Few brands make it all the way up to the ‘forgive’ and ‘defend’ area, but all of them start at the bottom.
The biggest challenge I see startups take on is figuring out what they should be ‘known’ for. It’s a common mistake to try to be many things to many people. Be known for something great and focus on that. It’s too easy to get distracted by the competition, sometimes even when really that competition is adjacent, and actually could even become complementary through partnerships.
To be successful, brands need to focus on being relevant to their chosen audience, on delivering contextual events and content that is meaningful and enriching, and being useful, entertaining and/or educational.