Good storytelling and trust will fuel startup and brand growth

4 August, 2023
Good storytelling and trust will fuel startup and brand growth | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
4 August, 2023

Discover how storytelling, trust, and strategic pricing play pivotal roles in startup growth, get an overview of the fundraising environment in Australia and a few growth tips.

Pause Fest online presents a carefully curated first of seven sessions with an expert panel of judges, on topic specific talks. ‘Top Growth Strategies for Startups’ is panelled with industry experts Kellie Morton from Birchal, Richard Celm from Startupbootcamp Australia and Sérgio Brodsky from Landor & Finch.

In the dynamic world of startups, understanding the nuances of storytelling, trust-building, and strategic pricing can be the difference between success and failure. Here are the takeaways from the session and the YouTube video you can watch is embedded below. 

The Power of Storytelling in Startups

Storytelling is not just about captivating your audience; it’s about building a narrative that resonates with your target market and stakeholders. It’s about creating a brand that people can trust and relate to. As Sérgio Brodsky from Landor & Finch puts it, “Brand is possibly the most valuable business tool ever invented.” A compelling narrative can help your startup stand out in a crowded market, attract investment, and foster customer loyalty.

The Fundraising Environment in Australia

Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the fundraising environment in Australia has shown resilience. Kellie Morton from Birchal shares that while funding volume in the venture capital industry and the ASX was down, the crowdfunding industry only saw a 25% decrease. This resilience indicates a robust ecosystem that can weather economic downturns and continue to provide opportunities for startups.

Collaborating with Large Corporates

Working with large corporates can be a double-edged sword for startups. On one hand, they offer resources, market reach, and credibility. On the other, the bureaucratic red tape, slow decision-making processes, and risk-averse nature of corporates can stifle a startup’s agility and innovation. Richard Celm from Startupbootcamp Australia suggests that startups need to position themselves as thought leaders and add value first without trying to extract value straight away.

Optimising B2B Sales Strategies for Startups

In the B2B landscape, startups need to adopt a different approach. They need to understand that they are outside of a procurement process and are innovating. This requires building trust over time, aligning with the key strategic priorities of the organisation, and being prepared to add a lot of their time in kind.

The Importance of Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any successful startup or brand. It’s about demonstrating competence, integrity, and care. Trust can be built quickly if you know how to do it, and it’s not just about being transparent. It’s about demonstrating and communicating your competence, integrity and care.

Strategic Pricing

Pricing is a vital aspect of a startup’s growth strategy. It’s about commanding a space and working things out. As Sérgio Brodsky points out, “having price power is what is going to separate a successful business from one that is just barely making it.” The key is to build a strong brand and be proud of your price.

In the world of startups, storytelling, trust and strategic pricing are not just buzzwords; they are essential components of a successful growth strategy. By understanding and leveraging these elements, startups can navigate the challenges of the business landscape and set themselves up for success.

Book next sessions here:

Let Pause Awards tell your story
Entering first-timers
Check 2023 Pause Awards winners
Pause Awards Night: the community of champs
Pause Awards Night
2023 Years Summary page is here
Summary Page

Related posts

See who won in 2023

Read more

Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.

  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.

  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.

  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.

  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.

  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.

  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.

  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.

  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.

  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.

  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.

  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.

  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.

  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.

  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.

  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.

  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.

  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.

  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.

  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.

  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.

  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.

  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.

  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.

  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.

  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.

  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.

  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.

  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.

  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.

  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.

  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.

  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.

  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.

  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Early Entries end on:
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
Enter now