You’ve spent months, maybe years, turning your idea into a company. The product or business is finished; it’s functioning and it has some serious momentum.
You’re ready to change the world.
But there’s just one problem: The target market doesn’t know who you are, what you are doing, or understand why it should pay money for your product, or sign up for your services.
That’s why former TED fellow Tino Chow founded Giant Shoulders, a company that helps ready-to-scale ventures transform their ideas into powerful brands that help audiences understand their purpose, as well as their competitive advantage in the market.
“Our clients tend to be risk takers and disruptors in their own industry, and it just so happened that the majority of people with that mindset are founding members of startups.”
“We believe a brand is promise you intend to keep,” Chow told Rhode Island Inno. “A product is how you keep that promise. Marketing is how you build culture and community around your promise. We are there to solve the last mile problem by helping companies build brands and bring them to market. The last mile is the hardest and takes the most effort.”
Giant Shoulders spun out of a problem Chow noticed while working as a creative director: the fact that many in the creative space were turning to freelance work so they could focus on projects they could pour their hearts into.
He started the company to serve as a platform for freelancers by mainly providing back office support, essentially the “plumbing” for freelancers. But eventually that idea pivoted into Giant Shoulders, which now mainly works with those in the innovation economy.
“The big appeal of Giant Shoulders is bringing in projects that excite us,” said Chow, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate and co-founder of the Better World By Design Conference. “Our clients tend to be risk takers and disruptors in their own industry, and it just so happened that the majority of people with that mindset are founding members of startups. We also work with established companies that embraces innovation.”
The studio’s capabilities range from branding to digital interface to strategy to web design and much more.
One project Giant Shoulders did involved a decade-old granola business and nonprofit that employed and provided critical job training skills to refugees. The goal was to help them prepare for and obtain permanent jobs.
As a board member of the nonprofit, Chow had a hand in shifting its strategy, and grow at a time when the founder considered shutting the project down.
Giant Shoulders also led a complete rebrand of the same nonprofit, one that included the transformation from Providence Granola Project to Beautiful Day, inspired by the founder’s love of the song by the band U2.
Some other organizations the Giant Shoulders network has worked with are Medtronic, New Era, P&G, GE and many more.
Currently, Chow said Giant Shoulders is interested in working with companies in the medtech industry because they are exciting projects; medtech companies are troublemakers finding ways to maneuver in a well-established and impactful industry.
“We are focusing our energy in medtech, a competitive market full of old school giants,” he said. “Doing what we do, we feel we can really make a dent in that space.”
Editor’s Note: Tino Chow was a 50 on Fire 2018 Inno Blazer in the design category. Read all about the awards here.