Robotics Startups Need Stronger Narratives, Says Brandstyle Communications

The public relations firm, which has launched a dedicated Robotics Practice, seeks to help robotics companies share their stories.

Locus Robotics

Locus Robotics, whose robots are shown here at a Boots site in Europe, works with Brandstyle Communications.
Brandstyle Communications works with robotics companies, particularly early-stage ones serving supply chain and manufacturing, to understand and grow their industry presence.

As robotics startups grow from university spinouts to commercial enterprises, they need to explain their value proposition to potential customers. To get the most out of media campaigns and other initiatives, such companies can work with public relations partners. Brandstyle Communications last month announced a dedicated Robotics Practice, the first in its business-to-business portfolio.

“Brandstyle Robotics marks the beginning of a series of dedicated practices launching within the agency,” stated Zoe Weisberg Coady, founder and CEO of Brandstyle Communications. “Providing high-level strategy—akin to in-house counsel—has allowed us to be the go-to PR partner for renowned brands and companies across a range of industries.”

New York-based Brandstyle focuses on business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) technology companies. The firm said it uses integrated communications and initiatives such as strategic earned media campaigns, funding announcements, awards programs, thought leadership, and large-scale company initiatives.

Brandstyle continues serving robotics businesses

With offices in New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, Brandstyle Communications said it is seeking to serve B2B robotics companies that support fulfillment and distribution centers, warehouses, third-party logistics providers (3PLs), retailers, manufacturers, transportation, and more.

Zoe Weisberg Coady, Brandstyle Communications

Zoe Weisberg Coady, Brandstyle Communications

“Brandstyle has been around for over 15 years, and we've always had two portfolios—consumer and technology—both of which were quite diverse,” Coady told Robotics 24/7. “In our technology portfolio, we've always had great robotics companies. We worked with Quiet Logistics before it launched Locus Robotics, and we also represent Humatics and Vimaan.”

Why did Brandstyle decide to launch its Robotics Practice now?

“It's long overdue. We're packaging and being more intentional about our offerings,” acknowledged Coady. “Through the work we've done with these dynamic and innovative robotics companies, we've seen common elements. They've always had lots of news, but how can we help move the needle for them?”

“To create larger opportunities for these companies, we found we needed to drive more exposure and awareness to help them grow their brands,” she explained. “It's about going beyond press releases to look at the significance of the news and what else is going on in the industry.”

PR needs authentic insights

Robotics 24/7 and other technology news outlets can help robotics startups connect with investors, partners, and customers, but only if the companies participate in industry conversations, said Coady. They also need to differentiate themselves, she noted.

“One of the first questions we ask of any robotics company is, 'Why should the media cover you now?'” Coady said. “It goes beyond funding or a new product feature to what's happening in the media zeitgeist, driving new and expanded narratives, and building a bigger presence for those companies. That's where we can provide the most value.”

She recalled a presentation by Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, at ProMat 2023.

“He was talking with someone about what's going on in the industry, and the audience liked hearing it from a stakeholder and getting his authentic take,” said Coady. Brandstyle has planned visits to Locus sites near Boston and Amsterdam, as well as an event in New York later this month.

Advice for startups

With numerous tech startups, what does Brandstyle Communications look for in its prospective clients?

“The timing has to be right,” Coady replied. “We usually come in pre-launch or shortly after, but if it's too far before a launch, there are so many moving targets [that promotion] can be an obstacle. Can we sell the concept in a way that's relevant and timely?”

She noted that robotics startups are often so focused on getting their developments out the door that they don't think about the exciting components of their companies or discussing the applications. Marketing and communications are typically a lower priority, said Coady.

“We work with them to figure out what's interesting and how we're prioritizing the message,” she said. “You don't need to say everything all at once.”

“In the emerging technologies space, we spend time beyond the copy on a site, meeting the stakeholders, seeing the facilities, and understanding the solution and points of differentiation,” added Coady. “It's also about knowing the leadership and people behind the robots and their interests.”

“Brandstyle helps companies realize that everything they do is a media opportunity,” she said. “For example, once you have a customer, we can work with them to tell another story.”

Humatics is a client of Brandstyle Communications.

About the Author

Eugene Demaitre's avatar
Eugene Demaitre
Eugene Demaitre was editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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Locus Robotics

Locus Robotics, whose robots are shown here at a Boots site in Europe, works with Brandstyle Communications.

Robot Technologies