Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

The essential marketing checklist for your startup

Founding a startup is hard work – that’s unquestionable. There is a lot to consider, plan, and enact in the early stages of your enterprise. Naturally, marketing should be a key component of this process in order to attract customers and drive your business forward.

With this in mind, here are just a few of the targets that should be on your checklist for successful startup marketing campaigning.

Viral potential

Going viral with your marketing efforts is, of course, easier said than done. But one vital point to remember is that persuasion alone isn’t enough to make people share your content or product. The key is to present your product in a way that gives your audience reasons to market it organically; that is, because they want to for its own sake rather than merely for material reward. Like this article discusses, even a huge company like Coca-Cola enhanced their viral potential massively by launching their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Such a simple step as adding forenames to each bottle gave people a reason to share the product online, without being coerced – think of how much free publicity was earned at this time, especially on social media.

This is not to say that incentives such as discounts or vouchers for referring friends and family cannot be useful – they clearly can be – but more to highlight how you should try to boost your organic viral potential.

Strong branding

It’s vital for any new company to stand out from the crowd as much as possible. An important aspect to this is visual – you want potential customers to not only take notice of your brand, but remember it too. Even something as fundamental as your website and logo’s colour scheme can make a big difference; as this study demonstrates, the core colour in your branding communicates a certain message to the public. Think carefully in the design process about whether you want to appear balanced, warm and friendly, or trustworthy, and so on.

Your brand name should also be snappy and memorable and, where possible, give some indication of your services or values. Your web presence goes hand in hand with this, meaning you should ensure your short domain name matches. This can sometimes mean your choice of brand name is restricted by which domain names have already been registered, so it’s well worth checking what’s available. Then, it’s also a good idea to snap up similar domain names – misspellings of your brand and different TLDs – just to make sure you don’t miss out on any potential visitors.

Define your target market

Note: simply stating ‘women aged 21-35’ is not a defining your target market properly! In order for your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to be as specific as possible about who you envisage your typical customer to be. Gender and age range is a good start, but you should also bear in mind factors such as occupation, hobbies, income, and personality. In addition, consider factors that are specific to your field. After all, it’s much easier to reach those most likely to buy your products if you can identify who they are in the first place.

Focused social media

Social media should always be on your checklist for successful marketing, but a ‘scattergun’ approach of signing up for as many platforms as possible could actually be a hindrance, especially in the early stages. It’s more efficient to narrow your focus and do it well, than try to cover all the social media bases at once and be unable to invest enough resources to make any of them effective.

First and foremost, take stock and consider what style of social media presence best suits your brand. If you’re a fashion or design brand, for instance, you may deem Instagram and Pinterest to be more appropriate than a less visual medium like Twitter. For others of course, Twitter can be a highly lucrative platform. Your defined target market will also come into play here – knowing which social network your typical customer profile prefers is invaluable knowledge for deciding where to allocate your time and resources.