Maximize Attention For Your Startup Without Spending a Fortune

You don’t need marketing consultants. Yet.

Joe Procopio

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image by diana grytsku

The line between success and failure in business can be razor thin, and sometimes the difference comes down to the amount of attention that a company can attract.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies try to attract the wrong kind of attention.

I’m not talking about tasteless advertisements or sketchy funding gimmicks, well, not that alone. I’m talking about wasting effort, resources, and dollars on promoting any kind of attention that doesn’t generate revenue.

It’s an especially big problem for unknown companies with unproven products, like almost all startups. But unfortunately, a lot of startup leadership tends to believe that attention is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, they think that if they can just generate a lot of awareness around the company, sales become a foregone conclusion.

That’s true. Kind of. And it’s why marketing experts and brand consultants get paid. Usually a lot.

However, it’s only true in a certain context, and that context rarely includes new ventures — even from well-known companies. We were all very aware of CNN+, Google Glass, and the Amazon Fire Phone.

Were those brands powerful? Absolutely. Were those products branded poorly or marketed incorrectly? No, not egregiously so. Should your company emulate them? Most definitely not.

So what went wrong?

Save Branding For Later

The product that “only needs attention” to succeed is a product that is already successful. That may sound a little Catch-22, but that’s because brand marketing is best suited for expanding market reach, not gaining market traction, let alone defining a target market and finding product market fit. Those milestones aren’t random and they don’t happen by process of elimination. Not without spending a ton of money.

Can a terrible brand sink a potentially successful product? Yes, especially when inferior competition has a robust marketing machine behind it. But lack of branding is definitely not a death sentence. Once a product is viable, has found market fit, and is gaining…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com