Being a startup in the age of accelerated tech and business development is everything but easy. As different reports suggest, the number of startup businesses launched every year exceeds 100 million, which certainly makes one hell of a crowd.
To stand out in such a crowd is obviously a huge challenge – a challenge that can be overcame by telling a compelling and unique story both investors and end-users are willing to hear. Moreover, this story should then be a pillar for building a stable, memorable brand to make a difference for the future growth. Unfortunately, many companies never get noticed despite all the marketing efforts they do. Some, however, nail it in an instant.
1. Telling a compelling story: Harry’s
In the startup world, the story is the most potent tool a company can use to pave its way to the top. This means that it’s not enough to have an idea only, but also a supporting story that shows how it fits contemporary lifestyle and a venture capitalist’s business model.
A recent example of a successful startup story is Harry’s, a German startup that produces quality razor blades and offers them at competitive prices. Their subscription models are probably their greatest differentiator in the industry where one does not eagerly go against the companies such as Gillette.
Of course, much of their success can be contributed to the experienced team of marketers who essentially decided which story to tell. Namely, the people behind the Harry’s storytelling are Design Director Gareth Morin and Director of Digital Products Matthew Tully, who are in charge of creating the company’s online identity.
Their insistence on interactive, engaging and, most importantly, relevant materials is what made Harry’s appear as a company that not only has a story to tell, but is also courageous enough to go against the already established industry giants. Given that they managed to raise 136.5 million venture capital this year, it could be said that their story does the job.
2. Pitch perfectly: Rithmio.com
Pitching your story the right way to the right people is almost as difficult as coming up with one. This is mostly due to the fact it needs to be appealing to a wide range of both potential investors and media houses alike. In relation to pitching to venture capitalists, Guy Turner, a managing director at Hyde Park Venture Capitalists gives an example of a gesture recognition platform Rithmio that seems to have what a perfect pitch needs:
“I like to see entrepreneurs with a big vision, but I like that vision to be grounded in reality. And don’t show up without your team. Bring the most important one or two other people to the pitch. If you don’t, you’re telling an incomplete story of your business.”
Similarly, it may be essential for startups to get coverage from some of the major publications such as TechCrunch, GigaOM or ReadWrite. Considering the number of stories these websites release daily, it’s unsurprising that they have time only for the most interesting ones. Therefore, a startup’s task is to grab the attention and make the story worth a blogger’s time. To get the inspiration for an impactful pitch, one should first understand what tech bloggers don’t want to hear.
3. Digital marketing done right: Spectafy
For startups, digital marketing strategy represents a cost-effective way to reach the widest possible audiences. Therefore, everything from registering the right domain name to defining content strategy and distribution channels should be a strategic decision. Since every single aspect of the company’s online existence can in one way or another influence its brand, all these should be taken seriously.
Fortunately, professional digital marketing services do not necessarily require huge investments since great effects can be achieved by using free media platforms. This is especially true in relation to social media networks that can be highly convenient for startups and where they can get plenty ideas from big brands that have already found the ways to do it right.
Therefore, assembling an excellent online marketing team to expand online presence is neither difficult nor expensive. An example of a company that managed to bring its content and distribution strategies to perfection is Spectafy, which learned different lessons from their constant attempts at innovation.
Despite its appeal, the web arena can be a scary place for early stage startups. To nail a branding strategy, these companies need both an idea and distribution channels that should all work together to create a memorable story.
Sarah is an editor at Technivorz and web analyst who explores the latest trends in the tech industry.