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How to brand with limited budget

Marc Bacani

You don't need a high budget or a fancy marketing team to get customers. As a fair, transparent and instant promotion platform, doko invites experts in the fields of branding, advertising and marketing to share their experiences so you can successfully build your brand and grow your business.

marketing 101

So you have poured your blood and sweat into your startup, and now you need to convince the world your idea is worth it. Yes, unless you invented the cure for cancer, you will need to convince people of your vision, at the very least make people aware of the brilliant thing you have been working on. I am going to share with you some of the lesser thought of steps you can take to get your marketing strategy up and running, but one thing to keep in mind; as much as possible get an outsider's perspective. YOU know your product inside and out, but the world doesn't, so what might seem like an obvious pain point, use case, or selling point to you might not be obvious to everyone.

1. Get insights on WHO has a pain point you address.

Listen, listen, and listen. When you are done listening, listen some more. Many think of marketing as a one-way street; 'I will convince you to buy something.' But in reality, the best marketing is a relationship, and a good relationship is about communication. Large companies spend millions on focus groups, surveys, and analytics. As a startup, you probably don't have millions to blow on research, but you have something the big guys can never get back, intimate and legitimate connection with people. When a large company asks for consumer feedback, they know that they are several degrees away from the changemakers, but in a startup, the CEO is probably sitting right next to the Head of Marketing (or they are the same person). Also, people like helping the little guy out.

What you are looking for with insights is WHO and WHY will be interested in your product. Look for a specific need that your product can address. There are a million case studies on how KFC succeeded in China, but the most interesting theory I have heard is that older women in China simply needed a place to hang out. If this happens to be your insight, then the next step is to collect data to segment and build a persona. Build a picture of exactly the type of person who will be using your product. Online surveys, your social media data, and your website data are all great ways to narrow your target. But for a startup, nothing helps more than having a human connection.

2. Keep a Consistent Look and Feel

Consistency is the key to branding. You know the basic idea when someone sees your colors, shapes, and the name they instantly associate with your company. When building your first brand guide, it’s important to invest well, as you will be building your reputation in association with this style guide. It’s easy to buy a cheap logo online in 2017, but simply put, don’t be tempted. Your brand is one of the most important assets your company has, it’s important to invest.

Your branding not only needs to represent your company, but it also needs to be attractive to your audience. This is why you spend time researching your audience before anything else

Much of my marketing experience has been focused on my home market of the U.S. Because of this I am writing about how I reached customers in the U.S., but the principles of marketing don’t change because of country: find insights WHO will and WHY someone will use your product, narrow down your segmentation, and target that group with a tailored message and platform.

Marc will share with you how to get your first round of users /customers in 3 simple ways:

  • Email
  • Content
  • Influencers
Marc Bacani
Marc Bacani

Marc Bacani is a Marketer who has worked with startups in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and San Francisco to bring creative ideas to market.

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