We are ecstatic here at Brandle, Inc.! It was just over one year ago that Chip Roberson (our fearless CEO) and I sat down to discuss some new ideas to help tame the Web chaos that social media had created. Given our professional histories are in enterprise technology solutions, we decided to focus on the challenges facing brands. Chip had a few really good ideas and one brilliant one we called Brandle, which is a mash-up of brand + handle. We called Ed (our equally fearless Director of Engineering) and then the three of us spent the next two months at a whiteboard modeling out the product and discussing use cases. We tested the idea with some friends who manage social media for some major enterprises and we got a resounding “YES” to the question: “Does this solve a major pain point for you?” We then passed it by our BOD member Jim Levy (who has been with us since we were Socialogue, the predecessor to Brandle) who made the statement "This is big...really BIG".
We were off and running with Dave and Zeke jumping into Brandle full steam ahead. It wasn't long before we convinced Bill Johnston, previously with Dell and now with Autodesk, to join the gang as an Advisor. After all, he was a big supporter after we asked him the "pain point" question.
We’ve worked hard on Brandle and our strongest validation came when our AA round of funding closed with Anthony Sun leading the group. Tony is a big deal in Silicon Valley VC-land (previously led VenRock for many years) and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with him as an investor and as our new Board of Director member.
[tagline_box link="" button="" title="Tony Sun" description="“Brandle is creating a new genre of brand management that begins with securing authenticity and recording ownership. This approach will become a competitive solution for the enterprise, that will help clarify ownership, bolster their brand and protect against unauthorized activity.”"][/tagline_box]
Since this is our first post, I should probably tell you about our product: The Brandle System is a comprehensive online brand presence management solution. We want to make it easier for companies to manage all of their points of presence (POPs) and be able to scale their Social Business. We want to make the Web a place where ownership and authenticity of websites, blogs, and social accounts are documented. We want the enterprise to have control over their corporate assets and protect them against intruders. We believe this is the first step in social media best practices and risk management－ secure the source before moving to content publishing, listening, and relationship building.
During the past year, we have seen a huge shift from companies conducting social media marketing to companies using social to become a “Social Business”. In January 2012, the Altimeter Group conducted research stating that the average enterprise had 178 social media accounts, and this does not include adding the social workforce. It has most certainly grown as Pinterest and other new platforms didn’t take off until after that report. The corporate risks involved with having your brand all over social media can be significant, as the Altimeter Group highlighted in their August 2012 report Guarding the Social Gates.
The risks to a brand and company are quickly growing. Brand accounts are added as soon as a new platform arises. Employees are being trained to expand a company’s social workforce with a “bring your own social” strategy whether they are in sales, marketing, customer service, or even product innovation. And brand hijackers and fake websites are on the rise. With all of this activity, we’ve entered a new phase of risk for the enterprise: risk to brand reputation, risk to brand intellectual property and risk to securing corporate assets. We are now at the stage of social when “Social Governance” is critical. Now it’s critical for enterprises, for regulated companies, and for those concerned with brand protection. Soon, it will be critical for every business and organization.
[tagline_box link="" button="" title="Chip Roberson, CEO and Founder" description="“We believe that social media accounts, which represent a company's brands, are web property that should be tracked and managed like any other corporate asset. This round of funding will allow us to bring to market a product that finally gives companies the ability to audit, inventory, record ownership of, and patrol their brand points of presence, regardless of platform or number of accounts.”"][/tagline_box]
This is why we are creating the Brandle System. Our Beta customers are doing a bang-up job giving us feedback and we look forward to bringing our solution to market. We can't wait to help you "Get a Handle on your Brand!"