Startup Marketing Mistakes | Ignoring Brand

So I’ve worked at my fair share of startups.

I’ve worked at a lot of people’s fair share of startups.

That’s why we created a web series called The Startup.

One of the more recent ones that I worked at was an app startup that was really ahead of its game about 5 years ago, but not so much anymore.

To be fair, this Startup was run by a young engineer fresh out of school.  I should have known there would be stormy waters ahead when he spewed off nuggets like ” Marketing is not Brand” or “Marketing should not control the website”.

No real thought had been put into the brand as evidenced by the name of the company or its products.  All creative had to come from the design team whose time was tightly managed by the CEO, who was the SME on marketing.  Sometimes getting a piece of creative would take weeks, maybe even months.

Fun times.

So when I recently saw this interesting Infographic on ‘Types of Marketing’ by a company named SideQik it reminded me of that startup experience.  Most startups and businesses think of marketing in these terms…but at the same time they miss the one key ingredient that glues it all together…

This ingredient is what Media 11:11 is all about… Crystalizing a company’s brand promise & value proposition.

A well thought out brand, cascaded down to comm strategy, product development, pricing & customer care becomes relevant and creates emotion in the desired target audience.  Companies need to make sure that all 4 P’s are tightly aligned with the brand promise & positioning.  Otherwise, what the heck are you going to say in the vehicles listed in the infographic below?

Infographic | SideQik | 1 of 4Infographic | SideQik 2 of 4Infographic | SideQik 3 of 4Infographic | Sideqik 4 of 4

This is a problem with many of The Startups we’ve come across recently.  By solely focusing on ROI, CPI and CPA and not giving proper thought and resource on what you want to say, how you say it, what customer problem your brand solves or even how use of your product or service will improve the customer’s life, you’re never going to hit optimum numbers for those KPI’s.

A very wise man once told me that the role of marketing is to sell hope.

If you don’t have your brand message nailed down before you go to market, you are going to fail when the going gets tough.  People need to understand what you’re about, what end-benefits your brand delivers from the very beginning.

Good examples in market today…

  • T-Mobile positions itself as the “Un-Carrier”… every product, service, communication they launch supports this notion.
  • Verizon is the network.
  • Facebook connects you to what matters.
  • Apple is at the intersection of Technology  & Arts to unlock their customers’ creativity.

Focusing on brand at the beginning will keep you in the game when the novelty of what you do wears out and the competition catches up.

 

 

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