Matthew Gates http://notetoservices.com 3m 858
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Just starting up? Keep your marketing and branding costs low!
PROBLEM: You have just started up your company and you put most of your money into your product. It is you and one other person, maybe you have hired your family and promised them some equity or payment when you finally start making shipments and money. You have an excellent product and you have a few clients already buying in bulk from you, but you still need to get your brand out there.
You have done everything you have been told to do and even went online and gotten plenty of ideas. You even started your own website and paid a web developer to design you a gorgeous website.
The problem is that you are having a hard time marketing, branding, and advertising your product. You want people to remember your image and your name! So how do you do it and how do you keep your costs low?
SOLUTION: There are literally hundreds of startup companies out there just like you, who are in the business of making products that are for marketing and branding. They make business cards, coffee mugs, pens, magnets, shirts, mouse pads, and just about any and every product you can think of. So you’ve seen some companies on television and you’re surely going to go with them because you know them.
Well, if you can find a coupon for the advertisement you saw on television, than by all means, take advantage. Otherwise, go online and you may find many of these startup or small companies giving away free or very cheap branding or advertising products.
Why would they do that? They want your business and they’re willing to go cheap if it means beating the competition. After all, if they are really cheap and can meet demands. Why not take away a dozen clients from the competition and focus on them? You must use your own judgement and be careful, as these companies may not always mean quality. I remember a company I worked for bought really nice looking water bottles with their logo on it from a company that had their products made in China. They handed them out to all of the employees. I cleaned out the water bottle, filled it up, and when I went to drink out of it, it leaked all over me. All the other water bottles did the exact same thing. Imagine giving that product to a prospective client. If you cannot even afford a good branded product to give to your clients, than what will they think you are actually giving to them?
It is very important to make sure that your product shows quality, however, you have to find a company that is also willing to produce quantity at an affordable price. There are plenty of companies that are quality and offer some great discounts because they want your business! Their expectations are that you keep coming back to them so they will do all in their power to make you a satisfied client! Take advantage of such offers!
I remember buying 250 quality business cards, which I never ended up using, for $10. They were running a promotion that week and I just found it online. I uploaded the background I wanted to use, put my name, number, and company on it. And I had 250 business cards a week later. So they went to waste in the end because I ended up not getting into that particular line of business, but all I wasted was $10. Not bad for 250 business cards. Smart way to save, especially if you’re just starting up your business and looking to save money. If you’re really serious about your business, you’re going to have to spend money in advertising and branding, but if you can save by taking advantage of the services many of these companies have to offer, than why not do it?
After you’ve purchased your products, figure out how you’re going to distribute them. Maybe you’ll sponsor a charity and hand out pens or coffee cups with your brand on it. Maybe you’ll have your employees go to a few places around the town or city and drop off pens in random places. Yes, you may be giving away those items for free, but people love it, wear it, and will unknowingly do some marketing for you by wearing your t-shirt, or using a bunch of your pens, and will probably give them to their friends and co-workers. You never know!
Marketing and Branding can be very cheap if you do it right. Do your research. Before you consider buying from a brand name company, search for a coupon or find smaller companies to do what you want. Smaller companies may also be easier to bargain with, especially if you plan on making multiple large orders in bulk, they will likely give you a much larger discount than a more established brand company would. Try it out and you may just find out that you’ll be saving a lot more money than going with mainstream companies!