As a start-up, you don’t always have the luxury of access or big budgets as some of the more established firms, while building your brand. On the plus side, the fact that you are a young company means that you are nimble, can adapt quickly and are far more receptive to change. In the race towards making your brand’s mark in today’s overcrowded and oversaturated market, it counts to play smart. At Morning Fresh, we take bootstrapping as a fun challenge to push ourselves to create, innovate and constantly come up with strategies and ideas that can give us maximum visibility and impact with a smaller investment. Here are some of our key learnings:
1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
The world is a diverse place and things are constantly happening. It’s extremely important to stay tuned to news that is relevant to your audience and industry. A simple post on social media at the right time has the capability to ‘go viral’ and spread to 5-10x of your organic customer base and all it takes is a witty line or image to show up, at the right place and right time. Some brands that have mastered this art of timing are Amul; with their forever up-to-date billboards and Durex’s unbeatable ability to come up with tongue-in-cheek one liners!
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
You might have just come up with a game changer of an idea for your business but if you do not communicate it simply, you have already taken two steps backwards. It’s easy to get caught up in the little details of an idea or the administration in executing one, but this lack in objectivity can result in high effort and investment and very low impact. Whether it’s a brand campaign, logo, packaging or advertisement, ask yourself – How can I explain this to my 5-year old cousin? Keep it simple. Nike’s on point with their “Just Do It” tag line or “Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline” Maybelline’s jingle, even the straightforward “I love New York” symbol has become synonymous with the Big Apple!
3. INNOVATIVE POSITIONING
This is a cardinal rule in the game of visibility. While most businesses are present in their traditional/essential spaces, there is a lot of room for innovative positioning or guerrilla marketing strategies to help set the context of your product/service and catch your customers off-guard. Taking time out to think about out-of-the-box ideas can prove to be extremely cost-effective and yield higher visibility. E.g. Fitness companies that advertise on elevator doors, encouraging you to take the stairs / KitKat advertising on park benches.
4. CREATE A DIALOGUE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
It’s essential to find ways to connect, engage and build a rapport with your customers. The more you get to know each other, the more likely they are to remember you and this plays a crucial role when it comes to differentiating your start-up among other competitors. E.g. Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign was a huge success with women as it addresses the issue of difference in beauty perception.
5. BE CONSISTENT
Isn’t it easier to pick a restaurant that’s known for a specific cuisine rather than one that has too many? A simple way to achieve maximum visibility and brand recall is to ensure your messaging and communication is consistent. You might choose to represent it in various ways or spaces, but the more clarity you have as a brand, the more customers will naturally start recognizing it and identifying with it. E.g. Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram print on almost all their products, has made them a globally recognizable and aspirational brand, so much so that their merchandise is one the highest replicated brands.