Marketing for a start-up is a lot different from marketing for a Fortune 100 company. My Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and I both have day jobs at some of the biggest companies on the planet, so the thinking we are immersed in on a daily basis almost has to go out the window when it comes to the marketing strategy for our start-up… almost.
There are some tried-and-true marketing tactics that work no matter how big or small you may be – and they’re scalable depending on your size. We’re just getting started, so our efforts match the budget we are currently able to dedicate to these tactics, but we’re still doing them. Marketing is sometimes hard to justify – especially for a “numbers guy” like myself. The return isn’t a guarantee. But you’ve got to spend money to make money, or so my CMO tells me.
Our brand, Shades on Point, is not even officially three weeks old, but we’re putting a few of these tactics in place. Sometimes you just have to throw the spaghetti on the wall and see if it sticks, so here’s what we’ve got in the pipeline:
- Launch Party
Who doesn’t love a good celebration? It’s a great way for brands to introduce themselves and build brand awareness. Our plan is to attract college students to a local pub with the offer of a few free drinks and the chance to win free products if they promote our brand on their social channels. My friends from college would probably still go for that offer, to be honest. We’ll also take the opportunity to thank our local partners who have helped us get to this point and to activate our second and third marketing tactics outlined below.
- Brand Ambassador Program
At our launch party, we’ll also promote our newly-created Brand Ambassador program. Many successful brands have utilized college students to spread the word amongst their peers. Think back to your college years, and I’m sure you can quickly think of a few of these friends who had to “work” for a few hours a week. While it may not seem like a tough gig, good brand ambassadors can hustle for your brand in a way you can’t while you’re running your company. Young people love the idea of being part of a “start-up,” so we’ll take advantage of that and put them to work. A little money goes a long way with this crowd, too.
- Model Search
I’m not talking about a Hollywood casting call here… this will be a model search for models who are true to our brand; models who our customer is going to relate to. We’ll use our launch party to take headshots of interested attendees and see how they look in our product and in front of a camera before we commit. It also gives young millennials a chance to grow their social popularity and put something unique on a resume.
In a sea of marketing tactics, we’re hoping these three “go-to” methods pay off for us. We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes. Hopefully, I’ll have good news to report. If not, you can take it up with my CMO.
Note: Happy 412 day, Yinzers!