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Marketing Mantra : New-Age Startups Have Upped their Branding Game! It's going to get challenging to build innovative marketing strategies around leaner budgets.

By Sneha Banerjee

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Booking a front page of a newspaper at a humungous price, hiring a celebrity face as brand ambassador or shrill-voiced radio ads, are now being considered redundant ideas. Welcome to the new age world of advertisements which is fostered by our revolutionary startups!

Very recently we have seen Snapdeal flash their new makeover and logo in Christmas red color across front pages and seen TV ads showcasing Shah Rukh Khan using Big Basket groceries. Even though old advertisement and branding modems still exist, the novel ideas mushrooming from these startups have given a new face lift to marketing strategies.

Some recent marketing strategies adopted by some startups include –


Coverfox – Online insurance portal launched microfilms to engage audience.


The Viral Fever (TVF) pairing up with Ola cabs in their web-series "Permanent Roommates'


Amazon launching two back to back ad campaigns #citizenoffashion and #adjustnomore, highlighting the need for fashion in the hinterland


Paytm – Roping in a playback singer to create a jingle, using the emotional family connect for their advertisements.


Flipkart has tied up with Ola cabs to launch a campaign, which will be rolled out in five cities- Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune starting August 1. Customers can experience Lenovo Vibe K5 Note, straight from the Ola app.


Blippar associated with The Beer Café, India's largest beer chain to help the consumer know their beer better


Amazon India signed a content deal with Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt-owned Vishesh Films.

Venugopal Ganganna, CEO of Langoor, said that startups they get to push boundaries because often, they are still validating their business or looking to scale. Langoor is a digital marketing whose clientele includes startups, traditional brands and corporates.

"A large part of that is breaking new ground on their approach as well as finding cost effective channels that offer the right cost of acquisition. For example, there are startups where we focus on channels like SMS, airport Wifi, content seeding and native advertising. These channels will often have a lower cost of acquisition for the right audience. We will also trial a range of communication messages that challenge the status quo and build on the most effective communication," Ganganna said.

Symbiotic relationships

The uniqueness of these strategies is the intermingling of startups – each a brand in its own genre. When an Ola decides to team up with Flipkart and Lenovo, it proves to be as a win-win situation for all the brands.

Target audience

A lot of marketing strategies are aimed at capturing the attention of niche millennial crowd in India. Most of the branding strategies are conceptualized keeping the digital media savvy consumers. "Large section of Ola's target audience is young tech-savvy Indians who are always online. These digital natives are consuming and sharing content with their peers every minute. This makes the online and social media extremely important for any brand today, more so for a young and dynamic brand like Ola. With TVF's "Permanent Roommates', we have been able to engage with our audience by way of original and off-beat content where Ola has been an integral part of the narrative," company spokesperson of the Bangalore-based taxi aggregator said.

Creative branding with slimmer budgets

Industry experts believe that with startups becoming more cautious about incoming funds versus expenses, it's going to get challenging to build innovative marketing strategies around leaner budgets.

The real challenge for these strategies will be to maintain the engagement of the end consumer with the brand. Creating an impact that allows a brand to leave an imprint in the consumer's mind is what makes the difference. Strategies have a tough time ahead as foreign startup brands which include Amazon, Airbnb, are high on marketing and promotional campaigns.

(The article first appeared in the October issue of Entrepreneur India Magazine)

Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India. 

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