data is inconclusive
  • For Established Companies: Implement “intuition workshops” where executives practice making decisions with limited data
  • Reward innovative thinking: Recognize and reward team members who successfully champion intuitive projects, not just those who meet data-driven KPIs

Benefits of Customer-Centric Focus

Customer LoyaltyLoyal customers are 5x more likely to repurchase and 4x more likely to referImplement referral programs and upselling strategies
Long-Term SuccessCompanies with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenueInvest in customer success teams
Standing Out86% of buyers will pay more for better customer experienceJustify premium pricing through exceptional service

Potential Challenges and Solutions

1. Resistance to Change
  • Solution: Implement change management strategies.
  • Startups: One-on-one discussions with team members.
  • Large companies: Create a task force with representatives from each department.
2. Short-Term Thinking
  • Solution: Align incentives with long-term goals.
  • Startups: Tie equity vesting to long-term milestones.
  • Large companies: Implement long-term incentive plans for executives.
3. Resource Constraints
  • Solution: Prioritize high-impact initiatives.
  • Startups: Focus on a key differentiator before expanding.
  • Large companies: Create an internal venture fund for innovative projects.
4. Overreliance on Data
  • Solution: Create a culture that values both data-driven decisions and intuitive leaps
  • For startups: Encourage founders to trust their vision while validating assumptions quickly
  • For large companies: Establish innovation labs or incubators where ideas can be explored without immediate data validation


While imitating successful companies might seem like a shortcut, true business success comes from understanding your customers, leveraging your unique strengths, and continually innovating. By focusing on what makes you different, delivering exceptional value, and balancing data with intuition, you don’t just compete – you make the competition irrelevant. This applies whether you’re a two-person startup working out of a garage or a multinational corporation with thousands of employees.

Call to Action

  1. Conduct a strategy audit: Are you focusing more on competitors or customers? Analyze the motivation behind your last five major decisions.
  2. Survey your customers: What do they value most about your products? Aim for at least 100 responses for startups, 1000+ for larger companies.
  3. Hold a brainstorming session: Involve team members from different departments to solve customer problems in unique ways.
  4. Develop an action plan: Outline steps to shift towards a more customer-centric, innovative strategy, including timelines and success metrics.
  5. Practice intuitive thinking: Set aside time each week to contemplate your industry’s future without relying on current data. Journal your ideas and revisit them regularly to refine your intuitive skills.

Remember, your unique journey is your greatest asset. Embrace it, trust your instincts, and let them guide you to true differentiation and success, whether you’re preparing for a seed round pitch or presenting to the board of a Fortune 500 company.