The first season of HBO’s new television series Silicon Valley just finished up this Sunday. The show about the San Francisco Bay Area start-up culture has received favorable reviews, but there are other reasons why marketers should be giving it a chance. Silicon Valley offers many insights and lessons on what it’s like to be part of an emerging brand. Here are a few marketing lessons you can take away from the first season of Silicon Valley.
Always Have a Backup Plan
There are many times during the show when the employees of Pied Piper, the start-up that Silicon Valley is focused on, are forced to rethink their plans. Television shows often have moments like this because they need to create drama, but failure is something most businesses will have to deal with. If one idea doesn’t work out, there’s no reason for you to throw in the towel. You should always have a backup plan; perhaps a few more ideas at your disposal in case something goes wrong. At one point, Pied Piper has to completely rethink their business model because they were outshined by another company with a similar idea. If you allow your business to be flexible, while still keeping the same ideals in mind, there’s a much greater chance you’ll be successful.
Your Brand is Important
The main character on the show, Richard, has his mind set on naming the company Pied Piper. However, he quickly finds out that the name is already taken by a local business. Instead of simply giving up the name, which would have been the easy route, Richard takes the initiative to bargain with the founder of the other company. Although things don’t always work out the way you want, knowing what you want your brand to be is important. As explained by Forbes, build a brand you’re passionate about and be your brand’s biggest advocate. Richard believed in Pied Piper and felt so strongly about securing his brand image, he did everything he could to make it happen. It’s important to remember that a business is not just about a product—it’s everything that tells your story. Figure out what you’re trying to say with your company and what your ideals are and stick with them.
Learn How to Communicate
Richard’s biggest problem in Silicon Valley is his failure to communicate what he wants. He eventually finds his voice, but he proves an important point. No one will listen to you until you show you know what you’re talking about. You need to let your employees and clients know that you’re a thought leader in your industry. If other people don’t believe in you, there’s no way they’ll believe in your product and brand. Learning how to tell a story and communicate effectively is an important marketing lesson that will help you build your career. If Silicon Valley teaches us one thing, it’s that a lot of problems can be avoided if people keep the lines of communication open.
The problems that Pied Piper faces on HBO’s Silicon Valley are often exaggerated for the sake of television, but a lot of these issues are what many businesses deal with. Since the show was renewed for a second season, hopefully we can continue to combine entertainment with useful marketing lessons. Have you watched the show? What marketing lessons do you think it teaches? Share with us!