5.21.2012

Taking A 'Startup' Approach To Marketing

"Startup" and "entrepreneur" have recently become buzzwords in the lexicon of American culture. Most people associate these terms with the latest Internet and mobile technology companies. They think of people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter (and more recently Square), Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, etc. However, these terms really describe a particular approach to business, not any specific industry type. Any retail store, service provider, or small business can fit the bill if they're in the right mindset.


Even if you're not building the next Facebook or Twitter, you can still harness the startup mentality at your own company. What differentiates a startup from just another new business and an entrepreneur from a traditional business owner is a set of common attributes held deep within the DNA of the company or founder. Entrepreneurs have a spark, an intense drive that propels them to succeed. They believe in what they are doing. For entrepreneurs, their work is more than just a way to earn a paycheck; it is something that they are truly passionate about. This attitude is a defining characteristic of most startups and is what sets them apart from other businesses. Startups are companies that are trying to make a dent in the universe. They are permeated with enthusiasm for what they're doing and an aura of excitement that is impossible to fake. Not all small businesses possess these characteristics, and larger companies often lose touch with them as they grow.


You can also tap into this energy to improve your marketing efforts. It is a lot easier to convince prospective customers how great your product is when your company actually believes it. People are attracted to authenticity. The startup mindset resonates with consumers and helps your marketing efforts resonate as well.


It shouldn't come as a big surprise that startup entrepreneurs have become akin to rock stars lately; there is an allure associated with building something from the ground up and succeeding. It's the American dream, the ability to control your own destiny. Most people fantasize about taking the reigns and following this path. They dream of being their own boss, but they are afraid of the risks and uncertainties involved. They are used to a 9-to-5 routine that offers security and a regular paycheck. The kind of people who are willing to take these risks and build a startup take the same approach to their business decisions. Startups remain nimble and are not afraid of change; in fact, they are often the catalyst for change. These are the companies that take risks and disrupt industries. They shake up the status quo. This is what the words "startup" and "entrepreneur" really embody. These words don't necessarily refer to a specific industry; they describe a certain mindset that more companies would benefit from emulating in any industry.