American entrepreneur and management expert, Peter F Drucker rightly says: “Every business has two functions- marketing and innovation.” Any business strategy that focuses on this axiom is usually successful, as examples worldwide would prove.
Marketing helps identify the needs of customers, evolve a brand and create a demand. Innovation implies out-of-the-box thinking that would gain your business that leading edge in your sector.
Unfortunately, the majority of businesses nowadays obsess themselves with competitors. They try to outmatch what a business rival is doing. Consequently, the marketing strategy doesn’t gain much mileage in kick starting a business. All it does is to try and outshine a competitor.
Rationale for Uncommon Marketing Strategies
When you adopt an uncommon marketing strategy, you’re actually setting a new trend that customers and stakeholders will appreciate. It would leave competitors scrambling to evolve a marketing strategy that tries to counter your uncommon one. And creating such an uncommon strategy takes time- means you’ve already got a head-start.
Additionally, uncommon marketing strategies enable you to save money and other resources, develop new markets and maintain existing clientele. An uncommon marketing strategy also works as a force multiplier when it comes to attracting investments from venture capitalists or other sources. An untested yet effective sounding marketing strategy attracts better attention that common, run-of-the-mill ones.
How would you go about creating uncommon marketing strategies to kick-start your business? Here’re some useful tips.
Top Uncommon Strategies for Kick-Starting Business
There are top uncommon strategies for kicks starting your business. You can adapt them to suit local conditions and the nature of your business, since each owner has unique needs.
Go Online with Full Force
Microsoft founder Bill Gates says: “If your business is not on the Internet, soon your business will be out of business.” Obviously, going out of business is something you’ll love to avoid. Hence, the first uncommon marketing strategy is to go online with full force.
Nowadays, having a mere website or eCommerce portal isn’t enough. Customers look for flexibility. Therefore, it’s imperative to have multiple online channels to engage with customers as well as other stakeholders. These include social media including Facebook Business, Facebook Marketplace, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn as well as WhatsApp and an independent blog for your business. Ecommerce is on the upswing worldwide and this scenario will continue for decades to come. Therefore, going online with full force is an uncommon marketing strategy you’ll need to adopt.
Storytelling v/s Conventional Advertising
Customers across the world have one common thing: they enjoy stories. Therefore, build a story around your business, brand, and offerings rather than engaging in mere, conventional advertising. People tend to identify with a brand or product when there’s an interesting story. Build your uncommon marketing strategy around engaging clients with relevant and interesting stories about your business.
You’ll definitely have seen that most businesses opt for various advertising gimmicks such as giving away free T-shirts, stickers and other freebies to customers. They do have an impact. However, this impact is limited due to limitations of freebies. For example, that expensive T-shirt you gave away would fade over washes while stickers will lose adhesion or peel away.
Appoint Brand Ambassadors
A brand ambassador doesn’t have to be some celebrity who’ll charge millions to endorse your business. Instead, appoint ordinary citizens at various locations, in different communities to become your brand ambassador. These brand ambassadors can be anyone from college students to housewives, working professionals or retirees. Their main task would be spreading word-of-the-mouth publicity within their target area.
Brands such as Amazon lay great emphasis on word-of-the-mouth publicity since it works better than any other common marketing strategy. Brand ambassadors encourage people to try your product or service by generating positive, word-of-the-mouth publicity. They serve as a contact point for people that wish to patronize your business.
Here, I’m returning to Peter F Drucker’s adage that innovation is a vital element of any business. Whatever your business, innovate your product or service at frequent intervals. This is possible by listening to your customers. In fact, customers are your greatest resource for learning. They’ll definitely have some ideas about what they expect of your brand.
Once you’ve adequate feedback, expand your product or service line. You can label these innovative offerings as ‘premium,’ and command a slightly higher yet easily affordable price. Most businesses stagnate, flounder and eventually collapse because they’re satisfied with their own brand and don’t feel the need to innovate. Frequent innovation of your product or service is an uncommon marketing strategy that helps you become a market leader.
Look for Cobranding Opportunities
Cobranding with a major market player is a major element of uncommon marketing strategy to kick-start your business. Obviously, cobranding depends on the nature of your business and its size. Several small and large businesses have co-branded products such as credit and debit cards, loyalty schemes and much more with major banks and online retailers.
When you include co-branding as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll ride on the popularity of a well-known brand. Cobranding involves offering some sops to customers. Discuss cobranding with local banks, supporting businesses and also suppliers to find any opportunities that benefit you and the other entity.
Host Community Groups
Yet another uncommon marketing strategy to kick-start your business is hosting community groups at your location. It could be an office or a small workshop. People always love to get insights and learn new things.
You can start by inviting people to form groups and visit your business to learn more about it. Give them an excellent presentation of your business and take questions on various elements of your enterprise. This strategy helps you connect almost instantly with people. Because customers base their decisions on the knowledge they have about a business.
Label Supermarket Trolleys
You’ll have definitely seen shopping trolleys at supermarkets that bear the brand or logo of some business. That’s an unconventional, uncommon yet excellent way to kick-start your business. It’s a very subtle way of letting shoppers know your brand’s also available on shelves of that supermarket. This technique works on the subconscious minds of shoppers and attracts them to your product.
Understandably, labeling supermarket trolleys aren’t as easy. You’ll need an agreement with the store of your choice. And they would definitely demand some payment for allowing you to use their shopping trolleys for marketing purposes. Yet, in the longer run, such investment pays huge dividends as your brand becomes synonymous with a store or chain of supermarkets.
Other Uncommon Marketing Strategies
You can also deploy various other uncommon marketing strategies to kick-start your business.
- Host schoolchildren to see how your business works.
- Organize stalls at faith-based events to indicate support for the community.
- Become part of local festivities with colorful roadside banners and posters.
- Provide car wrapping for a few vehicles to flaunt your brand across the town.
- Support local sporting events to benefit from their fan following.
When we talk of uncommon marketing strategies to kick start your business, it’s worth remembering, these are “uncommon” to a specific region or country. What we consider as uncommon business strategies are not-so-common in other parts of the world. You can also derive some inspiration by reading various success stories of small businesses that became giant organizations over the years.