A New Book Details Marketing Ideas from Entrepreneurs
Lack of money for advertising often leads to innovative thinking for ways to market. A new book, The Risk Takers (Vanguard Press, 2010) by Renee and Don Martin profiles 16 entrepreneurs and their strategies for success including their successful marketing ideas.
Low or No Budget Advertising
Five of the sixteen companies include:
- The author’s own real estate business
- Amy’s Kitchen
- The Geek Squad
- John Paul Mitchell Systems
Each of the sixteen case studies provides a look at the startup, the rise to success, and often times the sale of highly successful companies along with the challenges faced along the way. One of those challenges included no money for advertising.
Amy’s Kitchen started their rise to fame by traveling to trade shows and making in person sales calls. The company’s products are made of organic products which sets them apart from many of the frozen food lines. The company thought the quality of the product deserved a first-hand account. As such, Amy’s Kitchen got noticed without spending large amounts of money for advertising instead opting for face-to-face meetings and promoting.
The authors quoted Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad, “Advertising is a tax you pay on having an unremarkable brand, and training is a tax you pay for having an uninspired internal culture.”
Stephens developed unconventional methods of building his company’s brand through the uniform that his employees wore and with a car painted as a police car with the Geek Squad logo painted on the sides. The Geek Squad is setup after the old television series, Dragnet, and the service professionals are known as agents trying to solve a computer failure crime. Truly, this is unforgettable marketing.
Kinko’s, was founded by Paul Orfalea who had many learning disabilities and could not hold a job. He found a niche and promptly filled it. His method of advertising included selling pens and notebooks on the streets of local college campuses.
Find a Way to Promote
One important message to learn from this book is that all of the startup companies used some form of advertising and marketing. Often times it was a bit unconventional. Nonetheless it worked.
Where there is a will, there is always a way. Taking the time to find the niche can very easily be the answer to finding the way to advertise. Go to where the need is, talk directly to the target market with whatever medium will reach, and get the message to the people.