Many startups fail not because of a bad product or service idea but due to poor marketing, failure to use available connections and networks, as well as unwillingness to actively seek feedback and adopt a flexible approach.
Sure, you still need to have a market instead of solving a non-existing issue or working on a problem that is just interesting to solve. Nonetheless, marketing your product the right way can produce unbelievable results even for niche solutions that serve a relatively small target group.
Never Ignore Customers and Marketing
You definitely need passion and understanding of the domain in which you want to position your startup, a survey by CB Insights finds. On the other hand, you cannot ignore your customer or think that your service will be self-marketing. Brand positioning is among your priorities as a founder, regardless of your domain of expertise.
In fact, 14 out of 100 startups fail due to poor marketing. This is a huge number in the light of booming startup numbers in virtually every industry. What many founders think is a side gig is actually what makes most of the successful companies. Steve Jobs was not an engineering brain; he was a marketing genius after all.
Promote Only Achievable Brand Promises
Another reason for startups to fail is overestimating their capabilities by founders and betting on the wrong branding message. A good number of “disruptive” startups had gone bust before even reach the market with a marketable product. Others diminish gradually while advertising promises they cannot fulfill. Instead, build a viable marketing strategy for your startup around:
- Setting achievable problem solving goals
- Brand positioning “for” and not “against”
- Focusing on a few core brand messages.
Concentrate on one or few selected benefits around which to build your brand. If you have only one unique feature, then start marketing this very feature without focusing too much on functions or qualities offered by competitors. Such an approach presupposes you can fulfill your brand’s promise and adapt to the changing needs of the customer.
Precise Brand Positioning Is Not That Hard
Do not position yourself against an established brand or brands; focus your efforts on your unique product offering without paying much attention to others' market dominance. Consumers are generally willing to adopt new solutions that are more flexible and deliver to expectations, and big brands often fail to deliver. So do not position against them but focus on your solution.
Branding and marketing is not rocket science. Underestimating your content and marketing strategy as a startup founder can result in a massive failure, however. Plan your branding strategy from the very beginning and plan it right. What this means? Do not position yourself to take the world by storm and avoid over-promising. A viable startup branding strategy is always focusing on a few core messages that make you stand out from the crowd. Finally, it is not just about the delivery of a positive and engaging brand message, it is mostly about appealing promises you can fulfill.
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