Subscribe to our newsletters

Great Brands Emerge From Tough Times

Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly
WTW Thumbnail
Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly


Two things we’ve noticed in our more than two decades of working in Work Tech: 1) Everybody agrees that brand is important. 2) Most companies find excuses not to invest in brand. You see that dynamic in the good times, and you definitely see it in the not-so-good times. The state of the market matters: 
Great brands emerge from tough times.

Many Work Tech companies are acting like times are still tough. Tech layoffs are still a thing, and there’s still a strong air of fiscal conservatism on sales and marketing spend. So, the window is still open for making a move in brand right now. But that window is closing. 
The Starr Conspiracy’s Work Tech investment data show an upward trend.

We’re not the only ones who’ve noticed. New BCG data finds that tech may be cooling off, but B2B SaaS across the board is not. So, what’s a brand to do in this state of in-between? Get hustling. There’s still time to make your move with some brand flex.

If you are looking for ways to get started, 
check out our new e-book on Work Tech branding.
Or, if you don’t have the attention span for an entire e-book, check out this video micro podcast from my colleagues Nancy Crabb and Matt Tatum about the shorter-than-you-would-think shelf life of Work Tech brands.

What else is going on this week?

We’re excited to introduce you to Dr. Grin Lord, Founder and CEO of mpathic, a contextual writing and audio tool helping people and organizations develop skills for greater understanding, compassion, and insight. Check out our latest Founder15 blog to learn more about Grin, her incredible journey, and how mpathic is changing the game in empathy transformation.

Funding, mergers, and acquisitions

  • Zoom acquires Workvivo. The Irish employee communications platform also received an angel investment from Zoom founder, chairman, and CEO Eric Yuan back in 2019. (TechCrunch)
  • SpringHealth raises $71 million. The NYC startup is a B2B behavioral health organization that teams up with employers and health plans to offer digital support, meditation exercises, coaching, therapy, and medication. (BHBusiness)
  • LMS365 raises $30 million. The Danish company offers an online learning management system (LMS) built for use inside Microsoft products. This is its first institutional funding. (TechCrunch)
  • Autoleap raises $30 million Series B. The Toronto startup offers auto repair shop management software. (FinSMEs)
  • Elevate raises $28 million. The Denver startup offers a consumer-directed benefits administration platform. (FinSMEs)
  • Assis raises $5 million seed round. The São Paulo, Brazil-based startup offers a virtual assistant for solopreneurs. (FinSMEs)
  • Kuberno raises $4.3 million Series A. The London startup helps corporate secretaries, legal teams, and governance professionals simplify the management of legal entity governance by easing reporting and enabling remote collaboration. (FinSMEs)
  • Spotted Zebra raises $1.8 million seed round. The London startup offers a workforce management solution. (FinSMEs)

Hey, Bret Starr!

Join Bret and Steve as they celebrate and look back over the past 15 years as business partners at The Starr Conspiracy.  The Work Tech landscape has changed, but the commitment to quality, creativity, and excellence is constant.  Together, they have seen the results of a unique approach to content creation, proving the value of exceptional talent and expertise within the Starr Conspiracy.  

Industry notes

  • Deloitte establishes new practice to help enterprises deploy Generative AI. (Silicon Angle)
  • With the end of the COVID emergency, DOL offers guidelines for employer health plans. (BenefitsPro)
  • Tomas Tunguz on questions startups should ask before using Generative AI. (Twitter)
  • Skillsoft announces Q4, full-year earnings. (Press Release)
  • Engagedly updates learning and development capabilities. (Press Release)
  • ClearCompany announces six new product lines. (Press Release)
  • Udemy launches an innovative investor engagement initiative. (Press Release)
  • Layoffs: Culture Amp (9% of workforce/90 employees).
  • Guild names new general counsel. (Press Release)
  • Hireclix, iCIMS announce partnership. (Press Release)
  • LeanDNA adds Planner Workbench to give manufacturing teams clear build visibility. (Blog)
  • is hosting a Responsible AI Forum in NYC on May 17. (Responsible HR)

Around the shop

Things we’re talking about or find interesting right now.

  • Why it’s important to show gratitude at work — and how to do it. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Why empty offices are ticking time bombs for banks. (The Week)
  • Tech investors’ obsession over profit is already waning. (TechCrunch)
  • Why you shouldn’t use AI tools to write your website copy. (Entrepreneur)

That’s it for this week!


Everybody love everybody,

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Partner & Chief Marketing Officer

Keep reading

WLW Thumbnail
Weekly edition of our Work Leader newsletter....
Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter
WLW Thumbnail
Engagement & Privacy
Weekly edition of our Work Leader newsletter....
Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter
WTW Thumbnail
Tech Recovery: Are We There Yet?
Weekly edition of our Work Tech newsletter....
Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter
Let's get to work!

A Humble Guide To Fixing Everything In Brand, Marketing, And Sales by Bret Starr is out now. Why the hype? Check it out.